Prime Minister Shinzo Abe touted the success of his local revitalization policy by naming a promising businessman who has actually moved out of a rural community targeted for revival.

In his administrative policy speech on Jan. 20, Abe said the number of people relocating to the small city of Gotsu in Shimane Prefecture now exceeds the number who are leaving.

He said this was a result of his government’s policy of encouraging young people to start businesses in local areas.

The prime minister said the man, who had moved from Tokyo to Gotsu, was a good example of the policy’s success.

“I want to strongly support young people who move to rural areas,” Abe said.

A Gotsu city official confirmed that the man had moved to the city in 2016. He won a city-run contest for business plans using local revitalization grants the same year, and later established an agricultural company with an acquaintance and worked on hydroponic culture, including growing coriander.

But he moved out of Shimane Prefecture last December because of a personal matter, the official said.

According to a city official of the policy planning section, the Cabinet Secretariat on Dec. 26 and 27 had asked the Gotsu government about the city’s demographics. But it did not inquire about the man.

“At the time we were questioned, we knew that the man had already moved out,” the official said. “But we were not informed that his name would be used in the speech, so we were confused.”

Officials of the Cabinet Secretariat’s Cabinet Affairs Office said Abe’s speech was written after they received the man’s consent.

The officials declined to comment on whether they had known the man moved out of Shimane Prefecture, saying it is private information.

According to Gotsu’s website, the city, known for its clay roof tile production, had a population of 24,468 as of 2015 following decades of steady decline.