State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi visited Kokoron business group at Izumizaki village, Fukushima Prefecture, Japan, yesterday.
The State Counsellor is currently in Japan to attend the 10th Mekong-Japan Summit and hold bilateral talks.
Accompanied by Union Ministers U Thaung Tun and U Kyaw Tin, deputy ministers U Min Thu and U Hset Aung, Myanmar Ambassador to Japan U Thurein Thant Zin, Japanese Ambassador to Myanmar Mr Ichiro Maruyama and officials, the State Counsellor arrived at Shinshirakawa Station by bullet train at 10.52 am local standard time.
On arrival at Kokoron business group by car, the State Counsellor and delegation were welcomed by Vice Governor Mr Masaki Suzuki of Fukushima Prefecture and Director General of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Mr Yoshinori Suzuki, followed by a bilateral introductory session.
The Director General extended words of greetings. The Vice Governor presented a report on the progress in rebuilding the region, after it was hit by an earthquake in 2011, Mr Kuboki of Izumizaki village on salient points of the village, and Mr Seki and Ms Kumada of Kokoron business group on the structure of the group and its business operations and business partners.
After having a taste of the farm food produced by the group, the State Counsellor and delegation asked information about the group. The Director General, the Vice Governor and officials gave answers.
After posing for documentary photo together with the Vice Governor, the Director General and officials, the State Counsellor and delegation visited the crop fields there.
Located in the south of Fukushima Prefecture, Izumizaki village has an area of 35.43 square kilometers. It is 200 kilometers from Tokyo. A total of 6,338 people – 3,122 males and 3,216 females — of 2,140 households are living in it.
The main crops of the agro-based village are rice and vegetables. Thanks to the bullet trains and highways, the village is also carrying out production business.
The village has a healthcare program for elder people beginning from sexagenarians, free medical treatment for juveniles up to age 18, and backpacks and dinner provision program for primary students.
Moreover, the village has complete healthcare services for people age 75 and above and disabled persons age 65 and over. As for the healthcare of the people age 74 and below, 40 percent of the cash assistance comes from age-wise healthcare funds, 50 percent from the government and 10 percent from health insurance.
Regional business attractions, accommodation programs and public health and enjoyment programs are being carried out as prevention against population decrease.
More people are migrating to the village, thanks to environmental conservation activities and the transport links.
Kokoron was set up in 2002 as a non-profit organization. Its goals include generation of job opportunities for people with disabilities and provision of social needs, including housing, food and clothing. The village is running the Living Support Center: Kokoron and the Kokoron-Ya coffee shop as a means of creating occupational opportunities for the disabled persons.
Living Support Center: Kokoron was established on 1 March 2004 with the aim of supporting people with disabilities and their daily lives in the community through generation of job opportunities.
The Center is hosting talks, job hunting activities, information sharing programs and group-wise activities. The aim of the Kokoron-Ya coffee shop is to promote public health through the distribution of fresh and delicious local agricultural produce.
The State Counsellor and delegation arrived back in Tokyo by bullet train in the evening. — MNA