Mayor Chen Chu Visits Japan and Attends FOODEX Japan 2012／陳菊市長赴日參加2012東京國際食品展
Mayor Chen Chu Visits Japan and Attends FOODEX Japan 2012
◎English translation: Peng Hsin-yi
◎Photos by Hsu Jhih-wei
On March 4th - 9th, Kaohsiung City Mayor Chen Chu, Yunlin County Magistrate Su Chih-fen and Chaiyi County Magistrate Chang Hua-kuan attended the 2012 International Food and Beverage Exhibition (FOODEX Japan 2012) in Tokyo, in order to promote produce from Central and Southern Taiwan. They hoped to create export opportunities and strengthen Taiwan's image as a supplier of premium fruits and vegetables. They introduced Taiwan's safe and high quality products to participants from over 72 countries. FOODEX Japan is the world's third largest food exhibition and the most extensive in Asia. Every year it attracts an average of 70,000 buyers and food professionals. This year, Taiwan's booth was sponsored by Yunlin County, Chaiyi County, Tainan City and Kaohsiung City. Mayor Chen Chu hopes to initiate a new trade agreement with the Japanese and increase the export of Kaohsiung's best fruits, such as jujubes and dragon fruit. Mayor Chen's mission included extending existing channels and increasing orders.
Mayor Chen's trip to Japan also coincided with the first anniversary of the 311 earthquake, distributing 50 cases of Cishan and Meinong Districts' bananas, as gifts to Sendai Elementary School students. She passed on love, sympathy and encouragement from the people of Kaohsiung.
While in Japan, Mayor Chen toured several cities and met with the mayors. In Hachioji City, Mayor Chen met with recently elected, Mayor Ishimori Takayuki and invited him to attend the 2013 Asian-Pacific City Summit in Kaohsiung. Mayor Chen and Mayor Ishimori toured the produce sales center at Takiyama Station. She was particularly impressed with Takiyama's supply system and liked the fact each item has a traceable agriculture product label, guaranteeing quality. Takiyama Station also serves as a public shelter during emergencies. The multi-functional design will serve as a model for future upgrades, planned for Kaohsiung's Produce Center.
Mayor Chen also visited Hachioji, Osaka and Saitama and hopes the experience will contribute to greater economic development for Kaohsiung. Mayor Chen met with Governor of Osaka, Hasimoto Toru. Governor Hasimoto is an advocate of an Osaka Prefecture and City merger. He and Mayor Chen discussed the Kaohsiung County and City merger. She explained after the merger, Kaohsiung expanded to encompass 2946 square kilometers and a population of 2.77 million. This has enriched Kaohsiung's diversity, economy and provides remote districts with direct attention from the city government. She explained, Kaohsiung City Government endeavors to facilitate each district to achieve a similar level of infrastructure and development.
Mayor Chen also visited the underground reservoir, Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel in Saitama Prefecture. The system is designed to absorb excessive water when large storms hit. It utilizes open spaces such as schools and parks, providing more open spaces for recreation while relieving pressure for underground reservoirs during rainy seasons. Mayor Chen believes Kaohsiung could benefit greatly from the models she saw during the tour.