Katsuyama City to Distribute ¥60,000 for Each Child

Katsuyama City to Distribute ¥60,000 for Each Child

Unrestricted to Income, Family Budget Support During Novel Coronavirus

On April 13th, Fukui Prefecture’s Katsuyama City announced that it will provide ¥60,000 for each child, at a junior high school age and lower, to parents and guardians within the city, in an effort to provide economic relief during the continuous spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Concerning the required ¥150 million against the current fiscal year’s budget, it was stated that the funds will be processed by the municipal government body within the week. With various extraordinary measures emerging across the country, Katsuyama City Mayor Masahiro Yamagishi expressed, “For the sake of the city residents, we wish to execute this plan without delay.”

During the April 13th press conference, City Mayor Yamagishi laid out an overview of the initiative. The plan is to provide for the roughly 2,500 children within the city, from age 0 up to and including junior high school children. Payment of the funds is to take place from next week until the first part of May. There will be no restrictions in regards to the income of the parents and guardians. The city will use up its financial adjustment funds, where savings are accumulated for the city, to apply towards the budget.

“Especially during this time, our effort is being put into a measure to help nurture the future generations. When thinking of what kind of support to provide, supporting child care is what we want to deal with first,” emphasized City Mayor Yamagishi.

“We had calculated ¥5,000 for one month; that is roughly the cost of school lunched, and so we used that as a base,” said the city mayor, explaining the foundation of the ¥60,000 allowance.

Other policies that were displayed within the supplementary budget, with the ¥1 million to be processed by the municipal government body, include purchasing masks and sanitizers. Approximately 70,000 masks will be secured, and distributed among elementary, junior high school, and senior high school children, as well as social service and medical personnel.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1068644

Novel Coronavirus Leaves Facilities Within Fukui Prefecture Quiet

Novel Coronavirus Leaves Facilities Within Fukui Prefecture Quiet

Increased Book Borrowing at the Library in Preparation for Suspension

In the midst of the continued infection of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), on Sunday, March 1st, facilities within Fukui Prefecture, usually bustling with children and families, were quiet. Even in outdoor facilities where it is more difficult for a crowd to gather, parents and children were still discrete in their play. In libraries, families stood out in borrowing books, in preparation for the long school break from March 2nd.

At the Fukui Prefectural Library (located in Fukui City), asking students to practice self-discipline, the facility stated that on a normal weekend, there would be a line of 200 to 300 junior high school students lined up, waiting for the library to open; on the 1st, there was almost no children in sight. During this time, the library’s free study space would be full of students studying for the entrance exams, with an adult sitting in each four-person space, reading a book.

In response to the school closures, the library reported that people are borrowing about 5 more books than usual, going up to 15 books, considering more time will be spent at home. The number of visitors on February 29th were roughly 20-30% lower than normal, but compared to the Saturday and Sunday averages of the month, there were at least 1,000 more books loaned out, totalling to about 4,500 books. A Fukui City woman (aged 40) with her two daughters explained, “Because of the school closure, we’re borrowing more than usual,” taking 30 books on loan.

In Wai-Plaza Shinbo (located in Fukui City), “Asobi MA-RE”, an indoor amusement area for parents and children, there were roughly 20 people, with a staff member commenting, “It is usually bustling with about 200 people on a normal Sunday.” The facility will be closed from March 2nd to 13th.

At the temporarily closed prefectural science centre for children (known as “Angel Land”, located in Sakai City), regardless of the exceptionally fine weather during the winter season, there were much less children playing in the outdoor plaza. A woman (aged 35) from Fukui City explained her reason for visiting with her 3 six-year-old boys, “We didn’t want to go to a shopping centre, where there would be a lot of people; if we’re outside, we can maintain distance from other people.” When the children intend to interact with the playground equipment, they would not take food or drinks with them.

“Prioritizing the children’s safety, and to prevent infection, please refrain from being in the outdoor plaza,” expressed Angel Land in a statement.

Until March 15th, many facilities frequently visited by children, including the Fukui Prefectural Dinosaur Museum (located in Katsuyama City) and the Fukui Children’s Museum (located in Fukui City), are closed.

“Until spring, there will be many days with bad weather, and if the closure continues, it will be problematic for the facilities,” says a man (aged 39) visiting Angel Land with his family, expressing his worries.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1039387

Abura-age Sales Numbers, Fukui City Immovable from Number One Spot in Japan

Abura-age Sales Numbers, Fukui City Immovable from Number One Spot in Japan

2019 Survey, Top for 57 Years in a Row

According to a family finance survey by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications on February 28th, Fukui Prefecture’s Fukui City claimed the top spot nationwide for average abura-age and ganmodoki purchases per household in 2019, for the 57th year in a row. The average amount spent was ¥5,245, which is ¥201 lower compared to 2018; however, Fukui City was still able to pull ahead of Ishikawa Prefecture’s Kanazawa City, which held second place with ¥4,462, maintaining its top position.

The survey results distinctly aggregated Fukui Prefecture’s data, and was ranked against fifty-one other prefectural cities and government ordinance cities across the country. Stating in an analysis by the Fukui Prefectural Brand Department, “a primary factor is the custom of eating Houonkou dishes, which is tied to the Jodo-Shinshu sect of Buddhism.”

Fukui City also claimed first place with cutlet purchases (¥4,889) for the third year in a row; the city was also first in tempura and other fried foods (¥7,742), and croquettes (¥3,211), for the second year in a row.

Other products where Fukui City placed first were rice (3rd in 2018), kombu tsukudani (3rd in 2018), yakiniku (3rd in 2018), and potatoes (11th in 2018). As for mochi, yokan, and sembei, Fukui City placed in second.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/1038778

Restarting Old Cell Phones, Restoring Memories

Restarting Old Cell Phones, Restoring Memories

A KDDI Event, Reviving Photos and Emails

On December 20th, the Chubu-Hokuriku branch of the KDDI Corporation (located in Kanazawa City, Ishikawa Prefecture) launched an event in a shopping centre within Fukui City, “Omoide Ke-tai Saikidou” (おもいでケータイ再起動, “Restarting Cell Phone Memories”). At the event, held in the au Shop located in Lpa, phones that have lost its ability to start-up or charge properly can be “revived at no cost. Visitors were full of smiles and joy, as they looked through. The old photos on their phones. The event is until December 22nd.

KDDI Corporation has been holding the event since 2017, but this is the first time for it to happen within Fukui Prefecture. Using a special device to allow the cell phone to hold a charge, it can be booted up. After being able to check photos, emails, and answering machine messages, people can choose a photo to be printed out as a gift (one photo per person).

From the morning, the shop saw many visitors with comments such as, “It’s a device from ten years ago, so it no longer operates. My child’s photos, from when they were young, in only on this phone,” and “I want to print and save a photo of my mother who passed away.”

A self-employed man (aged 69) from Sakai City, and his wife, brought six devices with them. When looking upon the restored screen, and seeing the collection of photos of their grandchildren and family, the memories came flooding in. The couple fondly recalled their memories, with huge smiles on their faces.

The event was from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Each day can accommodate up to 25 individuals or groups, with reservations available. The shop will also work on phones that are not associated with au. Based on the type of device or its condition, there is still a possibility that the battery cannot be restored, or that the device may not boot up. Inquiries can be made through the shop’s phone line (0800) 7002295.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/997632

Introducing a Consulting Service Site to Overcome Truancy

Introducing a Consulting Service Site to Overcome Truancy

Support for Elementary, Middle, and High School Students, by Fukui Prefecture

Fukui Prefecture has launched the “Fukui Prefecture Hikikomori and Truancy Support and Information” website, which is geared towards hikikomori (a person suffering from social withdrawal), truant students, and concerned family members; the site consolidates all relevant information regarding the various issues. Each city and town started up its designated consulting service counter, for those struggling to establish a place for family gathering or where one can feel at home; visitors can find a catalog of recent news and contact information for public and private support groups. Associates with the services are eagerly standing by to connect with anyone looking for advice.

According to an investigation result published by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) on October 17, the number of truant students in public elementary, junior high, and senior high schools in the prefecture, during 2018, totalled to 1,054 students. According to the national survey, there was an estimated total of one million hikikomori, with ages ranging between 15 and 64. In the Fukui Prefecture Hikikomori Regional Center (located in Fukui City), within one year, there have been over one thousand cases that received consultation services.

The support groups in each are of the prefecture set up a system to inform concerned persons and families, on the steps of how to reconnect with society. In conjunction with the establishment of the consultation service website, each city and town’s health and welfare bureau will be designated for the services. Including prefectural institutions, a total of 34 places are listed on the site. Details and contact information of 13 public and private support groups, such as nonprofit organizations (NPO) who open their free space for family gatherings or a personal safe space, and alternative schools, are gathered and displayed on the site. Information on various events and lectures within the prefecture are also listed and updated as needed.

A Fukui Prefecture Disability and Social Welfare department secretary managing the site, Shigehiro Kato, explained the current situation, “There are many cases where those afflicted and concerned family members are heavily burdened with anxiety for many years, unable to confide their troubles with anyone.” Up to now, many are unaware of the consultation services, with many afflicted people and families often saying something like, “I wish I had used these services sooner.” Secretary Kato said, “Taking advice from an outside party also means they are taking steps towards improvement. I wish more people to visit the site, join the various events, and reach out to connect for advice.

Source: https://www.fukuishimbun.co.jp/articles/-/968158