95 Ramon Magsaysay Awardee
for Goverment Service

Hope for Better Oita

Once Japan's backwater and poverty-stricken province in the 1970s,
Oita Prefecture now is a haven for indigenous industries and a reserch
 and training center for forest, marine and high-tech industries.

Four-time Governor Morihiko Hiramatsu is the guiding force in the 
revitalization of Oita, strategically located on the northeast of Kyushu Island.

Born in the Oita City in 1924, Hiramatsu rose through local schools and served in the Imperial Japanese Navy. Upon graduating from law at the Tokyo University, he joined the national ministry now known as MITI- the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. He was elected governor four years after returning to Oita in 1975.

Hiramatsu has adopted the "one village, one product" development strategy that has brought self-reliance and economic recovery to Oita. This movement encourages every community to devote its natural and human resorces to the development of a product line in which it could truly excel.

Hiramatsu provides technical assistance to improve the quality of goods and to develop "value-added"@by - products. The prefecture's cornucopia of fruits, chowders, dried sardines and animal feeds from its marine life are processed as world-class sauces and jams.

Oita's high-tech industries and infrastructure propel its economy to the hilt. Today, agricultural products like flowers and mushrooms can be flown directly to markets in Tokyo. New towns called Greenpolis, Marinopolis and Technopolis are being developed as training centers for forest, marine and high-tech industries.

"Think globally, act locally" is a motto Hiramatsu repeaetdly invokes. Oita should not become an economic appendage of Tokyo, he asserts, but a free-standing participant in the borderless economy of the globe. This is why Oita's signature prodcts are marketed aggressively abroad programs and special events that link its citizens to dozens of countries around the world.

For his efforts in awakening Oita Prefecture to self-reliant economic growth through the "one village, one product" movement and his spirited call for local products with global appeal, the Ramon Magsaysay Awards Foundation (RMAF) will confer the Government Service Award to Governor Morihiko Hiramatsu in Manila on August 31,1995.