Seven organizations from Hokkaido to Okinawa and community residents, close to 50 participate　　　July 24-25
In addition to six founding member organizations, groups and individuals from Tokyo, Gunma and Niigata participated in the first Energetic Rural Area Network National Convention. All participants are active in the vitalization of small regional villages.
Additionally, Mr. Sasaki, who manages the Kurikoma Kougen Nature School in a region that was severely damaged by the Iwate-Miyagi Inland Earthquake, participated as a special guest; he reported on how community members came together in the aftermath of the quake.
After taking a stroll in Tochikubo Village, participants introduced their activities to one another. Several examples from regions all over Japan in which locals work together with young people from outside the community for community vitalization were shared. Following dinner, Mr. Nakagawa, a veteran organic farmer from Yamagata Prefecture introduced examples of communities developing by attracting young people from outside the community that want to do organic farming.
Mr. Kobayashi from Kumamoto Prefecture spoke of the significance of the network. As birthrates decline and a the aging population grows, the Energetic Rural Area Network will become important. In one sense, rural areas are at the forefront of these trends. I believe that sharing information at this convention will become of precious value.
The second national convention is planned to be held next year in Kumamoto Prefecture.