With thanks to "Former Mayor Yutaka Sano, thank you for your hard work in retirement"! Former Mayor Sano is a town mayor who will remain in our memories and history!

Monday, April 8, 2024

On April 6 (Sat.) from 6:00 p.m. at Sunflower Park Hokuryu Onsen, "Former Mayor Yutaka Sano's Retirement Party" was held.

Yutaka Sano Former Mayor's Meeting to express appreciation for his resignation

Eighty people from the supporters' association and other concerned parties attended the event to express their appreciation and gratitude to the great former Mayor Yutaka Sano, 73, for his past efforts.

General Moderator: Mr. Satoshi Ono

総合司会:小野敏 様
General Moderator: Mr. Satoshi Ono

Entrance of former Mayor Yutaka Sano and his wife

Entrance of Mayor and Mrs. Sano

silent prayer

I would like to take this opportunity to offer a moment of silence to all those who supported former Mayor Yutaka Sano in the past but were unable to attend today's meeting as officers of the supporters' association," said Mr. Ono, the MC.

Silent prayer.

Greeting from the Chairman of the Supporters' Association: Mr. Hitoshi Takebayashi

後援会会長ご挨拶:竹林均 様
Greeting from the Chairman of the Supporters' Association: Mr. Hitoshi Takebayashi

It is a mild, spring-like day. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of you for coming in such large numbers, despite your busy schedules at the beginning of the new fiscal year.

For three terms of 12 years, you have supported the Sano Town Government with a spirit of comradely solidarity. During that time, we have received your unceasing and heartwarming support and guidance. I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Former Mayor Sano ran for 12 years with the support of all of you under the slogan of "Town Development with the Town's Citizens Playing the Leading Role". I would like to thank you again and again. Thank you again and again.

The accomplishments of Mayor Sano over the past 12 years are numerous, but I cannot say too much at this time.

The main things he has put into practice include the opening of the Wa Nursery School, the opening of the Hokuryu-cho commercial revitalization facility Cocowa, the introduction of free school lunch and childcare fees, and the installation of a prepayment system for driver's license. Above all, it was Mayor Sano who won the "Japan Agricultural Award, Grand Prize" with the town's residents and farmers.

In his third term, he was appointed vice president of the Hokkaido Association of Towns and Villages and president of the Hokkaido Sorachi Association of Towns and Villages. In the field of primary industry, he served as a director of the Hokkaido Agricultural Corporation, a board member of the Hokkaido Council of Agriculture, a board member of the Water, Land and Forestry Net Hokkaido, and a chairman of the Hokkaido Water Source Forestry Development Council.

He was even asked by a neighboring town, "Could you give one of Mr. Sano's agricultural positions to the mayor of our town? This shows how many positions Mr. Sano has held. In the primary industry, Mr. Sano served six terms of eight years.

I would like to commend Mayor Sano for his past accomplishments and offer him my congratulations on his labor, and I hope that he will take some time to rest after all the hard work he has put in 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. I hope that he will continue to watch over the people of Hokuryu again in the future.

The Sano Supporters' Association would like to conclude its duties with today's event.

Mr. Sano, thank you so much for your hard work. Thank you very much.

Thank you all very much for your support of Mayor Sano. I would like to thank you again and again for your support, and this will be my last address as chairman of the Board of Supporters.
Thank you very much, everyone," said Mr. Hitoshi Takebayashi.

Greeting from Guest of Honor: Mr. Shoichi Nakamura, Chairman of the Town Council

ご来賓ご挨拶 町議会議長・中村尚一 様
Greetings from Guest of Honor: Mr. Shoichi Nakamura, Chairman of the Town Council

I would like to thank you, from my perspective, for taking time out of your busy schedule in the new year to invite us to the "Sano Retirement Party for Former Mayor Sano" and for the many people who attended.

It would be proper for Mayor Sasaki to address the meeting, but since he is away in Sapporo, he could not attend the meeting and asked for our best wishes.

Twelve years ago, in the election between the mayor and the deputy mayor, I was the chairman of the Election Committee at the time, so I could not vote, but I supported Mr. Sano. As a result, Mr. Sano was elected by 960 votes to 730 votes, a margin of about 230 votes.

Prior to becoming mayor, Mr. Sano served as deputy mayor and as a town official for 54 years. Mr. Sano has lived with the establishment of the new town hall, and has been a public servant for 54 years.

The 1950s was the era of the Youth League, and I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Sano while consulting with the Board of Education in the context of the social education system at the time.

In the social education systems of neighboring towns (Horokanai, Numata, and Chichibu-betsu), people who were connected with the Seinendan have since become the leaders of their respective towns. Among them, we are grateful that Mayor Sano has served three long terms of 12 years.

Susumu Yamamoto, the mayor of Higashikagura Town, with whom I have a close relationship, served as mayor at the same time as Mayor Sano, and whenever I meet him, he always asks, "How is Mayor Sano?" Whenever I meet him, he always asks me, "How is Mayor Sano? When I visited him last October, he seemed very sad to hear that Mr. Sano was stepping down.

Thus, he was a town mayor with extensive connections to many people.

I hope that you will be active in various ways in the future, such as joining associations, volunteer activities, and longevity associations, which you were not able to participate in due to your position as mayor. It is said that one's life is 80 years, but there are people who are doing their best even in their mid-90s, so I hope that you will continue to do your best in a variety of activities.

I also think that his wife, who has supported him through many hardships with her personal help, has been very important. I hope that you will fully enjoy your life from now on.

Thank you to the supporters' association for your support over the past long 12 years.

We look forward to seeing Mr. Sano's activities in various forms in the future.

We are blessed with moderately fine weather this year, and I wish all the participants continued good health with their agricultural products. Thank you very much for joining us today," said Mr. Shoichi Nakamura.

bouquet presentation

Mr. Yutaka Sano and Ms. Tomoko Sano were presented with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

bouquet presentation

Greetings from former Mayor Yutaka Sano

Greetings from Mayor Sano

I would like to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude to the many people who took time out of their busy spring farming schedules to participate in this event.

I would also like to express my gratitude and appreciation to Mr. Takebayashi, the chairman of the board of directors, and all the other board members for organizing today's meeting.

Since the beginning of March, we have had a series of cold days, so we were concerned that the snowmelt was not progressing well, but since the temperature is expected to rise today and tomorrow it will be 16°C to 17°C, we are concerned about a snowmelt disaster. I feel that spring has finally arrived.

I am now grateful for the personal greetings from Mr. Takebayashi, Chairman, and Mr. Nakamura, Chairman of the Board.

On Wednesday, February 21, I completed 54 years of public service and three terms of 12 years as mayor of the town of Hokuryu.

Looking back, I was appointed Mayor of Hokuryu Town in February 2012 with the support of many people and residents of the town. I have been making my utmost efforts to "create a town where the townspeople play a leading role" in order to make Hokuryu a prosperous hometown, even though I have done little.

We have constructed the Minorichi-Hokuryu agricultural and livestock products direct sales shop, the commercial revitalization facility Cocowa, and the Wa nursery, as well as large-scale renovation of Sunflower Park Hokuryu Onsen and renovation and earthquake resistance work at various facilities.

In the soft business, the Company has made efforts to enhance projects such as the sunflower oil revitalization project, various childcare support programs, and immigration and settlement policies.

Furthermore, we have worked hard for the promotion and development of Hokuryu Town with your help in agriculture, commerce, and tourism businesses.

In particular, in the area of agricultural promotion, we received the "Japan Agricultural Award Grand Prize" in recognition of our efforts to deliver safe, secure, and delicious Sunflower Rice to consumers.

Himawari Soba Producers Association received the "National Soba Excellent Production Award, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Prize".

The Kuro Sengoku Cooperative was selected as an excellent example of "Discover the Treasures of Rural Villages," and the award was presented by then Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the Prime Minister's Office.

Last February, the first-squeezed sunflower oil was certified as "Northern High Grade Food 2023," and in the fall, the junmai sake "Ryujin" made with Hokuryu-machi rice comet produced in the town won the Grand Prix in the "Sake Made with Hokkaido Rice 2023 Award.

Regarding hometown tax payments, for the ninth consecutive year, we have received donations from all over Japan in excess of 300 million yen. Last year, we received 440 million in donations.

Hokuryu is a town that has received high acclaim and attention from all over the country as a town of genuine agriculture.

As for the top sales activities as promised, together with Mr. Hirokuni Kitakiyo, former representative of JA Kitasorachi Hokuryu district, we visited users in eastern Hokkaido, including Betsukai Town, Nakashibetsu Town, Hamatombetsu Town, and Otosaki Town. We also went to Tokyo, Osaka, Okinawa, and Taiwan to promote sunflower rice from Hokuryu Town.

From the start of my first term, Mr. Kitakiyo was very understanding and always said to me, "I'm going, Mayor! I am going to be the mayor! Thank you very much.

In addition, Mr. Terauchi, who was appointed as a member of the Hokuryu-cho Regional Development Cooperation Volunteers, continues to serve as a community support worker, and this year marks his 15th year. He has been searching for the treasures of Hokuryu Town on the "Hokuryu Town Portal" website and has been disseminating information about the smiling faces of the townspeople, the Sunflower Village and Sunflower Rice to the whole country and overseas. I believe that my reputation as mayor would not be complete without Mr. Terauchi.

If asked about my record as mayor, I would say that I have served a total of 20 years, including two terms of eight years as assistant mayor and deputy mayor, and three terms of 12 years as mayor. I have served in the town council four times a year, and more than 160 times when combined with special council meetings, without a single absence due to health problems.

Above all, I am very happy that in agriculture, our core industry, we have had good weather every year for 12 years during my tenure as town mayor and have had a good harvest.

The environment surrounding this small town is truly challenging. There are issues such as a declining population, problems in securing workers, and plans for reallocation of public facilities, etc. Fortunately, the new mayor has also made this a pledge, and I hope that all of our employees will work together to resolve this issue.

I would like to apologize to the residents of Hokuryu Town for being away from the town for the past four years, as I served as Vice President of the Hokkaido Town and Village Association and President of the Sorachi Town and Village Association.

I would like to thank the supporters' association and all the citizens of the town for their warm hospitality, and I am deeply grateful that I was able to fulfill my duties.

As a town resident, I would like to continue to fulfill my duties for the development of Hokuryu Town.

Thank you very much for all your hard work over the years," said Yutaka Sano.

Mr. and Mrs. Yutaka and Mrs. Tomoko Sano expressing their gratitude to everyone

Toast: Mr. Moriaki Tanaka, first chairman of the board of supporters

乾杯の音頭 初代後援会長・田中盛亮 様
Toast by Mr. Moriaki Tanaka, first chairman of the board of supporters

I would like to thank Mayor Sano for his hard work over the past 12 years. I would like to thank the supporters' association and the many townspeople who have supported him.

I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to Mrs. Tomoko, who has supported us for 12 years without a moment's rest, and I would like to thank her from the bottom of my heart for her hard work.

To all of you, a toast of gratitude!"



While sharing a drink and delicious food, we had a congenial and enjoyable conversation.

Assorted Sashimi
sushi rice in a box or bowl with a variety of ingredients sprinkled on top
Assorted meats
Fried Crab & Bacon
stir-fried shrimp in chili sauce
Salmon and ham salad

Closing remarks: Mr. Ryoji Kikura, Honorary Townsman of Hokuryu Town

締めのご挨拶:北竜町名誉町民・黄倉良二 様
Closing remarks: Mr. Ryoji Kikura, Honorary Townsman of Hokuryu Town

I would like to express my sincere appreciation to Mr. Takebayashi, the chairman of the board of directors, and all of the board members for organizing this meeting. Thank you very much.

On the 22nd of last month, I visited Tokyo-based Makoto Co. We have been friends since the great cold disaster of 1993, and they are the most trusted lunch box and side dish company with a production method that does not contain additives or quick freezing, and they use 80% of rice from Hokuryu Town.

Mineko Yamazaki, the president, told me every time I met with her, 'Mr. Kikura, you chose a good mayor.

We were unable to meet with him this time because he was ill. President Yamazaki said, "Mr. Kikura, in doing business, it is a matter of meeting the producers and whether or not I can trust them," he said.

Whenever Mayor Sano makes a business trip to Tokyo, he always visits Makoto Co. President Yamazaki said clearly, 'There has never been a town mayor with such sincerity.

The question asked by various people is, "How would you rate the Mayor?" I answer, 'He is a trustworthy mayor.

And the most respected person alive is Mr. Moriaki Tanaka. There are many respected people who are not alive.

The person who can be trusted is former Mayor Sano.
I respect Mr. Moriaki Tanaka.

This effort by Mr. Sano to share his life, blood, sweat, and tears of the townspeople on the backs of so many people is wonderful.

Mr. Sano was able to work as hard as he wanted because of the support of Mr. Tanaka, the president of the supporters' association, and Mr. Takebayashi, the second president of the supporters' association.

There are still many walls in Hokuryu-cho, and I hope that Mr. Sano will be able to use what he has accumulated in his life.

I hope you will talk a lot with the townspeople, children, youth, adults, and old people that you have been too busy to touch.

I want us to live together.

Mr. Sano is a town mayor to be remembered and a town mayor to be remembered in history.

I am truly happy to have met Mayor Sano, and I hope to continue to work with him in the future. I will continue to look at Mr. Sano and feel the joy of living in Hokuryu.

Mr. and Mrs. Sano, thank you so much!" said Ryoji Kikura emphatically.

Banquet hand-closing ondo Sanbonjime!

Yeo, Papa Pan, Papa Pan, Papa Pan, Papa Pan" O3


Former Mayor and Mrs. Sano leave the stage

Mr. and Mrs. Sano left the hall with a bouquet of flowers in their hands to everyone's great applause.

Mayor and Mrs. Sano leave the stage

With boundless love, gratitude, and prayers for the great achievements of former Mayor Yutaka Sano, who devoted 54 years of his life to public service in Hokuryu Town, 34 years as a town hall employee, 8 years in two terms as Deputy Mayor, and 12 years in three terms as Town Mayor.

Thank you!

With endless love, gratitude, and prayers for all that Mr. and Mrs. Sano have done for us.
Thank you very much!

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