Cooperation in renewable energy to be boosted with German state(独NRW州と連携強化 再生エネや医療機器分野)

Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori and NRW Minister President Hannelore Kraft gesture after exchanging commemorative gifts -- a Kawamata silk stole and an NRW-shaped dish . in Dusseldorf on Jan. 17.(NRW州の形をした皿と川俣シルクのストールなど記念品を交換したクラフト州首相(左)と内堀知事=17日午後、デュッセルドルフ)

 DUSSELDORF, Germany - Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori and Hannelore Kraft, the minister president of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), agreed to strengthen cooperation in the fields of renewable energy and medical devices at a meeting in the German state on Jan. 17.


 The meeting took place behind closed doors, except for the start.
 "Japan, which has advanced technologies, is an interesting partner," Kraft said at a joint interview with Uchibori after the meeting. "There are great mutual benefits. We want to strengthen a cooperative framework of companies and other organizations."


 "Business cooperation between Fukushima and NRW is getting stronger. We agreed to further strengthen cooperation after [the meeting] today," Uchibori said. "In particular, mutual cooperation is essential for improving renewable energy technology."


 Uchibori offered an invitation to Kraft. "Please come to Fukushima if you have the chance. We'll welcome you."
 "If I have the chance to visit Japan, I want to go to Fukushima," Kraft replied.


 The Fukushima prefectural government and NRW signed a memorandum on cooperation in renewable energy in February 2014 and a memorandum in medical devices in September that year. They renewed the memorandum on cooperation in the renewable energy field during Uchibori's latest visit to Germany.


 'Future model' visited
 Uchibori visited a bioenergy park run by the city government of Saerbeck, Germany, on Jan. 18. He inspected initiatives by the city to promote renewable energy, in which it is a world leader.


 Uchibori held a meeting with Saerbeck Mayor Wilfried Roos. The meeting was attended by Shinchi Mayor Norio Kato, who is also the chairman of the association of towns and villages in the Fukushima Prefecture.
 "Saerbeck is Fukushima's future model," Uchibori said. "We'll use the city's initiatives as a model for our goals."
 The Fukushima prefectural government has set a goal of covering all energy needs in the prefecture with renewable energy by 2040.


 Roos guided Uchibori in the park and explained that it is operated jointly by the city and an association of local farmers and citizens, who provide ideas and funds.
 "Cooperation from citizens is crucial for realizing energy self-sufficiency," Roos said.


 Roos, who has visited Shinchi and observed the town's efforts to promote renewable energy, expressed hope for establishing corporation. Kato, in response, said, "I'll make an effort to build friendly ties with Saerbeck - a municipality similar to Shinchi in size - to safeguard our children's future."

( Translated by The Japan News )


 【 2017年1月18日付など・福島民友新聞掲載 】