Joining the OECD Champion Mayors for Inclusive Growth enables me to learn about the latest issues and best practice solutions from around the world. Now I can take a broader view of Japan, or more so, Fukuoka, and its place in the world. Fukuoka is proud of the closeness of its citizens and municipal government, and tries to appropriately distribute its limited resources to further inclusive growth.
A nation is a compound of cities—cities, in the not too distant future, will be the main players on the international stage. Cities should take advantage of their regional characteristics when implementing initiatives to achieve prompt and effective results. Fukuoka shall act as a role model by continuing bold and innovative challenges to achieve inclusive growth throughout Japan.
– Mayor Sōichirō Takashima
Born in 1974. Sōichirō Takashima served as a TV announcer for information programs from 1997. He became Mayor of Fukuoka in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014 and 2018, each time with a record number of votes. In 2017, Takashima was the first Japanese mayor to attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting. As a young political leader, Mayor Takashima has been actively promoting Fukuoka across Japan and throughout the world.
Fukuoka’s projects align with its key strategies on city management: they aim to create a positive cycle that improves urban growth and quality of life; they aim to increase the number of tourists and businesses within the city; and they aim to foster citizens’ trust in the municipal government. Fukuoka now ranks as one of the most liveable cities in the world, and thanks to Mayor Takashima’s focus on business creation, Fukuoka was designated a national economic strategic zone in 2014, a status which allows it to relax legal regulations in order to create an environment that produces new value.
Mayor Takashima has also assumed national positions across a variety of fields such as adviser to the Tokyo Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games 2020.
With longer life expectancies and declining birth rates, Japan is now faced with becoming a super-ageing society on a globally unprecented scale. To combat this, Fukuoka launched its Advanced-Health City Strategy in 2017 and is promoting the Fukuoka 100 Project, a project for the era of the 100-year life that supports residents to live healthily both physically and mentally in their familiar environments. In addition to government, the Fukuoka 100 Project involves experts in fields such as health, medical treatment and nursing care, private enterprises, universities and citizens. Fukuoka aims to be a role model of an inclusive and sustainable ageing society, where both the individual and society as a whole can achieve happiness through not just medical and nursing care, but also social participation and community development for the aged, and improving health.