Not Giving in to COVID-19: Producing Innovation Through Casual Conversations (1)- PREX Island
Lecturers / Specialists
【Voice of Professional】Not Giving in to COVID-19: Producing Innovation Through Casual Conversations (1)
Hello! I’m Matsuo Yasuki.
I work for the Industrial Policy Division, part of the Economic and Environmental Department at Yao Municipal Government, Osaka.
Yao City is home to 12,000 small and medium-sized businesses. COVID-19 has made things incredibly challenging for the manufacturing industry. In light of this, we have started a new program at Miserubayao called “Otona Bar Yao”.
The new program features live broadcasts of conversations between business owners. These events allow member companies to communicate their appeals, even if their owners can’t meet in person.
We’re also planning to hold an Open Factory event in December. This event will further convey our manufacturing industries’ appeals.
What the impression of MISERUBAYAO for participants from overseas?
A tour of Miserubayao left a deep impression on visiting officials from developing countries in Japan as part of a trainee program. Comments included how eye-opening it was that Yao City had created a place where local businesses could come together to interact. Miserubayao is really thriving in the face of COVID-19.
Yao City fully supports companies that are motivated to seek change and discover new challenges.
We don’t want to just attract new companies; instead, we want to work with local businesses to make our city more vibrant.
Miserubayao was initially designed for face-to-face meetings, but COVID-19 has made us switch to an online format.
Otona Bar Yao was created to provide a place for business owners in Yao City to have honest, relaxed discussions about topics such as business methods or HR strategies. Since we only have around 100 member companies, I didn’t think anyone would watch it, but the response was tremendous. Our first video was viewed more than 2,000 times on Facebook Live.
This led to coverage from TV channels as well.
It’s great that these busy company presidents could make the time to get together and hold these conversations.
They seemed to really be enjoying themselves. There was laughter every few minutes.
The owners of these businesses see Otona Bar Yao as a bit of a club, where people who know each other can get together. So, everyone talks frankly and honestly with each other.
I think that’s why it’s such a valuable place.
Groups like the mass media are disseminating lots of information about the impacts of COVID-19 on industry, but I created Otona Bar Yao to be a place where real voices can be heard.
Companies Help Build Communities
Many businesses in Yao work with companies in Tokyo, Nagoya, and around the world. Some businesses feel that they can survive unknown within Yao and are not very community-minded.
But it’s definitely better for companies to have opportunities to come face-to-face with their community and local government. As a local government, we can offer a variety of support. This includes support for employees’ working environments. I think that connections with local government and the local community are essential for company growth.
For example, Miserubayao allows local companies to get to know each other and partner up, rather than rely on outside parties. You can go to a company within Yao City if you have a problem. Creating a local economic cycle is an essential aspect of regional development.
Companies may not have been at the forefront of community-building up until now. This is because the Japanese term “resident autonomy” (local autonomy) uses the word “resident,” which makes it sound as though businesses are not included. But I believe that companies are also involved in community building.
Miserubayao provides a place where business owners can talk about our community. Some have mentioned that they used to introduce themselves as a company from Osaka, but now say that they’re from Yao City in Osaka. This leads to conversations throughout Japan about companies’ activities in Yao, which have been highlighted through Miserubayao.
I feel like people in Tokyo have started to become more aware of Yao recently, which I’m happy about.
Even if we advertise how great our city is as a local government, or talk about our manufacturing companies, it doesn’t really spread very far. Having companies and residents communicate this will lead to improved branding for Yao City, Miserubayao, and Yao as a city of manufacturing.
Click below to see Otona Bar Yao.(sorry, Japanese only)
- Date : November 4, 2020
- Name : Mr. Matsuo
- job name : the Industrial Policy Division, part of the Economic and Environmental Department at Yao Municipal Government, Osaka.