It has almost one year has passed since this English Newspaper was started. The year 2022 saw many tragedies, such as the continuing pandemic, the Ukraine War, economic downfall, and the assassination of former prime minister Shinzo Abe. These events are even relevant to Shimane. The recession caused by the pandemic has severely damaged the local economy. The service sector of the prefectural economy has been forced to endure such a hardship.
Japanese Government allowed foreigners to enter its land as an inbound business last October. The media from Tokyo often reports that Japan’s major tourist spots enjoy revitalizing the inbound tourists. However, Shimane has not benefited from such a gospel.
Shimane’s service sector employees get their wages at most of JPY900, and their annual income is no more than JPY 1.8 million. Such a meagre income can not afford to be the opposite side: travellers. In the case of such a harsh reality, Shimane needs to change its strategy, targeting wealthy English-speaking Westerners, to enhance the service sector’s income.
To achieve the new strategy, Shimane’s local English Newspaper, Deities, thinks transmitting information in English is one of the effective ways to attract such visitors in line with the above strategy and with Japan’s central government policy. The prefecture did not have English-based media before. However, establishing this Newspaper has enabled Shimane to break the barrier today. Deities will play an essential role in expediting the local economy.
Inbound tourism is considered dangerous for Japan’s economic security, so emerging Asian countries might deprive of many properties at the root of the Japanese archipelago. This is true, but the countryside has no choice but to adopt the inbound strategy because of its weak economy, which accounts for 1% of the Japanese GDP combined with Tottori’s.
Fortunately, Shimane has many sightseeing spots to attract informed people in the west. CNN articled Ichibata Yakushi Temple, and BBC also aired Mihonoseki’s traditional local Shinto festival. MONOCLE wrote on Iwamikagura. These samples show that many good heritages surround the land of gods, and we descendants should make the most of these vital points. Deities can contribute to making use of it by using its English proficiency.
(1st January 2023)
Shimane English Newspaper Deties