Kosei: The Nara high school student aiming to revitalise his hometown 


There are fewer than 300 people in Nosegawa, the small village where INOUE Kosei lives.

Although the town is struggling with population decline, it doesn't stop the villagers from revitalising their village in various ways.

When Kosei was an elementary school student, he applied to be a 'One-day Junior Governor of Nara Prefecture'. He wanted to promote Nosegawa and raise awareness about all the good things the town has to offer.

Kosei, now a high school student, did not hesitate for a second when he heard the call of becoming a torchbearer.

For him, the Tokyo 2020 Games will be a unique opportunity to introduce Nosegawa’s charm to people in Japan and abroad.

Would you tell us what makes Nosegawa better than anywhere else?

The population of Nosegawa is so small because of depopulation, but that makes the whole village feel just like one big family. People care for each other. I have been surrounded by the warmth of the villagers since I grew up as a child.

What kind of promotion did you do as a One-day Junior Governor?

The year before I became the One-day Junior Governor, Nosegawa was severely damaged by a huge typhoon. However, the villagers worked together as a team to restore everything. As the junior governor, I introduced the deep bonds among the villagers that I sensed back then.

What is your plan after graduating from high school? What are your dreams for the future?

After graduation I would like to go to university and study abroad. I want to share with my new friends my love towards my hometown. I also want to use social media to promote the beauty of Nosegawa.

How did you feel when you heard that you had been chosen to be a torchbearer?

When I learned about it for the first time, I was really surprised, and afterwards, it started sinking in that I had really been chosen as a torchbearer. The happiness I felt could not be described in words, although I become nervous when I imagine myself running on that day.

What messages do you want to deliver as a torchbearer?

As a torchbearer, I want people throughout the world to know the existence of a village called Nosegawa.