Wednesday, June 29, 2022
In this event, Kamaishi City in Japan will share creative strategies and examples to revitalize the city to tackle the issues of declining birthrate and aging population. Subsequently, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will share examples of city revitalization projects in collaboration with local cities in Japan such as Kamaishi City. Moreover, JICA will introduce one of the latest strategies and its progress, which aims to maximize effect of technical cooperation by applying the knowledge and experience of Japan's city revitalization initiative to developing countries in collaboration with local cities in Japan and creating a virtuous circle between them. Finally, we will summarize key messages for building local city resilience based on the outcome of the discussions in this event. Kamaishi City in the Tohoku region is a city of “Iron, Fish and Rugby” with a population of about 31,000. The city has been working on reconstruction since it was severely damaged by the Great East Japan’s Earthquake in 2011, and in the process of that, it formulated the "Open City Promotion Strategy" in 2016. The basic policy of this strategy is to promote city revitalization by utilizing the "Connected Population", which is the largest asset obtained from the reconstruction process, and the "Active Population" of Kamaishi City. Based on this strategy, by creating innovative opportunities for dialogue not only with Kamaishi citizens but also with people outside the city, the progress of various city revitalization projects in cooperation with multiple sectors and various stakeholders will be presented. Next, JICA will share cooperation projects related to regional revitalization between JICA and local cities in Japan, and examples of collaboration to accelerate the strategy of Kamaishi City. JICA has cooperated with various local cities including Kamaishi city in various projects such as trainings in Japan and grassroots technical cooperation. Moreover, based on the cooperative relationship with Kamaishi city so far, JICA formulated one of the latest strategies aimed at realizing a virtuous cycle of regional revitalization between local cities in Japan and developing countries. In line with this strategy, JICA collaborated to support the realization of the "Open City Promotion Strategy," of Kamaishi city by utilizing its knowledge and network with developing countries such as a JICA partnership project for Banda Aceh in Indonesia, and a high school attractive project to nurture future city leaders. JICA will also promote the local application of knowledge and experience related to the city's strategy to developing countries, and conversely introduce examples of developing countries to local cities in Japan. This strategy has a new initiative with a view to expanding the city revitalization model to more developing countries while ensuring a win-win relationship between JICA and local cities in Japan to sustain the cooperative modalities.
There are FIVE main objectives in this event as followings: 1. To share Kamaishi city’s the “Open City Promotion Strategies” and its creative efforts for the city revitalization in multi-sectors with multi-stakeholders. 2. To share the technical cooperation modality to developing countries by the applying the knowledge and experiences on the creative city revitalization in Japan through cooperation between international cooperation implementing organizations such as JICA and local cities in Japan. 3. To share attempts to build a sustainable mechanism for creation of a virtuous cycle of cooperation between local cities in Japan and developing countries by ensuring a win-win relationship through effective cooperation between local cities in Japan and international cooperation implementing organizations to sustain the cooperative modalities. 4. To obtain deeper insights and knowledge on the above-mentioned points for brushing up the cooperation strategy, cooperation modalities and its action plan for building resilient city revitalization through the dialogues with participants in this event. 5. To establish a network with stakeholders interested in the above initiatives, maintain connections from the forum onwards, share information and experience with each other, and strengthen Japan's technical cooperation by ongoing discussions among the stakeholders.