Happy New Year 2023, Mayor Yutaka Sano of Hokuryu-cho

January 1, 2023 (Sunday)

New Year's Greetings Yutaka Sano, Mayor of the Town of Hokuryu

謹賀新年 令和5年・北竜町 佐野豊 町長
Happy New Year 2023, Mayor Yutaka Sano of Hokuryu-cho


Happy New Year to all residents of the town.

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a happy and healthy New Year in 2023.

Looking back on last year, the new type of coronavirus infection that has been raging around the world was confirmed in our town in January of last year, and in May, a cluster of cases occurred at a special nursing home for the elderly, with a total of 36 people, both residents and staff, being confirmed positive. We would like to express our gratitude once again to the neighboring facilities for their support and to the staff members who willingly accepted our request to dispatch staff, and we would like to express our respect to the staff members of the facilities who responded to this difficult situation with their tireless efforts.

The town will continue its efforts to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, and we ask for your cooperation in this endeavor.

In agriculture, our core industry, farm work has progressed smoothly since the snow melt season, and we have been blessed with relatively stable weather, resulting in an excellent autumn in terms of both quality and yield. I would like to express my deep respect for the efforts of all producers.

Although the decline in rice prices has been halted to a certain extent, the situation still does not allow for optimism due to the impact of Corona, soaring oil and other oil prices due to the unstable situation, changes in government policy, and other factors.

The Sunflower Festival, the town's major event, was held for the first time in three years, and with the opening of the tourist center and other events, the Sunflower Village was very lively, attracting some 280,000 visitors. This year, too, we will make every effort to take all possible measures to prevent infectious diseases and hope that many people will visit the town.

The "hometown support donation" has received a great deal of support from all over the country, and the return gifts such as Sunflower Rice and Sunflower Melon have been well received, and are expected to exceed 300 million yen for the ninth consecutive year. We will continue our efforts to support Hokuryu-cho through attractive town development and special products.

Although there are many challenges facing the administration, such as a declining population and a lack of skilled workers, we will continue to work together with the citizens of the town to create a town where each and every citizen can live in a spiritually rich environment, utilizing the values and experiences we have cultivated over the years.

In conclusion, I would like to wish you all a happy and prosperous new year.

<Excerpt from "Koho Hokuryu," January 2023, No. 689

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