- Korea-Japan Governors’ Meeting convenes to discuss solutions for “low birth rates, aging, local community revitalization, and balanced regional development” -
- Mayor Yoo Jeong-bok shares Incheon’s efforts to ensure balanced regional development and proposes cooperation between local governments -
Incheon Mayor Yoo Jeong-bok, currently on an official visit to Japan, attended the “7th Korea-Japan Governors’ Meeting” to explore new opportunities to advance the relations between Korea and Japan through exchange and cooperation at the local government level.
Incheon Metropolitan City announced that the Mayor joined the “7th Korea-Japan Governors’ Meeting” between the Governors Association of the Republic of Korea (President: Lee Cheol-Woo) and the National Governors' Association of Japan (President: Yoshihiro Murai, Miyagi Prefecture) in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, on November 1. The Mayor was invited to the Meeting as Vice President of the Governors Association of the Republic of Korea.
<At the “7th Korea-Japan Governors’ Meeting” in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan, on November 1, Mayor Yoo Jeong-bok led a presentation on “Accompanied Growth and Balanced Regional Development.”>
At the Meeting, held at the “Music and Forest Museum” in Yamanashi Prefecture, Mayors and Governors from both countries (five from Korea, including Mayor Yoo Jeong-bok, and eleven from Japan) engaged in some spirited discussions on possible means to grow municipal governments in both countries and also to resume cooperation and exchange between the two countries going forward.
This year's Korea-Japan Governors’ Meeting, held for the first time in six years, served as an opportunity to reaffirm the eagerness for exchange and cooperation between the local governments on both sides.
All parties agreed to the fact that the main theme of the Meeting, “low birth rates, aging, local community revitalization, and balanced regional development,” is not only a very urgent and important matter for local governments in Korea and Japan, but also a priority at the national level as failure to address them could determine the future of both countries. The Mayors and Governors at the Meeting shared their respective experiences and knowledge on common underlying issues between the local governments in both countries, and sought innovative solutions.
Moreover, both sides said that exchange and cooperation between local governments in Korea and Japan play an important role in the development and advancement of the relationship between the two neighbors. Thus, they talked specific cooperation plans for exchange and cooperation between local governments in Korea and Japan, and promised to work together in executing plans developed between the two nations.
Meanwhile, Incheon Mayor Yoo Jeong-bok shared some of Incheon’s policies aimed at “regional revitalization and balanced regional development,” which the Meeting was focused on. Specifically, he showcased the City’s efforts to restructure its administrative systems, the Jemulpo Renaissance project, Industry 4.0 initiatives led by IFEZ, and other international exchange programs to propose possible ways for cooperation.
The Mayor said, “Regional revitalization and balanced regional development are both issues we need to tackle if we believe our respective nations will find the momentum to grow when our cities become more competitive. They apply to everything from politics to administration, culture, society, and diplomacy.” He continued, “Regular meetings between Mayors and Governors from Korea, Japan, And China are a great way to help not only Northeast Asia, but also the entire global community to take the next step forward.”
Meanwhile, the Korea-Japan Governors’ Meeting has been ongoing between Korea and Japan on a rotational basis every other year since its inaugural Tokyo Meeting back in 1999. Its purpose is to promote exchanges between local governments of the two countries, develop local autonomy, and promote mutual understanding and friendship across communities in Korea and Japan. The most recent Meeting was the 6th Meeting in Busan, Korea, in 2017. COVID-19 and strained relations between the two neighbors had put the Meeting on hold for six years. Fortunately, this year’s Meeting got underway in Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan.
<A commemorative group photo of the attendees>