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Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012

VIEWS FROM THE STREET

Nagoya: Do you think crusading Mayor Takashi Kawamura is doing a good job?


By STEPHEN CARR

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Naoki Oda
Industrial project manager, 41 (Japanese)
Kawamura's performance has not been much good because he lacks a dynamic plan to power the Nagoya economy. He has not had much of an impact on its fiscal health. He needs to attract foreign companies and create jobs. The plan to reduce the number of assembly members by half, and to cut their salaries in half to ¥8 million, is hard to implement.

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Kazuko Sugiyama
Receptionist, 36 (Japanese)
He speaks in such an exaggerated accent that we Nagoya people can't understand him! His plan for a 10-percent tax cut won't work — city income will decrease and it will create a lot of unemployment. It is hard to trust politicians who switch factions, as Kawamura has. He has made no difference to my life so far. But it takes time to change the system, so perhaps we should give him a chance.

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John Snow
Language school manager, 53 (British)
I admire his vision. He is not out to feather his nest, bloat his ego and accommodate cronies. And why should a bureaucrat in Tokyo decide how Nagoya taxes are spent? Measures like selling off council members' limousines are sensible and popular. He also wants to raise Nagoya's profile and attract tourists. It's a pretty safe bet he'll be re-elected again.

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Zheng Mei Lian
Car parts worker, 20 (Chinese)
He plans to lower taxes, which sounds like a good idea. Then workers can save more and plan for the future, and the more money they spend, the more local businesses will benefit. Foreign workers have been given a good chance to come here, and I think most are content with their new opportunities. Under a different mayor, perhaps this wouldn't be the case.

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Eiji Kobayashi
Salesman, 40 (Japanese)
The costs of city hall should be reduced and Nagoya assembly members should think hard about how to run things more efficiently. Compared with us, the general working population, they have a lot of privileges, and some of these should certainly be taken away. I think there is self-promotion in some of Kawamura's policies. I have no idea yet if he is a good mayor or not — only time will tell.

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Wang Li Ping
Industrial quality assessor, 22 (Chinese)
I have seen the mayor on TV and my Japanese colleagues sometimes talk about politics. They argue about whether he is good or bad. As far as I can see, the quality of life here is good. Transport is efficient, services are good and the streets are clean. I think he must be doing a reasonable job, as it is obviously a well-organized place that people seem happy to live in.

Interested in gathering views in your neighborhood? E-mail community@japantimes.co.jp


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