Japanese city moves entire website to Facebook

Takeo's mayor stresses the open use of real names, in contrast to mostly anonymous Japanese social sites

A Japanese city is the first in the country to replace its public website with a Facebook page, as officials stressed the open nature of the social network as their main motivation.

Facebook has been slow to catch on in the country, in large part because users prefer online hangouts where they can remain anonymous, such as "mixi," a large Japanese social network.

But city officials in Takeo, a city on the southern island of Kyushu, said that when they attempted to use such services, users tended to post petty remarks and rude commentary rather than have real discourse.

"When people give their opinions or ask questions, they should take responsibility for this as adults, and this should be done using their real names," said Takeo Mayor Keisuke Hiwatashi, speaking at a press conference on Monday broadcast online.

Takeo officials have set up the Facebook page so that anyone can see the contents, but only registered members can leave comments. Much of the material is hosted on government servers, but is only viewable through the Facebook page.

Naoyuki Miyaguchi, a member of the city hall's eight-member Facebook team, said the transition cost about 630,000 yen ($8,200). He said the move was resisted by many locals in the city of about 51,000 people known for its local hot spring baths, because many were not familiar with Facebook.

"We have received a lot of complaints online, but these have had a reasonable basis and are not just meaningless criticism as before, so we can address them," Miyaguchi said.

As Facebook slowly adds users in Japan, official entities, including the office of the Prime Minister and the country's navy, have established pages on the site. But Takeo officials said they were the first local government to switch completely -- the city's old web address now redirects visitors to its Facebook page.

In an online debate about the switch hosted on the city's Facebook page, some members expressed reservations.

"I think there are some residents that won't like having their identity known on the site," wrote one user, registered under a pseudonym.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetFacebooksocial networkingInternet-based applications and servicesGovernment use of IT

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jay Alabaster

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?