International Spotlight: Japan

2009 cohort engaging in group discussion, facilitated by Professor Nishishiba

2009 cohort engaging in group discussion, facilitated by Professor Nishishiba

The Tokyo Foundation and the Center for Public Service at PSU’s Hatfield School of Government have jointly developed a specialized professional development training program for Japanese municipal government managers. This program is designed to prepare local government managers in Japan for the increased responsibility placed upon them as a result of a major initiative to decentralize governing responsibility in Japan. Since 2004, a talented group of municipal managers from around Japan are appointed by their mayor to partake in this educational experience.

The goal of this program is to provide Japanese mid-career local government managers with an opportunity to explore innovative approaches in problem-solving. The Center for Public Service takes primary responsibility for curriculum design with on-site visits showcasing innovative approaches by local government agencies and nonprofit organizations in Oregon.

During their one-week stay in Portland, Oregon in early August, Japanese municipal government managers attend the professional development program tailored to their interest. Previous guest speakers include: Mayor Sam Adams, City of Portland; Commissioner Amanda Fritz, City of Portland; Honorable Elizabeth Furse, former member of Congress; and many others.

Please contact Yoichi Sato (503-725-8081), International Program Coordinator at the Center for Public Service with any questions.

Participation in this training program made me realize that decentralization and citizen-initiated governance can never be achieved without changing the midset of municipal officers. We have been too used to being given instruction from national government.

— Harumi Ishikawa, Tsurugashima City, 2009 participant


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