Noteworthy Press Releases from Japan

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Shiga Prefecture

[Governor of Shiga Pref.] Feb. 17: Advanced measures for environmental/climate change and public transportation, issues common in Japan (Online press conference)


 Online press conference by the Governor of Shiga Prefecture 

Creating a “new affluence” after the pandemic:

The challenge of Shiga, living in harmony with the biggest lake in Japan,

Lake Biwa!

Date: February 17, 2023 (Friday) 13:00-14:00


The Governor of Shiga Prefecture, Taizo Mikazuki, will hold an online press conference, targeting the foreign media and foreign embassy officials.

This online press conference will showcase Shiga Prefecture’s strengths (the longest life expectancy in Japan, and other ways Shiga is #1 in the nation) and its connections to the world. In addition, we will explain Shiga Prefecture’s advanced measures for environmental and climate change countermeasures and public transportation countermeasures, which address issues common to all local governments in Japan.



[Main contents of the conference]


Shiga Prefecture according to data

Shiga Prefecture has a very modest presence, but here are some of its characteristics that can be seen in various kinds of data.

Lake Biwa, the largest lake in Japan, occupies one-sixth of the area of Shiga Prefecture.

The number of important cultural properties designated by the national government, including national treasures, is 828, ranking fourth in Japan, and its history is on par with that of neighboring Kyoto and Nara.

In order to realize a sustainable society, Shiga Prefecture is promoting initiatives that contribute to a “new affluence” and happiness that is not just about the present, objects, or money. One of the symbols of this new affluence is health. According to the latest announcement by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, the average life expectancy of men in Shiga Prefecture ranks first in Japan, while that of women is second, making it the prefecture with the longest life expectancy in Japan.



Biwa Lake to Land Integrated System and Lake Biwa Model contribute to global water environmental issues

We will introduce some of Shiga Prefecture’s unique examples of environmental conservation efforts toward the creation of a sustainable society.

The area around Lake Biwa, one of the world’s most ancient lakes, is home to the traditional Lake Biwa fishing industry, which has been passed down for more than 1,000 years as a sustainable system, as well as rice paddies where lake fish run upstream, environmentally friendly agriculture on Lake Biwa, and a food culture that includes funazushi, which was born from the fusion of rice and lake fish. This sustainable system is called the “Biwa Lake to Land Integrated System.”

The Biwa Lake to Land Integrated System has contributed greatly to the preservation of the environment as well as cultural heritage, and it was recognized as a Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System in 2022.

● When Shiga Prefecture experienced a deterioration in Lake Biwa’s water quality in the past, a residents’ movement was initiated, and research institutes, companies, and government agencies worked to improve the quality of Lake Biwa’s water. The system in which industry, academia, government, and the private sector worked together to improve the quality of Lake Biwa’s water without stopping the economy is called the “Lake Biwa Model.”

● The Lake Biwa Model has attracted a great deal of interest from developing countries overseas, and the prefecture has received many visitors who came to learn about the model. In addition, we are contributing to the improvement of water quality around the world by putting this Lake Biwa Model into practice.



Challenges of climate change and maintaining public transportation in the region

As the risk of climate change increases, global warming countermeasures are an urgent issue that must be addressed by local governments. The prefecture aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, to virtually zero by 2050.

As one of these efforts, we will introduce an example of a financial approach (encouraging green investment) that is rarely seen in municipalities around the world.

Maintaining regional public transportation is a common issue in many parts of Japan facing a declining population, and Shiga Prefecture is working to create a vision for “building a regional public transportation network that allows everyone to get where they want to go, when they want to go” by providing a forum for active discussions with railroad operators.

As a source of revenue to realize this vision, Shiga Prefecture is considering the introduction of a transportation tax, which is attracting attention from all over Japan.



The governor’s press conferences and press releases, provided for international media, can be accessed through Shiga Prefecture’s official website.



If you are interested in attending, please follow the instructions below.

We look forward to your participation.


<The event will be conducted live via a Zoom webinar.>

■Date: February 17, 2023 (Friday) 13:00-14:00 (Application deadline: 2/16 12:00)

■Speaker: Taizo Mikazuki, Governor of Shiga Prefecture

■Language: Japanese (with consecutive interpretation in English)

◎Embassy officials are also welcome to attend and ask questions.

◎There will be time for questions and answers on the day of the event, but if you have any questions or concerns for the Governor, please submit them in advance via the Zoom webinar registration form.


[How to apply]

Please fill out and submit the registration form for the Zoom webinar included in the email or fax we sent you. *We do not accept applications by email.



Nakano, Public Relations Strategy Division, Foreign Press Center Japan


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