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Ibaraki governor labels low ranking of prefecture's attractiveness in Japan 'nonsense'

Ibaraki Gov. Kazuhiko Oigawa (Mainichi/Chie Yamashita)

MITO -- Japan's 2022 "prefectural attractiveness ranking" was called "not worthy of comment" by the governor of Ibaraki Prefecture even after it moved the region up to second-last spot.

    Japan has 47 prefectures, and Ibaraki, located northeast of Tokyo, has placed last on the list 11 out of 14 times since it was first published in 2009, the other exceptions being 46th place in 2012 and 42nd place in 2020. Though the prefecture was rated 1.9 points higher this year than in 2021, it earned only 13.5 points out of 100. The most attractive prefecture of Hokkaido gained 73.3 points, and the average stood at 27.7. The least attractive prefecture of Saga in southwestern Japan earned 13.2 points.

    "As a survey, it's not very believable," Ibaraki Gov. Kazuhiko Oigawa insisted at a regular press conference on Oct. 25. "The list is becoming purely for entertainment; it's nonsense for local governments to rejoice or lament over the results and be left at their mercy."

    Tokyo-based think tank Brand Research Institute Inc. conducted the annual online survey on individuals in their 20s to 70s between June and July. It had them rate each prefecture's attractiveness on a scale of one to five and gave points out of a full score of 100. Valid responses were obtained from 34,768 people.

    (Japanese original by Harumi Kimoto and Toru Morinaga, Mito Bureau)

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