2019 Volume 82 Issue 5 Pages 627-630
This study aimed to clarify the current situation about municipal cemeteries in Hokkaido. Questionnaires about current status of vacant cemetery lots, group burial sites, plan of new cemetery sites, and cemetery-use rights were sent by e-mail to 179 municipalities in Hokkaido and 149 responses were obtained. As results, the following status were revealed. (1) Most municipalities in Hokkaido (97%) own municipal cemeteries and they have still enough vacant lots. On the other hand, (2) increasing number of neglected tombs has already become issue in about 30% of the municipalities and 80% of the municipality recognize it as a future problem. Those problems are attributed to the permanent use rights of cemetery lot without expiration date and to inappropriately limited conditions of right holders. (3) Various types of new cemeteries such as a group burial site have been built mainly in large-scale municipalities, whichwiden the gap between regions in terms of cemetery service of administration in the future. Administrative concerns over cemetery problems need to be shift from quantitative problems to qualitative problems. Drastic measures are necessary for the cemetery system in the age of low birthrates and population fluidity.