Efforts for sustainable regional tourism and virtuous cycle of regional economy contribute to SDGs
In April 2021, Sakai City, Fukui Prefecture, formulated the “Mikuni Grand Vision”, a strategic and effective measure necessary for increasing the non-resident population and tourist population and expanding the virtuous cycle of the local economy. The Mikuni area is defined as the northwestern part of the former Mikuni town, where there are many historical and cultural tourism resources, and within that area, the area from Mikuni Minatomachi to Tojinbo is set as a priority area.
One of the tourist attractions in Sakai City, Fukui Prefecture, Mikuni-cho Ajima Cliff “Tojinbo”
The new company, Activace Fukui, which was jointly established by 11 companies, including local companies and local branches, is based in the Mikuniminato area and will work together to explore and solve problems unique to the region, and to create a sustainable and self-sufficient “regional community.”, and they aim to start business in January 2024 as a recycling model.
We believe that Sakai City’s Mikuni Grand Vision and the new company, Activates Fukui, which was jointly established by 11 companies, will contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
For example, No. 9, “Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation” (largely increase the ratio of non-agriculture and fisheries), and No. 11, “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” (sustainable Plan possible urban development, protect the world’s cultural and natural heritage), etc.
Actibase Fukui, a new company to promote tourism and community development in the Mikuni Minato area (Sakai City, Fukui Prefecture), is jointly established by 11 companies
Feb. 03, 2023
Nippon Telegraph And Telephone West Corporation
(President and Representative Director: Masaaki Shinbayashi; hereinafter “NTT West”), NTT Urban Solutions Corporation (President and Representative Director: Hiroshi Tsujiguchigami; hereinafter “NTT Urban Solutions”), Kumagai Corporation (President and Representative Director: Yasunori Sakurano; hereinafter “Kumagai Gumi”), Sumitomo Forestry Co. (President and Representative Director: Toshiro Mitsuyoshi, hereinafter “Sumitomo Forestry”), The Fukui Bank, Ltd. (President: Masashi Yoshida; hereinafter “Fukui Shimbun”), Fukui Broadcasting Corporation (President: Akihiko Ikeuchi; hereinafter “FBC”), Fukubi Chemical Industry Corporation (President: Seiichiro Yagi; hereinafter “Fukubi Chemical Industry”), and Hokuriku Electric Power Co. (President: Koji Matsuda, hereinafter “Hokuriku Electric Power”) have jointly established Actibase Fukui Corporation (hereinafter “Actibase Fukui”) on October 19, 2022, to operate a tourism business that will contribute to regional revitalization in the Mikuni Minato area of Sakai City, Fukui Prefecture. We are pleased to hold a press conference today to announce the background of the establishment of Actibase Fukui and its business activities.
1．Background and Purpose of the New Company
Amid the foreseeable shrinkage of regional economies due to the population decline, declining birthrate, and aging population that accelerates year by year, NTT West is developing regional revitalization activities (regional vitamin activities) in 30 prefectures in western Japan to solve problems using ICT and to create a sustainable and self-sustainable “regional recycling model” in accordance with regional circumstances. We are currently working to create a sustainable and self-sustaining “regional recycling model.
Currently, we are implementing activities under the theme of tourism promotion in several prefectural regions. In response to various issues that have arisen, including not only the attraction of tourists but also the enhancement of secondary transportation, localized overtourism and the resulting decline in residents’ satisfaction levels, we are working to realize sustainable regional tourism, and we are planning to launch a new project in 2022.
With a focus on the “Tourism Distribution Platform*1″ that NTT West Group began offering in April 2022, NTT West is working to attract tourists to the region, realize stress-free tourism, and provide tourism DX, etc. By establishing a company to manage the tourism business, this initiative is a new challenge to co-create a service field to realize the tourism destination of our vision, and to work with local businesses and residents to search for and resolve issues unique to the region.
The Mikuni-Minato area of Sakai City, Fukui Prefecture, prospered as a port of call for the Kitamae Ship, which was active from the Edo to Meiji periods, and is home to many historical and cultural tourist resources. The area has many attractions that attract tourists, such as the environment that allows visitors to tour around Tojinbo and Eiheiji Temple.
In addition, the passion of local businesses and residents for tourism and community development, the opportunity for development provided by the scheduled opening of the Hokuriku Shinkansen Line (Kanazawa to Tsuruga) in the spring of 2024, and Sakai City’s numerous measures to attract more visitors based on the “Mikuni Grand Vision“, all provide an environment in which the city can take on the challenge of revitalizing its tourism industry.
The city of Sakai is blessed with an environment that allows it to take on the challenge of revitalizing its tourism industry.
Against this backdrop, NTT West will establish a new company based in the Mikuni Minato area, together with companies that have expertise in the construction and operation of facilities that reflect local history and culture and in the development of townscapes, as well as companies that have relationships with many businesses in the Fukui Prefecture area, in an effort to revitalize the region through tourism.
*1: Tourism distribution platform: A service for tourism businesses provided by NTT Business Solutions. It connects tourism products such as admission tickets to facilities with numerous online sales channels. (https://www.nttbizsol.jp/service/tourism/)
2．Tourism Distribution Platform
|Company Name||Actibase Fukui Co.|
|Location||Sakai City, Fukui Prefecture|
|Business||Accommodation operation, food and beverage business, activity business, and townscape development business in the Mikuni Minato area|
|Capital||990 million yen (capital: 495 million yen)|
|Establishment||October 19, 2022|
|Start dates||January 2024|
3．Main Business Activities
Accommodation Operation Business (Machiya Hotel)
Auberge Hotel will be established as a dispersed lodging facility (10 buildings with 18 rooms), utilizing the traditional architecture of Mikuni Minato, “kagura-built machiya” and the symbolic material “shakudani-ishi,” and together with the food and beverage business, the entire town will be considered as one lodging facility.
Food and Beverage Business (Machiya Restaurant
We will operate a restaurant business utilizing ingredients from Fukui Prefecture and Mikuni Minato. This business will feature Ken Yoshino*2, a star French chef who has produced numerous restaurants in Japan, including Maison Tateru Yoshino, and has recently opened TATERU YOSHINO PORTOM INTERNATIONAL HOKKAIDO in 2020. The cuisine will exceed the expectations of guests from Japan and abroad. The development of this project will be supported by the “Auberge Attraction Promotion Project Subsidy” from Fukui Prefecture.
*2 Ken Yoshino’s Profile
Born in Kagoshima Prefecture in 1952. He traveled to France in 1979 and trained at a number of French restaurants, including Jamin in Paris, which was led by Joël Robuchon at the time. He has been awarded one star in the Michelin guides of both France and Japan. In 2007 he was in charge of cooking at the Davos conference in Switzerland. In 2010, he was awarded the Ordre du Mérite agricole Chevalier by the French government. In April 2013, he was the first Asian to serve as a judge for the National Best Craftsman Award (MOF) in France, which was announced in 2011. A great master who has made numerous achievements in the culinary world, such as serving as a judge for the Taste Award).
It will be offered activities that make use of the history, Japanese culture, and natural environment that developed as a port of call for Kitamaebune ships.
Townscape Maintenance Business
In collaboration with local governments and local residents, we will unify the scenery (lighting up/maintenance of street lights, greening, etc.) to encourage excursions, and improve the appearance of NTT West office buildings according to the townscape.
4．Main Roles of EachShareholder
|NTT West:||Support for the new company’s use of ICT and attracting visitors using tourism data. Support for promotion of sightseeing tours, etc.|
|NNT Urban Solution:||Management of the new company’s lodging and food & beverage operations. Advice on operations, general advice on urban development, etc.|
|Kumagai Gumi:||Design, construction management, and construction for renovation of restaurants and hotel reception areas, etc.|
|Sumitomo Forestry:||Design, construction management, and construction for refurbishment of machiya townhouses, etc.|
|Fukui Bank, Ltd.||Development of activities, necessary advice on management, implementation of surveys necessary to contribute to the local community, etc.|
|Fukui Trust & Banking:||Necessary advice for management of the new company, support for smooth cooperation with the local community, etc.|
|Seiren:||Support for smooth cooperation with the community, and PR support for business opportunities, etc.|
|Fukui Shimbun:||PR support using information distribution resources, etc.|
|Fukui Broadcasting Corporation:||PR support using information distribution resources, etc.|
|Hokuriku Electric Power Company:||Support for smooth collaboration with local communities and contribution throughout the project period, etc.|
|Hokuriku Electric Power Company:||Electric power consulting services and townscape development, etc.|
5. Origin of the Company Name
Actibase of “Actibase Fukui” is a coined word of “activate” and “base” in Fukui, and expresses the company’s desire to “base itself in Fukui and be a catalyst for regional revitalization. The hiragana form of “Fukui” expresses our desire to “respond softly and flexibly” to a variety of issues.
6. Future Development
Actibase Fukui aims to attract tourists and promote consumption in the area by enhancing the value of “good old Mikuni Minato” and disseminating information about it domestically and internationally through tourism services and townscape development. In addition, in cooperation with members of the community, businesses, and local government, we will address various issues in the development of the host environment, while working to create a town that takes into consideration local lifestyles.
NTT Urban Solutions Corporation
Hiroshi Tsujigigami, President and CEO
The NTT Urban Solutions Group is developing urban development that balances sustainable growth of local communities with solutions to social issues under the slogan “Connecting you, the city, and the future.
NTT Urban Solutions Group is developing urban development that balances sustainable growth of local communities and solutions to social issues under the slogan, “Connecting you, the city, and the future. In this project, the Group will make maximum use of its expertise in accommodation and food & beverage business and area management to realize “an increase in the tourist population in the Mikuni Minato area and expansion of the virtuous circle of the local economy,” and will support the creation of a unique and vibrant town that contributes to the development of the region by improving the quantity and quality of stays and the circulation in and out of the area. We will support the creation of a town with rich and vibrant individuality that contributes to the development of the region.
President and Representative Director Yasunori Sakurano
Kumagai Gumi was founded 125 years ago in Fukui and has been involved in the development of Fukui since then, including reconstruction from the war and earthquake disasters.
We will participate in the new company to be established together with NTT West and other related companies, and contribute to improving the charm of the good old Mikuni-Minato area through the development of the townscape. In addition to the townscape improvement at the start of the project, we intend to continue contributing to the revitalization of the Mikuni Minato area and all of Fukui Prefecture over the long term through cooperation with the new company, related companies, and local residents.
Sumitomo Forestry Co.
Toshiro Mitsuyoshi, Representative Director, President and CEO
In February 2022, the Sumitomo Forestry Group announced “Mission TREEING 2030,” its long-term vision to provide value to the global environment, people’s lives and society, markets, and economic activities, and to ensure that the Earth is passed on as a comfortable home.
We will enhance the value of “forests” and “trees” to realize a sustainable society and utilize them for the future. In this project, traditional townhouses in Mikuni Minato will be refined as lodging facilities by utilizing lumber produced in Fukui Prefecture, which leads to local production for local consumption, and by preserving the characteristics of the townhouses and streetscapes. We will also utilize our knowledge of earthquake-resistant renovation techniques for old houses to renovate them into safe and comfortable accommodations, aiming to pass them on to future generations. Through ongoing collaboration with NTT West and other partners and stakeholders, we will contribute to solving local issues and revitalizing the local economy.
Fukui Bank, Ltd.
Eiichi Hasegawa, Representative Executive Officer and President
The Bank of Fukui, as one financial group, “F Project” (the collective name of Fukui Bank Group and Fukuho Bank Group), aims to realize a future in which the value created within the community continues to circulate, by accompanying customers and the community in their various “challenges”.
The mission of the “Fukui Hitomono Design” established this year is to “design the flow of people and goods and create value together with the local community” and is considering tourism and product sales businesses by utilizing the local network cultivated to date. We are now considering tourism and product sales businesses by utilizing the regional networks we have cultivated. Working hand in hand with local residents and partners, we hope to contribute to the revitalization of the local economy in the Mikuni Minato area and throughout Fukui Prefecture.
Fukui Shinkin Bank
Kazuo Okamoto, President
The sense of fulfillment that comes from collaborating with the excellence of food, which is the pride of this region, and the history that has been connected to it since ancient times, may be the greatest treasure that can be experienced only in this Mikuni area.
The Hokuriku Shinkansen line, which is scheduled to open in 2024, will bring the entire prefecture of Fukui from a point to a strong line, and this will be a great opportunity to boost the growth of the local economy. The Fukui Shinkin Bank, which coexists in this area, is also aiming to create a branch that blends in with the townscape in order to create an attractive tourist town. We will continue our efforts under the slogan “Together for the Future” to make Mikuni Minato the core of the prefecture’s tourism and to revitalize the local economy.
Tatsuo Kawata, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
Seiren, as an investor in the new company “Actibase Fukui,” has decided to participate in the “regional community development project based in Mikuni Minato” together with NTT West and other partner companies.
In order for both local communities and businesses to be sustainable in the future, new initiatives that enhance each other’s value will be necessary. To make the traditional asset of Mikuni Minato an attractive place for those of us living in the present and future, we will utilize our technological and human resources capabilities in the regional community development project. Seiren’s company slogan is “Changing the world with dreams. Let’s work together to realize this new “dream” that we are starting today!
Fukui Shimbun, Inc.
Masashi Yoshida, President and Representative Director
For 124 years since its foundation in 1897, the Fukui Shimbun has been a newspaper publisher and has worked together with the local community.
In recent years, as a “regional power creation company” that promotes the revitalization of Fukui Prefecture, we have been promoting efforts to communicate the attractiveness of various places in the prefecture and to help enhance their value. The Mikuni area has long been a thriving trading town, and we hope to make full use of the resources at our disposal to widely distribute information about the charms and growth of this wonderful town, which is steeped in history and culture. The projects that Actibase Fukui will develop in the future will truly be at the forefront of regional power creation, and it is clear that they will attract attention both domestically and internationally. We will do our utmost to make Actibase Fukui a catalyst for tourism in the prefecture, with the Mikuni region at the core of our efforts.
Fukui Broadcasting Corporation
Akihiko Ikeuchi, President and Representative Director
FBC, celebrating its 70th anniversary, has continued to observe the past and present of the historic port town of Mikuni, and has recorded the scenery of each era.
The Kitamae-bune ships used to come and go, and many townhouses and rows of houses still retain the vestiges of their prosperity. FBC will continue to support this project by introducing to the world the charms of the newly reborn town of Mikuni.
Fukubi Chemical Industry Co.
Seiichiro Yagi, President and Representative Director
Based on our corporate philosophy of “contributing to local communities and contributing to the formation of an environmentally symbiotic society,” Fukubi Chemical Industry will make use of the technologies we have developed through this project to contribute to the creation of a town where people can gather and live in harmony with the environment.
In cooperation with local residents and other investors, we will do our utmost to make the historic Mikuni port town area even more attractive and to create a new population for exchange so that it can be inherited into the future.
Hokuriku Electric Power Co.
Koji Matsuda, President and Representative Director
Since its establishment, the Hokuriku Electric Power Group has developed together with the Hokuriku region, with “coexistence and co-prosperity with the Hokuriku region” at the core of its management.
Through our participation in “Actibase Fukui,” we will work to improve the attractiveness of the historic Mikuni Minato area by providing 100% hydroelectric, carbon-free electricity to the Machiya Hotel and developing the townscape using the technologies and infrastructure developed by our group. Through this project, together with NTT West and its investors, we will work to solve local issues such as the creation of a new population for exchange, and contribute to the creation of liveliness not only in the Mikuni Minato area but also in Sakai City and the sustainable development of the Hokuriku region.
I am a male in my 30s and have been living in Fukui Prefecture for five years. I hope to share not only tourist attractions and food culture, but also things I learned for the first time when I moved to Fukui. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Check out Ken’s profile page here.