|Self-reliance and Creativity
OVOP was initiated autonomously in 58 cities, towns and villages of Oita Prefecture. In the year of its introduction, the number of OVOP products throughout the prefecture was 143, but 20 years later the figure had increased more than two-folds to 336.
OVOP wasn't always met with success, and there were many trials and errors along the way. Yet, no matter how unpromising things seemed, the prefectural government never attempted to provide subsidies for OVOP regions because they feared that such assistance would only hamper self-reliance and prevent lasting success of OVOP. Instead, the government assisted in product development and distribution. Through the establishment of institutions such as Agricultural Technology Center, Mushrooms Research and Guidance Center, Livestock Experimental Station, and Institute of Marine & Fisheries Science, the government offered guidance in production and processing technology. Distribution routes were opened and expanded by the efforts of the prefectural government and the then governor Mr. Hiramatsu himself, who organized numerous fairs in major Japanese cities and abroad, where he personally advertised Oita's prospective products. Also, regional markets were set up throughout Oita to encourage local consumption of OVOP products. Moreover, groups and individuals with outstanding achievement in OVOP were honored with rewards.