葉山の町政

Summit for Foreign Friends in Hayama July 16, 2016

最終更新日:2016年8月26日

“Talk about Hayama with Mayor ~Summit for Foreign Friends in Hayama~” Summary of the Summit

「町長と葉山のはなし」
1. Date and Time

10:00am ~ 12:10pm Saturday, July 16, 2016

2. Place

Shiomi-tei at Shiosai Park

3. Number of Participants

40 participants in total (including 15 people from foreign countries*)
*People who are in touch with foreign cultures on a daily basis.

4. Countries represented

Germany, Korea, USA, Belarus, Canada, Portugal, China, Belize, Slovenia and Japan

5. Minutes of the Forum

Mayor: Thank you very much for coming today. It is a great opportunity for me to meet those of you who are from 10 different countries. We are looking forward to hearing your various opinions throughout the group discussion today.

[Group Discussion Part Ⅰ]
Three groups of Japanese members. Two groups of Non-Japanese members.

Theme for Japanese groups “What’s good about foreign countries?”

Group1: In Asian countries, people are more likely to respect elderly people and treat them with good care. English is more commonly used and it is easier to communicate with them.
In European countries, people tend to treasure their traditions and cultures and they don’t mind spending a lot of money and time to preserve them.

Group 2: People from foreign countries are willing to help others and give a hand to people in trouble or the disabled. In other countries, it seems to be easier taking days off from work or raising children. We should learn and create such better environments for child care or working.

Group 3: It is wonderful that foreign friends are good at expressing themselves to the others.

Theme for non-Japanese group “What’s strange about Japan?”

Group 4: We will talk about what’s different between Japan and our country instead of what’s strange about Japan. When it comes to Japanese words, we don’t really understand what “Sumimasen” means. Sumimasenn has different meanings depending on situations.  One of the meanings is a light apology such as “excuse me” when you bump into someone, and another one is deep apology such as “I’m really sorry’. We cannot tell one from the other. Another Japanese word, “Iidesu”, has also both positive and negative meanings and it’s confusing, too. Then, Japanese people often tell me the Japanese phrase “Kaoiro ga warui desu yo”, “you look pale”, in English, and I cannot tell what the person is meaning. Is he or she is worrying about me or just telling me the fact? In Korea, we often invite people over to our homes when we get close to them, but Japanese people seldom invite people to their homes. It is the difference between Japanese culture and Korean culture we learned here in Japan.

Group 5:
We cannot understand the concept of the word “strange” from today’s topic. We understand Japanese people try to welcome or host people from foreign countries toward the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics games. Japanese seem to push themselves too hard to welcome people. You don’t need to change to attract the world to Hayama. You don’t have to make yuru-chara, or local mascot characters to promote regions. You need, off course, good interpretation or translation and even more you need to appreciate and understand your own country and get ready to explain it linguistically and culturally when foreign people ask.
What we think is difficult in Japan is Japanese driver’s license test. It is really tricky and hard to understand what the question is actually asking. It is difficult to pass it.

[Group Discussion Part Ⅱ]
Five Japanese and Non-Japanese mixed groups

[Theme]
”What’s good about Japan? ~how we can improve Hayama~


Group 1: Japanese people do not have to act like people from other countries.
The Japanese word,”Omotenashi” or treating or entertaining someone sincerely and warmheartedly does not mean forgiving or accepting everything. You need to have courage to say “no” when needed.
Hayama town is said to have been designed for 30,000 people to live in. Even though we want to welcome visitors, we’re not sure how we will accommodate them. Before we start improving Hayama, we should learn the global standards for town development and, based on the standard, we can launch community development.

Group 2: We think one of the best ways to introduce Hayama to foreign people is to start and enhance homestay programs. As we have one of the imperial villas here, we should keep putting an effort to preserve its nature and its beautiful landscapes and also continue to ensure safety and security of Hayama.
We should promote the Hayama Art Festival or Morning Market to promote Hayama more widely.


Group 3:
Have you ever heard of “Hayama syndrome”? This describes people in Hayama who are likely to quit their jobs to keep their life styles, such as enjoying cruising, sailing or even just picking up sea shells at the beach. You can see how strongly Hayama’s unique atmosphere and environments have attracted people.
There is an old dialect of Hayama, “gocchokiru yori huwararase.” It means, “don’t live seriously but take it easy.” Hayama is good enough just as it is now. We don’t think that we need to make any changes.

Group 4:
We should determine how much of Hayama we will preserve and how much we will do “omotenashi” or treating or entertaining foreign visitors sincerely.
Let foreign visitors experience the unvarnished Hayama, and then, based on what they feel about Hayama, we should discuss what really needs to be changed and what will be required for “Omotenashi”. Since Hayama’s household garbage regulations are complicated for non-Japanese, for example, more people in Hayama and staff members of Hayama Town Hall should be ready to explain about how to separate trash to them clearly with a lot of photos and illustrations. We believe these small steps will lead to good “Omotenashi” after all.

Group 5:
Hayama is very safe and has good environments for raising children. Trash separation rules are observed strictly in town, so the whole town is kept very clean. What we also like about Hayama is that every bus runs on time here. On the other hand, what we are concerned about is the lands in Hayama have been divided in many small pieces, overpackaging when we buy something and that there is no school lunch system in Hayama’s junior high schools.

[Mayor]
About the division of lands and the complicated trash separation system, town hall is already aware of these problems. Division of lands in Hayama is actually under the control of Kanagawa prefecture, but we are requesting for bigger sizes of lands and shorter condos to preserve the views we are proud of. Making trash separation system more user-friendly is another huge task we are facing.
.
Someone mentioned the school lunch system, and we are now working on it to realize it by 2019.
Also, this is just what I’m hoping for but I would like to share what I picture with you. I think it would be great if our children could be able to speak English after nine years of their compulsory education of both an elementary school and a junior high school.
I am feeling that the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympic games will come full of opportunities. We don’t need to change our Hayama completely but we would like to appeal Hayama internationally. I hope it will help connect our children to the world. To make it come true, I believe that we will need to make minor changes to Hayama and, at the same time, we will preserve what needs to be preserved. Finally, I hope this forum will make you feel closer to the town hall activities and services.