Municipal Monitor Q1 2017 | Page 6

Our Municipal Group
President ’ s Message
Mt . Fuji in Shizuoka City leungchopan / bigstockphoto . com
also included a visit to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications where we had an open and frank discussion with Japanese officials . This information exchange was quite informative , for me personally , and for the remainder of the international delegates . I can only hope that the

Our Municipal Group

L to R : David Germain , Denitza Koev , Roger Beaman , Jeff Wilker , Stephen D ’ Agostino & Al Burton
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TF : 1.888.223.0448 T : 416.868.3100 www . thomsonrogers . com information we provided was equally helpful to the Japanese ministry officials .
Next we were off to Shizuoka City where we spent the majority of the study tour . Shizuoka City is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever visited . Our visit included a homestay with a Japanese family and an evening at a traditional inn where we experienced the amazing Japanese culture . We also spent a great deal of time learning about local government operations in Shizuoka City . This included a meeting with the chairman of Shizuoka City ’ s council and viewing a portion of their council meeting .
The focus of the study tour was Japan ’ s aging population and how the local governments are responding to and managing it within their health-care system . This , coincidentally , is one of the major differences between the local government system here and in Japan . The local governments in Japan are primarily responsible for providing health care to their residents . We were shown how the local government of Shizuoka City cares for and manages its residents ’ health , starting with the care of children from infancy , right through the educational system and up to the care of their senior citizens .
The Shizuoka City portion of the tour included many meetings with local government officials , exchanging ideas and discussing the various options available in tackling the health issues of their aging population . We also looked at some day-to-day operations in various facilities such as an elementary school , child-rearing generation-inclusive centre , a local health centre , regional rehabilitation promotion centre and presentations at the University of Shizuoka .
The whole experience was truly amazing and I would like to thank everyone involved with this exchange program . The partnership created between AMCTO , the Japan Local Government Centre and the Council of Local Authorities for International Relations provides an opportunity for us to continue to benefit and learn from each other .
4 Q1 2017 www . amcto . com