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Top>Hakumon CHUO [Special Issue for Autumn 2009]>Mayor of Tama City discusses the "21st Century Image for Public Officials"Faculty of Science and Engineering holds the 1st Urban Environment Forum.

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Mayor of Tama City discusses the 21st Century Image for Public Officials
Faculty of Science and Engineering holds the 1st Urban Environment Forum.

1st Urban Environment Forum

The 1st Urban Environment Forum was held on July 4th at the Korakuen Campus. The forum, which seeks to create new collaboration at the Faculty of Science and Engineering, was entitled 21st Century Image for Public Officials-Expectations towards the Chuo University Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

The impetus for establishing the Urban Environment Forum occurred in April of 2009, when the name of the Department of Civil Engineering was changed to the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. The forum was established to strengthen the network between current students and university graduates. At the 1st Urban Environment Forum, a keynote lecture was given by Tama City Mayor Sachiko Watanabe (1972 graduate from the Faculty of Law), and a panel discussion was held by alumni who work on the front lines as public officials. Approximately 40 students seeking to become public officials listened attentively to the lecture and discussion.

During her keynote lecture, Mayor Watanabe revealed that she first became a public official because 1) the profession offers equality for men and women and 2) she wanted to work in social welfare. She also stated that she chose Tama City in particular because of its rapid development. Mayor Watanabe recalled how she started her career in her desired field of social welfare at the Citizens Division and how she was involved in work for the disabled, for nursery schools and for volunteer activities. Furthermore, she recalled her involvement in cultural activities. Mayor Watanabe stated that "my time as an employee was spent working hand-in-hand with citizens," and, based upon her experience, she emphasized that "it is necessary to formulate policies from the perspective of citizens."

Additionally, Mayor Watanabe responded to questions from attendees and stated that "I believe that the future of a municipality is determined by the extent to which the power of citizens is utilized."

The keynote lecture was followed by a brief break period, and then a panel discussion was held that featured the participation of Mayor Watanabe, Kazuhiro Kato (1973 graduate), Yutaka Oyama (1977 graduate), Hirokazu Isoda (1986 graduate) and Ryota Maekawa (1998).

During the discussion, Mr. Kato (employee of Chiba Prefecture) described the rewards of working as a public official as "receiving words of kindness from citizens during work" and as "having contact with prefectural citizens." Mr. Oyama (employee of Sagamihara City Hall) pointed out that "public officials are expected to maintain a broad perspective and to adapt to changes in the environment surrounding them." Mr. Isoda (employee of Kawasaki City Hall) revealed his thoughts regarding public officials by stating "our job is to reduce as much as possible the number of citizens who are suffering or unsatisfied." Furthermore, Mr. Maekawa (employee of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport) described the appeal of working as a public official as "the feeling when a project that I supervised results in improvements to a neighborhood or street."

Finally, as a message of support to students who seek careers as public officials, Mr. Maekawa stated that "it is important to actively work to become part of social circles," and Mr. Isoda pointed out that "attention must be given to on-site work." Even after the name of the department was changed, Mr. Oyama emphasized a love of civil engineering by stating that "I hope that you keep civil engineering at the bottom of your hearts."

Furthermore, Mr. Kato made the following proposal: "Actual experience is worth a thousand words. It would be a positive experience if you did some part-time work at a consulting company or other similar business." Mayor Watanabe told students that "I hope you take pride in your work."

The Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering cooperates with citizens in order to create a dignified urban lifestyle environment that is safe, convenient, and comfortable. The department also seeks to develop technicians that can fulfill the responsibility of leaving a rich environment and culture for following generations.

(Student Reporter: Yuuki Iketani, 3rd Year Student at the Faculty of Commerce)