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Citizen Engagement

Japanese city moves official website to Facebook

The City of Takeo in Saga prefecture plans to shut down its official website, and completely move to the city’s official Facebook account for greater interaction between officials and citizens.

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City Spokesman Naoyuki Miyaguchi said in an official statement that Takeo Mayor Keisuke Hiwatashi, who chairs the Twitter and Facebook national academic societies, was behind the move to encourage active use of social media, also issuing Twitter accounts to the city officials.

Takeo officials said move to Facebook is due to the difficulties to share information in the existing website while the city page on Facebook provides citizens with engagement options through it’s “like” buttons, comments, messaging and chat.

“There were some doubts at first when we were thinking of changing to Facebook because it could only be accessed by those who had an account,” Miyaguchi said.

”For this reason, there was some opposition as it would limit access to city information for some citizens. But since we were considering the shift, Facebook changed its rules to make pages viewable to anybody, and from that point on it was a go.”

The existing website will continue to post some information on the move but otherwise redirect citizens to its Facebook page. It will also set up a support service ran by a group that Mayor Hiwatashi operates and will encourage citizens to organize Facebook-centered events of their own.

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