Invigorating local communities across Japan Alumni City Mayors

January 8, 2019

Local UTokyo Project 23: Alumni City Mayors

The UTokyo Alumni Association is composed of various groups, among which the Akamon Mayors' Association uniquely features a diverse range of regional colors. Like its name suggests, the group, which was established in 2013, consists of graduates who are now serving as city mayors across Japan from Hokkaido to Okinawa. As of June 2017, it has 43 members and 15 associate members (former city mayors). This is the second largest university alumni association of city mayors, after Waseda University’s (as of academic year 2016).

City mayors at the general meeting.

Members singing Tada Hitotsu, a UTokyo song, under the lead of Mr. Nakamura, Mayor of Koga City.

The Akamon Mayors' Association convenes its own general meeting right after the General Meeting of the Japan Association of City Mayors (from 814 cities) held in Chiyoda City every June. The most recent meeting was attended by 27 members seeking not only to deepen their friendships, but also to exchange information and contribute to the progression of local autonomy in their capacity as municipal leaders.

Mr. Matsuura, Mayor of Matsue City, serves as the chairman of the Akamon Mayors' Association.

It is also worth noting the contributions that the Akamon Mayors' Association makes to the University. The group has been involved in the Hands-on Activity Programs run by the university since the beginning, providing students with opportunities to expose themselves to different lifestyles and values. In academic year 2017, the group offered programs for on-site learning in the Kaga hot spring area in Ishikawa Prefecture, work experience with the Akashi City government in Hyogo Prefecture, and a trial stay in Ohasama, Hanamaki City in Iwate Prefecture.

As the table below shows, many of the graduates now working as city mayors have assumed the position in their home prefectures. Bursting with ambition, they had traveled all the way from their hometowns to pursue knowledge at the University of Tokyo, eventually returning home to lead their local governments. This spirit is sure to be passed down as younger graduates follow in their footsteps.

Profiles of the 43 members of the Akamon Mayors' Association

Photo Prefecture City Name Department Home Prefecture (location of high school) Memories of the University
Hokkaido Fukagawa City Takafumi Yamashita Faculty of Law Hokkaido Cinema club (Komaba)
Aomori Prefecture Aomori City Akihiko Onodera Faculty of Economics Aomori Prefecture Ice hockey club
Iwate Prefecture Hanamaki City Toichi Ueda Faculty of Law Iwate Prefecture Mountaineering club of the Faculty of Law
Yamagata Prefecture Yamagata City Takahiro Sato Faculty of Law Tokyo Debate club
Fukushima Prefecture Koriyama City Masato Shinagawa Faculty of Law Fukushima Prefecture Professor Masao Maruyama’s seminar group
Fukushima Prefecture Date City Shoji Nishida Faculty of Engineering Tokyo Yacht club and koto music club
Ibaraki Prefecture Toride City Shingo Fujii Faculty of Law Kagoshima Prefecture Life in the YMCA dormitory
Ibaraki Prefecture Hitachinaka City Motoki Honma Faculty of Economics Ishikawa Prefecture Chorus club
Tochigi Prefecture Oyama City Toshio Okubo Graduate School Tochigi Prefecture  
Gunma Prefecture Takasaki City Kenji Tomioka Faculty of Law Gunma Prefecture  
Chiba Prefecture Matsudo City Kenji Hongoya Faculty of Economics Aichi Prefecture Rugby club
Tokyo Nerima City Akio Maekawa Faculty of Law Kagoshima Prefecture Life in the Komaba dormitory
Niigata Prefecture Kamo City Kiyohiko Koike Faculty of Law Niigata Prefecture  
Niigata Prefecture Tokamachi City Yoshifumi Sekiguchi Faculty of Law Tokyo Tennis club
Toyama Prefecture Takaoka City Masaki Takahashi Faculty of Law Toyama Prefecture Contemporary international law research club
Gifu Prefecture Ogaki City Bin Ogawa Faculty of Law Gifu Prefecture Hiking club
Aichi Prefecture Toyohashi City Koichi Sahara Faculty of Engineering Aichi Prefecture Wind tunnel experiments in winter
Aichi Prefecture Ichinomiya City Masayasu Nakano Faculty of Law Aichi Prefecture Professor Kobayakawa’s seminar (administrative law)
Mie Prefecture Tsu City Yasuyuki Maeba Faculty of Law Mie Prefecture Chorus group (Hakuyo Choir)
Mie Prefecture Kumano City Kanji Kawakami Faculty of Medicine Mie Prefecture  
Shiga Prefecture Moriyama City Kazuhiro Miyamoto Faculty of Engineering Osaka Prefecture Bicycle club
Osaka Prefecture Minoh City Tetsuro Kurata Faculty of Law Tokyo  
Hyogo Prefecture Kobe City Kizo Hisamoto Faculty of Law Hyogo Prefecture Living in the Toshima dormitory (in charge of financial affairs)
Hyogo Prefecture Akashi City Fusaho Izumi Faculty of Education Hyogo Prefecture Life in the Komaba dormitory
Hyogo Prefecture Itami City Yasuyuki Fujiwara Faculty of Engineering Hyogo Prefecture Shakuhachi (vertical bamboo flute) club
Hyogo Prefecture Kakogawa City Yasuhiro Okada Faculty of Engineering Hyogo Prefecture Racing ski club
Hyogo Prefecture Minami Awaji City Kazuhiro Morimoto Faculty of Law Hyogo Prefecture Devotion to tennis
Nara Prefecture Tenri City Ken Namikawa Faculty of Law Nara Prefecture Komaba Festival (Runner-up in the Mr. Todai competition)
Wakayama Prefecture Wakayama City Masahiro Obana Faculty of Engineering Wakayama Prefecture Yacht club
Shimane Prefecture Matsue City Masataka Matsuura Faculty of Law Shimane Prefecture Debate club
Shimane Prefecture Hamada City Shoichi Kubota Dept. of Agricultural and Resource Economics Shimane Prefecture Life in the Komaba dormitory
Shimane Prefecture Masuda City Hiroaki Yamamoto Faculty of Law Shiga Prefecture Life in the Komaba dormitory
Okayama Prefecture Okayama City Masao Omori Faculty of Law Okayama Prefecture Devotion to tennis
Okayama Prefecture Kurashiki City Kaori Ito Faculty of Law Tokyo Badminton club
Okayama Prefecture Mimasaka City Seiji Hagiwara College of Arts and Sciences Okayama Prefecture Wrestling club
Kagawa Prefecture Takamatsu City Hideto Onishi Faculty of Law Kagawa Prefecture Tennis club
Fukuoka Prefecture Kitakyushu City Kenji Kitahashi Faculty of Law Hyogo Prefecture Life in the Mitaka and Oiwake dormitories
Fukuoka Prefecture Koga City Ryuzo Nakamura Faculty of Economics Fukuoka Prefecture Cheer squad
Saga Prefecture Takeo City Tadashi Komatsu Faculty of Law Kyoto Prefecture Chorus club
Saga Prefecture Kashima City Hisatoshi Higuchi Faculty of Law Saga Prefecture Yasuda Auditorium incident
Oita Prefecture Oita City Kiichiro Sato Faculty of Economics Oita Prefecture Shorinji Kempo martial arts club
Miyazaki Prefecture Miyakonojo City Takahisa Ikeda Graduate School Miyazaki Prefecture Playing tennis day and night
Okinawa Prefecture Itoman City Akira Uehara Faculty of Economics Okinawa Prefecture Yasuda Auditorium incident
32 Local UTokyo Projects
Held across Japan, from Kanto, Chubu and Western Tokyo to Itabashi and Hongo
Numerous projects are being held across Japan by the University of Tokyo, and we introduce 32 of them in this edition of
Tansei. On themes as varied as teacher training, farming, production of local goods and association football, these projects are just some examples of those now under way. UTokyo was, is, and will be engaging in projects with partners all across the country.

Note: This article was originally printed in Tansei 35 (Japanese language only). All information in this article is as of September 2017.

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