Where There Is a Will, There Is a Way: Connecting with People Takes Courage and Initiative

Mr. Koichi Hashida

Director and Dean, The Kyushu-Asia Institute of Leadership
Representative Director, SUMIDA, Inc.

Mr. Koichi Hashida

Born in September 1942 in Fukuoka Prefecture.
Academic background:  March 1966 Graduated from Keio University Faculty of Economics

April 1966 Joined Kyushu Electric Power Co., Inc. (KEP)
July 1986 Section Chief (in charge of special funds) of the Accounting Department, KEP
July 1988 Section Chief in charge of settling accounts of the Accounting Department, KEP
July 1991 Deputy Manager of the Kumamoto Branch Officer, KEP
July 1993 Deputy Manager of the Accounting Department, KEP
June 1996 General Manager of the Miyazaki Branch Officer, KEP
July 1997 Director & General Manager of the Miyazaki Branch, KEP
June 1998 Director & Manager of the General Affairs Division, KEP
June 2001 Executive Director, KEP
June 2007 Representative Director and President, Kyudenko Corporation
June 2013 Representative Director and Chairman, Kyudenko Corporation
June 2014 Director and Senior Advisor, Kyudenko Corporation
June 2015 Senior Advisor, Kyudenko Corporation
June 2018 Retired from the Senior Advisor

Major external positions:
Chair of the Urban Regeneration Working Group, Fukuoka Directive Council (FDC)
Chair, Fukuoka Asian Urban Research Center
Chair, Kyusyu Electric Power Co., Inc. Judo-Club
Vice-Chair, West Japan Business Group Judo Federation
Director, National Congress of Industrial Heritage
Director, Institute for Strategic Leadership (ISL)

ーーThe Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution attained World Heritage listing on July 5, 2015, at the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee convened in Bonn, Germany. Looking back, what did you feel at the time?

The moment the listing was announced, I was watching the televised proceedings at the Fukuoka prefectural government headquarters. We were told the listing was a sure thing, but then difficulties arose in the coordination with the South Korean delegation, so the decision was delayed two days. I remember being nervous. But that made my joy only the greater when the listing was finally announced. Mr. Ogawa, Governor of Fukuoka and I raised our hands in a banzai cheer. Ms. Koko Kato was in Bonn then and her smiling face appeared on the screen. Everyone there agreed, the World Heritage listing of the Sites of Japan’s Meiji industrial Revolution was totally due to her enthusiasm and energy. I had no doubt about it. It has been three years since then, and my conviction that we couldn’t have done it without her only grows stronger every day.

ーーHow did you come to know Ms. Koko Kato?

If I recall correctly, she sought me out in Fukuoka with an introduction from Mr. Fumio Ohue, Representative Director of the MI Consulting Group (MICG). It was a long time ago, so my memory is hazy, but at that time she was still at the stage of searching for the best way of working towards the World Heritage listing.

She had also graduated from Keio University which made me feel an affinity with her. But that wasn’t what made me want to support her cause. It was her passionate appeal that moved me. She pulled out a lot of documents from her large backpack and talked to me about her hopes for World Heritage listing. “A small Asian country like Japan was able to become a major economic power because of the people who devoted their lives to Japan’s industrialization,” she said. “Japan’s castles and its temples and shrines are certainly historical treasures to be proud of, but I think it is our industrial heritage that is a true world heritage.” I was overwhelmed by her fervor and really moved. When I was working at the Kyushu Electric Power Company, at one point I was ordered to help raise funds for such places as the Kyushu National Museum and the Saga Heavy Ion Medical Accelerator in Tosu (Saga HIMAT). I was also involved in getting a department store with an old tradition back in business. I tackled these jobs with the conviction that I had a mission to work for Kyushu, so I fully understood Ms. Kato’s strong wish to do something for our country.

ーーYou were born in Fukuoka and joined the Kyushu Electric Power Company right after you graduated from university. I gather you have a strong love for the place of your birth. Could that be another reason you became involved in the project for the Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution?

Certainly, that is one reason. I have a special passion for Ryotaro Shiba’s novel, Clouds Above the Hill. Just thinking about World Heritage listing for the Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution was enough to fill me with excitement. Kyushu people take great pride in our region. I grew up being told by the adults around me that Kyushu’s day would surely come, but it never did (laughs). I was feeling frustrated about that when Ms. Kato appeared on the scene. As you know, many of the industrial heritage sites are located in Kyushu. I knew if they achieved World Heritage listing it would be a great boon for the whole region. So, I knew right away that this was an important undertaking.

Furthermore, Ms. Kato just didn’t talk about her dream, she had a strategy to make it a reality that was very persuasive. I listened to her with great interest.

ーーYou are referring to her idea of a serial nomination, I take it. The idea for the Sites of Japan’s Meiji industrial Revolution was first proposed in 1990 by Mr. Kimiyasu Shimadzu (Counselor to Shimadzu Limited. and Member, Board of Directors of the National Congress of Industrial Heritage) after reading Ms. Kato’s book on industrial heritage. He wanted to have Shuseikan listed as a World Heritage site. Ms. Kato set to work on it right away by proposing the idea to the late Dr. Stuart Smith, the renowned authority on industrial heritage and former secretary-general of The International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH). In 2002, she took Dr. Smith to see the former Satsuma domain’s Shuseikan, the industrial heritage assets held by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Nagasaki, the Kosuge Slip Dock, and Takashima Coal Mine. He advised her that these could be listed as World Heritage if they were all linked together. But Japan had no experience in making a serial nomination. A lot of people were skeptical of the idea at first.

Even before considering a serial nomination, I think there were people who questioned the very idea that industrial heritage could be listed as World Heritage. But I was one of those who thought from the very beginning that it could be done. Of course, it wasn’t easy. The sites that came under consideration included operating assets like the Nagasaki Shipyard and the Miike Port and there were numerous issues of how to reconcile the requirements of the Act on Protection of Cultural Properties with the economic activity of the corporations that owned and operated those assets. Still, I was convinced that if we drew up a strong project plan and timed things correctly, it could be done. It’s not that I was optimistic so much as that my experience told me this was doable.

For example, back when I was fundraising to establish the Kyushu National Museum, the ultimate goal was to raise 10 billion yen in total. I was the second head of the fundraising committee in the Kyushu Electric Power Company. When I took this on from my predecessor, it seemed a rather vague target. Yet in the end we alone raised over 4 billion yen, which was much more than our local target. This experience taught me that where there is a will, there is a way. My personal conviction is that you either do something or you don’t. There are only two choices. You need to plow ahead with the conviction that you can do it, no matter what anyone says.

For the World Heritage project, my first reaction was, “Let’s do it!” After that it was only necessary to figure out how to do it. We simply had to be systematic and plan carefully when considering how much money we needed. Not that I contributed that much to the overall effort.

Living now for the future of Japan: The mission of the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution is to raise awareness and courage that "Japan can be saved if we make use of the spirit of our predecessors."

Former General Manager, Nagasaki Shipyard and Machinery Works, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.

Dr. Kunifumi Hashimoto
Japan's Meiji Industrial Heritage is the Pride of Japan - Knowing the Steps of Our Predecessors is the Key to Reconsidering Japanese Education

Chairman, Fujisankei Group

Executive Managing Advisor, Fuji Television Network, Inc.

Executive Managing Advisor, Fuji Media Holdings, Inc.

Mr, Hisashi Hieda
The Road to World Heritage Registration was Full of its Ups and Downs ~Blessed, Saved and Paved by the Luck of Human Fate~

Advisor, Federation of Japan Port and Airport Construction Association

(Ex. Chairman of Specialists Center of Port and Airport Engineering)

Mr. Hiroshi Hayashida
The historical flow of change from "Samurai to the Company" is the pride of Japan - Nagasaki, the center of Japan's Meiji Industrial Heritage Sites, will lead the way to connect to the next generation.

Mayor of Nagasaki City

Mr. Shiro Suzuki
The Saga Clan Built Japan's First Reverberatory Furnace, and the "Mietsu Naval Station" was the Base of the Western-style Navy: Passing on the Passion That Went Into Registering the Site as a World Heritage Site to the Next Generation

Former Director of the Sano Tsunetami Memorial Museum (currently known as Sano Tsunetami and the Mietsu Naval Dock History Museum)

Mr. Yoshimi Eguchi
The Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution is a "World Cultural Heritage" and a "World Evolutionary Heritage

Director of NPO Association for Thinking about Satoyama

Director of National Congress of the Industrial Heritage

Mr. Kenji Amioka
Shoin Shrine has a mission to convey the history leading up to the Meiji Restoration properly

Honorary Chief Priest Toshinari Ueda

Mr. Toshinari Ueda
What is the secret plan to make the Port of Miike, an operational asset of a World Heritage site?

Former Mayor of Omuta City

Mr. Michio Koga
Vol. 49
Why Conservation Management of Japan's Meiji Industrial Sites is needed?

Archaeologist and Heritage Conservation Specialist

Dr. Michael Pearson AO
The Truth of Industrial History Unraveled from the Perspective of Metallurgy: the Mission of the Heritage of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution is to Pass on the Intelligence, Diligence, and Fortitude of the Japanese People to Future Generations

A fellow of the Japan Federation of Engineering Societies

Professor Tadahiro Inazumi
The Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution is a Great Teaching Aid, and Various World Revealed by Looking Into It

Team Member of the Industrial Project Team Office for the Promotion of World Heritage Listing under Cabinet Secretariat

Mr. Kazuhiko Suga
The History of Iron that Began in Kagoshima has Dramatically Advanced Japan's Modernization~I Want to Pass on the Vitality of the People of Satsuma to the Younger Generations Whom Will Live in the Future~

Governor of Kagoshima Prefecture

Koichi Shiota
Yoshida Shoin preached the Theory of Engineering Education and produced the Choshu Five who risked their lives to go to England--to pass on the proud Hagi spirit to future generations

Mayor of Hagi City

Mr. Fumio Tanaka
I wish to pass on to my children's generation the wisdom, technology, and energy of our ancestors who built Misumi West Port - I will do my very best to do what I can at this moment by looking ahead to the future that will surely come after COVID-19.

Mayor of Uki City, Kumamoto Prefecture

Mr. Kenshi Morita
Vol. 43
An Imperial Company named the Yawata Steel Works became a World Heritage Site from a Single Old Photo!

The Former Employee of Nippon Steel Corporation

Mr. Masayoshi Minakuchi
We would like to Establish a "New Local Studies" that will be transmitted to the Outside World.

An Associate Professor of the Faculty of Science and Engineering in Iwate University

Mr. Hideki Onodera
18 Years History of a Tourist Guide Business and an Outpouring of "Love for Misumi West Port." ~"Registration for World Heritage is Not Simply a Goal, but a New Starting Point."~

Chairman of the Tourist Guide Association of Misumi West Port

Mr. Manpo Saito
To Mark the Passage of "Time" Together with Nirayama Reverberatory Furnace ~To increase the attractiveness of "reverberatory furnace tourism" through the use of commercial museum and restaurant business~

President of Kuraya Narusawa Co., Ltd.

Chairman of Izunokuni City Tourism Association

Mr. Hironori Inamura
The Establishment of the Gunkanjima Digital Museum Were Led by Fate: I want to start, continue, and finish what I can do to convey the value of the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution to a wide audience

Director and General Manager of Gunkanjima Concierge

Producer of the Gunkanjima Digital Museum

Ms. Yuko Kuon
In Industrial Heritage, It's the "People" Who Play the Central Role: How World Heritage Inscription Casts a Fresh Light on Hometown Splendors

Owner at Tōge Chaya

Ms. Shizuko Ogasawara
Everything is for the Economic Development of Nagasaki--Expanding Beyond the Shipping Business to Pass on Nagasaki's Culture and Industrial Heritage

Chairman: Mr. Hidenori Date
President: Mr. Masahiro Date

Yamasa Kaiun Co., Ltd.
Kamaishi's "Miracles" and Overcoming Disaster: The Huge Opportunity Provided by World Heritage Site Inscription

Proprietor, Houraikan Inn

Ms. Akiko Iwasaki
"850 years of historical records" along with Nirayama reverberatory furnace that ought to be passed down to future generations. ~The long-awaited new storage warehouse is completed and it has encouraged preservation, restoration, and utilization~

Representative Director of Egawa Bunko non-profit incorporated foundation

The 42nd head of the Egawa Family

Mr. Hiroshi Egawa
The History of an Era Opened by an Indomitable Pioneering Spirit and the Power of Our Forefathers

Democratic Party for the People (DPP) Representative for Nagasaki Prefecture

Mr. Yoshiaki Takaki
Gunkanjima Is a Warning Message for the Future of Earth and Humanity ~The Thoughts and Pleas of a Guide and Former Resident~

President of the NPO, Way to World Heritage Gunkanjima

Mr. Dotoku Sakamoto
Synchronicity Yields the Miracle of World Heritage Site Inscription: Strong Aspirations Inspire Support among Like-Minded Individuals

Representative Director

MI Consulting Group

Mr. Fumio Ohue
Power to the People of Japan The Mission of Meiji Japan's Industrial Revolutionary Heritage

President of Watanabe Production Group and Honorary Chair of Watanabe Productions Co., Ltd.

Ms. Misa Watanabe
Turning Our Industrial Heritage into Hope for Those 100 Years From Now

Member of the House of Councillors

Mr.Tatsuo Hirano
Calling on 21st Century Satsuma Students to Build the Future! Shuseikan Serves as a Source of Information about Sightseeing in Kagoshima

Kagoshima Prefecture

Mr. Satoshi Mitazono
Awareness of "Stories with Connections" is steadily spreading throughout each region~There are also challenges for conservation management and interpretation~

World Heritage Consultant

Ms. Sarah Jane Brazil
Where There Is a Will, There Is a Way: Connecting with People Takes Courage and Initiative

Director and Dean, The Kyushu-Asia Institute of Leadership
Representative Director, SUMIDA, Inc.

Mr. Koichi Hashida
Taking Pride in Japan's Latest World Heritage Sites~A Journalist's Perspective~

Journalist, founder of the Shimomura Mitsuko Ikikata Juku School

Ms. Mitsuko Shimomura
Classic Cars and the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution~Rally Nippon 2019 in Kyushu~

Representative, Rally Nippon

Mr.Yusuke Kobayashi
Preparations Proceed for the Development of Exciting Touring Routes to See the World Heritage Sites - The Promotion Council Conveys their Attractions to the World through Various Promotions!

Chairman, Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution World Heritage Route Promotion Council Director, National Congress of Industrial Heritage

Mr. Susumu Ishihara
Giving Greater Force to the Preparation of Routes toward Promoting "Heritage Tourism" - Recollections of the Unforgettable Bombing of Hometown Kure City and the Hiroshima Atomic Bomb

Representative Director, General Incorporated Foundation National Congress of Industrial Heritage (Advisor, Public Interest Incorporated Foundation Capital Markets Research Institute)

Mr. Hiroshi Yasuda
The City Connected to the World: Making the "Treasure of Nagasaki" the "Treasure of the World"

Mayor of Nagasaki City

Mr.Tomihisa Taue
"The World's Experimental Facility" that Questions of the True Value of the "ICOMOS-TICCIH Cooperative Principles" New Conservation Challenges Promoted by the Japanese Government

Policy Director at Heritage Montreal

Mr. Dinu Bumbaru
Days of Heated Argument with the Unforgettable Stuart Smith~A Cross-Cultural Encounter with Familiar 19th-Century Industrial Heritage~

World Heritage Consultant

Mr. Barry Gamble
The next generation of technological innovation is born from carrying forward history and culture. - Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution open the way to "conserving while using"

Executive Director of Kogakuin University

Dr.Osamu Goto
Blazing a New Trail for Serial Inscription-Format Conservation and Management with the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution: Training Personnel to Pass on Memory and Understanding as a Major Challenge in the Future

Heritage Architect and International Consultant

Mr. Duncan Marshall
3D Digital Documentation of the Giant Cantilever Crane and Kosuge Dock

Head of Data Acquisition at The Glasgow School of Art’s School of Simulation and Visualisation

Mr. Alastair Rawlinson
Japan's Uplifting Industrial Heritage

Head of Industrial Heritage, Historic Environment Scotland, Edinburgh

Dr. Miles Oglethorpe
The Scottish Ten Project

Scottish Ten Project Manager, Historic Environment Scotland, Edinburgh

Dr. Lyn Wilson
The Tea Plantation Hill Where You Can See Two World Heritage Sites at Once, Mt. Fuji and the Nirayama Reverberatory Furnaces--The Next Dream Is a "Mini Reverberatory Furnace for Children" to Provide Experiential Learning

Mayor of Izunokuni City, Shizuoka Prefecture

Ms.Toshiko Ono
Path to becoming a World Heritage Site

Pro-Provost and Chairman of Council of the Royal College of Art. Heritage advisor of Canal & River Trust for England and Wales.

Sir Neil Cossons
In the midst of accurate information dissemination, it created a chance to truly look at history

Dean of Tokyo Rissho Junior College

Professor emeritus of Keio University

Dr. Kudo Norikazu
World Heritage Inscription Spurs Renewed Civic Pride in Kitakyushu's Industrial Heritage

Mayor of Kitakyushu City

Mr. Kenji Kitahashi
World Heritage Inscription: Report on the 2015 Celebratory Party Held in Bonn, Germany

At the 39th session of the World Heritage Committee convened in Bonn, Germany, from June 28 to July 8, 2015, the decision was approved to inscribe the Sites of Japan’s Meiji Industrial Revolution on the World Heritage list.

At a celebratory party held to mark the occasion, some of the primary promoters of the project spoke of their joy in achieving their goal and of the trials and tribulations to getting there.

Background of World Heritage Inscription
Conserve and Use: Pioneering New Approaches for Operational Heritage Assets

Director and Managing Executive Officer, Hanshin Expressway Company Limited

Member, Board of Directors, National Congress of Industrial Heritage

Mr. Hiroshi Okamoto
Applying Port and Harbor Act Provisions to Conserve Operating World Heritage Sites

Vice-Governor of Shizuoka Prefecture

Mr. Takashi Namba
The Choshu Five: Pioneers of Modernization and Hagi's Heritage of Trial and Error

Mayor of Hagi City

Mr. Koji Nomura
The Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution: The Roots of Japanese Craftsmanship and Industry

Chairman, Tokyo Metro Co., Ltd.

Mr.Masafumi Yasutomi
The Miike Area: How Coal Contributed to Japan's Modern Industrialization

Mayor of Omuta City

Mr.Michio Koga
The Meiji Industrial Revolution: A Story of Broad Vision and a Strong Sense of Mission to Undertake New Challenges for the Good of the Nation and its People

Deputy Director-General, Lifelong Learning Policy Bureau, MEXT

Former Counsellor, Cabinet Secretariat

Mr. Kengo Iwamoto
From Kamaishi to Yawata: The Proud Heritage of Japan's Modern Iron Industry

Mayor of Kamaishi City

Mr.Takenori Noda
Lord Nariakira Shimadzu's Shuseikan and the Efforts to Build a Strong and Affluent Nation

Member, Board of Directors, National Congress of Industrial Heritage Counselor, Shimadzu Limited

Mr.Kimiyasu Shimadzu
The Genesis of Japan's Rise as an Industrial Nation: Preserving the Sites of Japan's Meiji Industrial Revolution for Future Generations

Chairman of the Consortium for the World Heritage Inscription of Modern Industrial Heritage (Kyushu-Yamaguchi) and governor of Kagoshima Prefecture (as of 2015)

Mr.Yuichiro Ito