Mayor Park Won-soon was presented as one of the four world’s mayors with unique individuality in NHK-BS, a satellite broadcasting channel of NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation) transmitted worldwide.
In a news commentary program called NHK-BS ‘Catch! World’s Eye’ broadcast on May 16, Mayor Park was introduced as one of the mayors who take an active part in resolving the common challenges facing major cities around the world, such as environmental issues, along with Mayor Sadiq Khan of London, the United Kingdom, Mayor Anne Hidalgo of Paris, France, and Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City, the United States.
‘Catch! World’s Eye’ is a program that discusses the meaning and background of the news, and discusses possible issues of the future by commenting on domestic and foreign news through the unique perspective of the professional commentators of NHK.
NHK introduced Mayor Park as an idea man, whose administration philosophy is focused on innovation through openness, public transparency, and sharing. In particular, NHK focused on the fact that Mayor Park’s administration accepts and handles civil complaints of citizens at the speed of light using the social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. The program showed specific examples of actual civil complaints posted on social media, such as “The pavement is damaged”, “The food waste smells too bad”, and others, as well as the citizens’ reactions after immediate measures were taken to solve the complaints. Mayor Park has more than 1.5 million social media followers including one million followers on Twitter. Since last April, Mayor Park has been airing a live social media broadcast called “Won-soon’s X-file” once a week, introducing the policies of the Seoul Metropolitan Government (SMG), and listening to the opinions of citizens in real-time.
The program also mentioned the activities for resolving environmental issues such as turning off the street lights for an hour on the 22nd of every month, and the SMG’s policy on reducing the need for nuclear facilities, which was triggered by the nuclear accident in Fukushima.
The main policies implemented by the other three mayors were also introduced in the program: ▴ A Pledge to freeze public transportation fares and supply low-cost housing by London Mayor Sadiq Khan, an immigrant from Pakistan; ▴ Activities relating to environmental issues such as vehicle exhaust emissions, diesel vehicle control, etc. by Anne Hidalgo, the first female mayor of Paris, who was born in Spain; ▴ Policies to provide housing for low-income families, maintain nursery facilities, stop racial discrimination, etc. implemented by Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City.
The commentator argued that the advent of such mayors, who have unique individuality, reflect a change in our society and era, and highlights the expectation of citizens that the social gap and conflict will be resolved more actively as our society becomes more diverse.