The 1974 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service
CITATION for Hiroshi Kuroki
Ramon Magsaysay Award Presentation Ceremonies
31 August 1974, Manila, Philippines
How to benefit from science and industry without paying in pollution and destruction of nature is increasingly the conundrum of modern civilization. While much of Japan experiences this dilemma acutely, in Miyazaki Prefecture solutions are being found to enhance, rather than endanger, the quality of life with modernization.
HIROSHI KUROKI's intimate knowledge of Miyazaki began with his birth there in 1907. Trained in agriculture and law he served 24 years in the Miyazaki Prefectural Government and two years as secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry in Tokyo. He returned to Miyazaki to head a farmers' cooperative federation. After a four-year term as Vice-Governor, this ex-civil servant, in 1959, was elected Governor as a political independent and next year will complete his fourth consecutive term.
In southernmost Kyushu Island, tucked between mountains and facing the powerful sweep of the Pacific's Black Current, Miyazaki was isolated and its over one million inhabitants had the lowest per capita income of any prefecture in Japan. As governor, KUROKI creatively mobilized indigenous skills and resources and the talents of his prefectural administration, to dispel both this isolation and poverty.
For farmers ekeing a marginal livingmainly on sweet potatoes and upland ricesystematic research found crops that could be grown profitably and safely on poor, typhoon-swept soil. Today the large-scale production of greenhouse vegetables and of citrus fruits is carried in fast, new ferries to Tokyo and other major markets. Beef and dairy cattle, introduced for special pasture zones, bring new income. Some 53,000 hectares of land are being irrigated, while 10,000 hectares annually are reforested. Fishing revenue is increasing 14 percent annually with modernized fishing ports and culture of marine products. Capitalizing upon a warm climate, scenic beauty and historic sites linked to a legendary past, better roads, airports and rail service now attract some 7.5 million tourists each year. The first prefecture to proclaim an environmental beautification and nature conservation act, Miyazaki's new industrial park, reclaimed from the seashore, has built-in precautions against pollution.
While per capita income increased three-fold in 10 years, the problem persisted of young people migrating to distant big cities. Adapting to Miyazaki the system of agricultural education he had seen in Denmark, KUROKI's solution is the Study for Agricultural Prosperity Movement, giving rural youth economic hope, prestige as instruments of change and a sense of cultural attachment to the land. Centers for advanced farm management, and farm machinery and technical schools, were developed.
Moreover, so that all generations would find in Miyazaki attractive opportunity for living, the prefecture pioneered in medical insurance for the aged and infirm for whom centers were also built.
In electing Governor HIROSHI KUROKI to receive the 1974 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service, the Board of Trustees recognizes his administrative originality in modernizing a backward prefecture in a manner congenial to the traditional minded yet attracting the young.
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