To tell your dream
“I want to talk with you.” My father called my family and told us with a dark face. “I decided to quit a city councilor, it is already mental limit.”
My father ran for the city council member when I was 11 years old. “I will change Japan from this city.” With this belief raised my father won the election. At that time I was an elementary school student, so I didn’t know what my father was doing specifically, but I understood that my father tried to actively cooperate with local people. Then, three and a half years after winning, my father expressed his resignation without waiting for the next local election.
He has not done corruption at all. The reason for resignation is “mental illness”. A photograph of the father’s face was posted on the newspaper headline at that time.
Five years have passed since my father resigned. I became a university student and now I can understand what my father was trying to realize. That is “PPP”. PPP stands for “Public Private Partnership”. By cooperation between the administration and the private sector, it is utilized to improve the efficiency of administration and make attractive town planning. PPP can be said to be one of the policies necessary for the future society of Japan, since Japanese finance and economy cannot afford. My father was trying to realize the situation close to PPP with my local people through town planning workshops and so on. So I am proud of my father who said “I will change Japan from this city.” However, a nail that stands will be hammered down. Conservative legislators didn’t agree whatever father tried to persuade, and conversely knocked down my father. He was exhausted day after day and was forced to resign. As I saw such a father by his side, I have come to think that I cannot have dreams and hopes in the political world. And still my hometown shopping street keep shutter down.
But in January of this year, I had an event that changed my thoughts completely. I talked with Mr. Doi who is a staff member at the Onagawa town in Miyagi Prefecture at a meeting. He said in a bright tone. “In Onagawa, PPP is done as usual. I want to know the reason why PPP can’t be done.” I was so shocked to hear that. Because PPP which my father couldn’t realize is done as usual in Onagawa Town. To put it in extreme, I couldn’t believe that I live in the same country. From that day, in my head was a full of Onagawa Town and finally I moved to Onagawa Town only for two weeks. I would like to talk about that.
On March 11, 2011, The Great East Japan Earthquake hit Onagawa Town. Approximately 10% of the total population died or became missing, and 80% of buildings were all or partially destroyed. The whole town was destroyed in a moment. As a result, the situation in Japan in 2045, “the population has decreased by 40% and the aging rate approaches 40%” has already become a reality in Onagawa. From our point of view, this may seem like a desperate situation. However, Onagawa Town was introduced as a successful example of the reconstruction town planning in the disaster area. In the shopping district in front of the station, young people set up attractive shops from all over Japan. The population of my town is about 9 times that of Onagawa Town, but many shops are still shutting down.
What was different in Onagawa Town? I have had the most impact while living in Onagawa. That is to have a dreaming atmosphere. Among the people visiting Onagawa, there is a famous rumor that talking about dreams to the people of Onagawa, they don’t make a fool of us, but rather talk about how to realize it. When I asked them about that, many of them said, “Onagawa has long been a commercial town, and has a history of accepting businessmen from outside, so it has an atmosphere that does not deny those with dreams.” A man told me like this. “Even if you say you want to be the prime minister, we will seriously cheer you.”
I was shocked when I heard the words of the man. I realized that the “dreaming” environment supported the city planning of Onagawa Town. That is easy. There was no environment in my town where I could talk about my dreams. That is why my father told me about his dream was knocked down and resigned. In Onagawa Town there was an environment to tell a dream. So they created great power by talking about the direction to overcome adversity, that is, the dreams in the whole town.
You can change a town if you have an environment where you can talk about your dreams. That’s why I want Japanese people to tell their dreams as much as possible. Besides that, why do not you need anything? Dreams can be big things or small things. And if there is a person who talks about dreams, even if that dream is absurd I would like you to support him entirely. If everyone takes such a stance, our dream will definitely lead us to a good direction.
Oh, by the way, I had been working at a ramen shop while living in Onagawa, that name is “Yume Wo Katare Onagawa”.
Thank you for your reading.