Kanagawa Begins “Stop Being the Worst Prefecture” Campaign

Kanagawa Begins “Stop Being the Worst Prefecture” Campaign
Yomiuri Shimbun: 神奈川県、全国ワースト1位脱出作戦を開始
July 8, 2011

Yūji Kuroiwa, the newly elected governor of Kanagawa, has begun a “Stop Being the Worst” campaign to lift his prefecture from its position on the bottom of several national rankings.

The first volley is an anti-purse snatching campaign; Kanagawa had the most cases in the country between January and May. The governor himself appeared in a commercial which debuted at a press conference on the 7th.

753 purses were stolen in Kanagawa from January to May (43 more than in the same period in 2010), a national record. Kanagawa is frequently near the bottom of these rankings, “but being in the cellar for the first time was frightening,” said the Prefectural Lifestyle, Safety, and Traffic Department.

In the 15-second state-produced commercial, safety measures like carrying one’s bag on the shoulder facing away from the street and placing a bag inside a bicycle basket are introduced. At the end, the governor calls out, “Let’s eradicate purse-snatching together!” The commercial will play on the prefectural website, television channles, LCD screens in Yokohama subway cars, and so forth.

Besides purse-snatching, Kanagawa has had the most violent elementary, middle, and high schools for five years running, and the number of nurses per 100,000 residents is another national worst. The governor said, “I want to find solutions to these problems in the course of designing our full health care and education policies.”

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