At a meeting of city leaders last Monday, the mayor of Nagoya, Takashi Kawamura, expressed annoyance with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. That same day, Abe had opened a new session of the Diet by touching on the issue of regional revitalization in his usual general policy speech; he said that the central government would fully address the problem by making Tokyo and Osaka "the main hubs." Kawamura was miffed that Nagoya, which he called the "biggest money-making region" in Japan owing to its proximity to a large number of major manufacturers, had been "skipped over" by Abe.

"It's no longer a joke that Nagoya is considered a place people don't want to visit," he said.

As far as Nagoya being a joke goes, Kawamura has no one to blame but himself. After all, it was the city of Nagoya that conducted an unfavorable survey last summer among residents of eight "key cities" to determine which were the most appealing as travel destinations. Nagoya came in last in almost every category, but what people found hilarious was that the respective residents of each city surveyed picked their own hometowns as their favorites except for Nagoya's, who chose theirs as the third favorite, behind Kyoto and Tokyo.