Innovators Network

Tsuyoshi Sekihara - Representative, Soma Office, Regional Resource and Industry Advisor; Founder & former Executive Director, Kamiechigo Yamazato Fan Club, Joetsu, Niigata

Sekihara was a designer of commercial facilities until 1995. In 1996, he returned to Niigata and became the head of the Woodwork Cooperative, where he continues to serve as a consultant. Using local conifers, he developed furniture with high added-value and created a system in which local NPOs specializing in forestry certify the authenticity of local wooden products. In 2000, the organization received the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Award. Later he founded the Kamiechigo Yamazato Fan Club to revive the hilly and mountainous areas in the greater Joetsu area. Under Sekihara’s leadership, Kamiechigo, a comprehensive Regional Management Organization (RMO), became a model for the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries’ program that provides local governments with financial support to hire local support staff. The role of these staffers is to monitor the well-being of residents. Sekihara is also a Regional Empowerment Creation Advisor with Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, a Member of the RMO Study Group, Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, and a Trustee of the Kodo Cultural Foundation

Overview of Kamiechio Yamazato Fan Club (In Japanese and English)

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