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Politics Shizuoka governor to resign after blunder


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
The Governor of Shizuoka Prefecture, Heita Kawakatsu, known for his stern resistance to the new Maglev train, has announced his intention to resign following a controversial gaffe. During a 20-minute address to new employees yesterday, he stated that the civil servants being inducted into the prefectural government were intelligent people, unlike "those who work in professions such as selling vegetables, taking care of cows, or creating things" (野菜を売ったり、牛を世話したりとは違う).

Governor of Shizuoka Prefecture, Kawakatsu Heita

Governor of Shizuoka Prefecture, Kawakatsu Heita

He also told the incoming civil servants to remain honest, watch their language, and that it was "important to be compassionate and stick to your beliefs." Kawakatsu has earned a reputation for gaffes since he first became governor in 2009. In 2021, the assembly advised him to resign after he said the central Japan prefecture's city of Gotemba "only has koshihikari," or a type of rice, as its local speciality. Last month, He was criticized for ranking regions within his prefecture based on how "cultured" they are.

JR Central will be pleased:

A stalled maglev train project connecting Tokyo and Nagoya might regain momentum after Shizuoka Gov. Heita Kawakatsu, one of its most prominent opponents, announced plans to step down. Central Japan Railway, or JR Central, started constructing the high-speed magnetic-levitation line in 2014, with plans to begin service in 2027. However, work for the section passing through Shizuoka prefecture has never started due to disagreements between Kawakatsu and the project's proponents.

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