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Local governments in Japan are setting up unique divisions to revive the economy

REUTERS/File photo
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Tokyo (Jiji Press) – Many local governments in Japan set up special departments at the start of the 2024 budget year, which began this month, hoping to revive the local economy in innovative ways.

The city of Nishikawa in Yamagata Prefecture, northeastern Japan, recently established a ‘kasegu’ (money-making division) with the aim of securing additional financial resources.

The new division is promoting a type of non-fungible token (NFT) that allows people living outside the city to become digital citizens of Nishikawa.

“We don’t want (the relationship) to end with just one (NFT) transaction,” said Tomohiro Ishikawa, head of the division. “We hope people will go a step further and become fans of the city.”

The city plans to organize in-person and online gatherings that will bring together digital citizens of Nishikawa.

The Generation Z division set up at the Kitakyushu city government in Fukuoka Prefecture, southwestern Japan, has four dedicated members plus 12 Gen Z employees who also work in other divisions.

The Gen Z division is tasked with taking steps to get more people to move to the city.

The city is facing a major problem of population outflow among the younger generation. Mayor Kazuhisa Takeuchi says Kitakyushu aims to become a city where young people want to live.

During a department meeting Friday, members discussed ways to attract more people to downtown.

The city government of Kitakata in Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, has established a Kitakata ramen division and a soba division to further promote the local cuisine of Kitakata ramen and Yamato soba buckwheat noodles.

Members of the divisions, who also work in the city government’s tourism promotion department, will come up with ideas for food-related events.



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