The 1964 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service
CITATION for Yukiharu Miki
Ramon Magsaysay Award Presentation Ceremonies
31 August 1964, Manila, Philippines
Now in his fourth term as governor, YUKIHARU MIKI over the past 13 years has led in transforming Japan's Okayama Prefecture from a stagnant area relying on fishing and agriculture into an industrial miracle of modern Japan. While creating a major port and giant, bustling industrial estate from once muddy shallows along the Seto Inland Sea, he also cared for the people. Through creative planning there is now congenial living for citizens of Okayama as they shift from a rural to industrial economy. For those remaining on farms, modern methods and new pursuitsincluding dairyinghave brought prosperity.
YUKIHARU MIKI first entered government service in 1938 as a medical doctor in charge of the Health Consultation Center of Okayama, where he was born in 1903. Later, as a senior official in the Ministry of Health and Welfare in Tokyo, he was the crusading author of Japan's first Tuberculosis Prevention Law.
A political novice and a poor man, he was induced by friends, in 1951, to stand for election as governor of Okayama Prefecture. The resounding majority that swept him into office inaugurated a new chapter in Okayama's history. Until then the prefecture had been by-passed by the postwar rush toward industrialization and reconstruction of Japan's great cities. Although coastal areas were more prosperous from fishing, fertile rice land and commerce, inland Okayama was poor.
Mobilizing the skills and enthusiasm of the prefecture, Okayama's new governor developed a master design for a new industrialized community with "sun, green and space." In 1954, at the sleepy fishing village of Mizushima, dredges began sucking silt to create a deep-water channel and filling in shallow tidelands. Bulldozers carved off hills for rock fill. Dams and canals were built to insure an uninterrupted flow of fresh water for industrial use. Strictly zoned industrial, residential and recreation areas were linked by broad new roads. Special schools trained farmers for industry.
With a burning sincerity and vision that won hardheaded bankers, the governor floated bond issues and negotiated loans. He had spent US$55 million on the prefecture's development before signing up the first big industrial clients in 1958. Industry was lured to Okayama by the governor's personal, persistent visits to the headquarters of corporations throughout Japan. Today, 20 companies are manufacturing petroleum products, steel, chemicals, synthetic fibers, vegetable oils, marine engines, automobiles and heavy electrical equipment in plants erected on some 27.7 million square meters of reclaimed land. He aimed to double the prefecture's per capita income in 10 years; the goal was realized in five.
While industry provides employment and income for a new way of living for 1.7 million inhabitants, Governor MIKI is equally concerned with health, education and better homes. New schools, care for the mentally retarded and aged, parks and sewage disposal plants, all have been provided. His administration and the great new metropolis emerging under his leadership give substance to the theme that was his choice: "Friendship, orderliness and service."
In electing YUKIHARU MIKI to receive the 1964 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service, the Board of Trustees recognizes his humanistic foresight in engineering rapid but orderly modernization, assuring well-being for the entire community.
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