On December 25, the Toyota Mobility foundation (TMF) decided to support the Ueyama Mobility Project for the residents in the mountainous areas of Ueyama District of Mimasaka City in Okayama Prefecture to enjoy the freedom of mobility, and to promote regional revitalization.
This is TMF’s third assistance program since its establishment, and it is their first project in Japan.
For over a millennium, the Ueyama District boasted of its 8,300 terraced rice fields; however, much of it was left uncultivated in the 1990s. Since 2007, the migrants and the local residents, in cooperation with the city government, have sought to restore the terraced rice fields, and it is thus regaining vitality at present. However, they are currently experiencing problems like depopulation, aging population, decline in agricultural and forestry industries, and mobility of the local residents were limited.
Given these kind of circumstances, the local Non-Profit Organization (NPO), in cooperation with businesses, the government, and universities, is planning to build a new mobility system in the mountainous region. The Ultra-compact Electronic Vehicle (EV) shall be utilized in everyday life, for agriculture, forestry, and tourism as well. TMF will provide a grant of 220 million yen for this project for the next four years.
Through this project, the TMF is working with the local communities so the local residents can have an affluent lifestyle and enjoy their freedom of mobility.
(Translated by Charmaine Apple Silagan)