Geographical Review of Japan
Online ISSN : 2185-1727
Print ISSN : 1347-9555
ISSN-L : 1347-9555
Development Policy of Residential Areas in Matsumoto City and the Roles of Agricultural Cooperatives
Tadahiko MUSHA
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2004 Volume 77 Issue 6 Pages 421-440

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Abstract

Since the City Planning Act in 1968, residential land use has been one of the most important policy issues in many city governments. Under these circumstances, especially in local cities, agricultural cooperatives have been expected to play a role in orderly land use. This paper aims to clarify the roles of the agricultural cooperative in the development policy of a local city by analyzing the policy process that occurred during residential development in Matsumoto City, Nagano Prefecture. The policy process is outlined as follows.
1) Agenda setting
In the early 1980s, the administration of the city was under fiscal restraints because of public investments, with disorderly developments in urbanization control areas. On the other hand, the administration was concerned about the population drain to nearby cities owing to the controlled development. As a result, the administration decided to expand urbanization promotion areas and to fix the residential population there.
2) Policy decision
A consensus among the farmers of the affected vicinities had to be established before expanding urbanization promotion areas. As a policy response for this agenda, in 1984 the administration established the Workshop of Regional Development to collaborate with the agricultural cooperative (JA Matsumoto Highland and JA Matsumoto City) as a farmers' interest group. The Regional Development Workshop promoted land readjustment projects in new urbanization promotion areas.
3) Policy implementation
In land readjustment projects, the agricultural cooperative was proactive in playing the role of coordinator between farmers and the administration and was successful in establishing a consensus among farmers. Consequently, the roles of the agricultural cooperative were indispensable for the administration to carry out its policy. Meanwhile, the agricultural cooperative was not only the coordinator but also an actor in the private sector which pursued development benefits from real estate deals and fund operations. These land readjustment projects were agreed upon between the administration and the agricultural cooperative.
As a result of the policy process, residential development in Matsumoto City advanced steadily after the mid-1980s. The Workshop of Regional Development institutionally maintained the roles of the agricultural cooperative and worked to achieve this growth.

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