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Kadena to abolish posts of deputy mayor, treasurer

Date Posted: 2003-03-15

Kadena Town’s mayor wants to scale down local government, eliminating both the deputy mayor and treasurer positions. Mayor Atsusane Miyagi has unveiled a town government reorganization plan that would abolish the two posts effective April 1.

He said that the reorganization was necessary as the town faces severe shortage of funds. Abolishing the two positions would save the town more than ¥25 million. The mayor presented his reorganization plan at the town assembly regular business meeting on Mar. 10. Assemblymen quickly approved the plan.

Both the current Deputy Mayor Eisaburo Yamaguchi, and Treasurer Seisuke Takamine are at the end of their four-year terms on Mar. 31. The mayor, who has been in the office for 16 years and commands impressive authority in Kadena Town affairs, says the timing presents an ideal opportunity to make the change.

The mayor’s move is said to be a rare occasion in Japan, where bureaucrats traditionally run day-to-day affairs and politicians simply concentrate on making policies. The mayor says that the reorganization will mean much more work for him, but he has not much choice. “The town’s financial situation is in such a bad shape that I have to save wherever I think it’s possible. I’m ready to assume greater responsibility and work harder to overcome these financial difficulties and make our town to prosper,” the mayor said.

He admitted that the change would be tough. “I know that it will be much harder for the workers in the town office, but we have six directors that will take up the duties of the deputy mayor and treasurer. We have to beef up our cooperation and support each other,” Miyagi said.

Kadena Town’s decision is not without precedent in Okinawa. Ogimi Village in the northern part of the island abolished the posts of the mayor and treasurer several years ago.

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