This paper deals with a framework for rural revitalization related to major changes of rural communities in the 1980s' Japan focusing on the following six issues.  Change of national economy from internationalization to globalization has left agriculture for the most difficult position because of the least mobility of its major resources, especially land.  Change into urbanized society has brought three different phenomena assoicated with regional differentiation: increase in the number of part-time farm households throughout the country; in-migration of ex-urban residents into urban-fringe rural communities; and depopulation related to aging in remote rural communities.  Value change towards amenity has focused on agricultural roles for: safety and diversity of food supply; job opportunity for women and aged people; recreation and cultural conservation; education for children; and conservation of soil, water and air.  Rural community dynamism is formed by both: dynamically functioning system, which is generally carried by goal-oriented social groups, and potentially functioning system, which is often carried by traditional social groups and prerequisite for the dynamically functioning system in rural vitalization.  Rural economic development scheme, conventionally based on Fordism assuming both mass-production by monoculture and mass-consumption market, is to be diversified by nicheism assuming both small-scale production with diversity of crops and niche market.  Process of decision-making and enforcement for rural development policy is to be shifted from vertical integration within the framework of bureaucracy to horizontal integration based on local network systems for endogenous development with people's participation.
The Japanese agriculture has been deeply damaged by an increase of imported agricultural products. In the course of in creasing import, main agricultural regions in Japan has been suffered. Under the circumstance, agricultural cooperatives are expected to promote regional agriculture and to sustain regional economy. In the paper, case studies show how agricultural cooperatives promote regional agriculture.
The economic environment surrounding forestry households and a mountain village has been a tense situation. The private ownership forest mainly used to be managed by family farms. In the process of economic development inhabitants in mountain villages have spilt over, the amount of imported timber has burst out increasing. The 70% of timber consumption is fulfilled by the foreign timber. The internal rate of return of forestry production has fallen from 6% in 1960 to 2% in the 1980's, so forestry has intensified the tendency to come apart from management. The government expected that forestry cooperatives became leaders not only in forest management but also in the rural community. Since the later half of the 1970's, the government has shifted its policy to one which gives priority to strengthening the forest cooperatives rather than forest households. The forest cooperatives have equipped machine and secured labor to conduct afforestation, thinning, and cutting. Therefore, they have been built up as the most important leaders of the Japanese forestry. In spite of the significant role and the established reputation of the forestry cooperatives, they face the troublesome problems, such as a decrease of number of forest workers and the skill deterioration due to the increasing ratio of aged workers.
In this paper, the author analyzes current roles of local governments in Japan. The Central Government and a prefectural government have been responsible for policy making in national level, on the other hand a city government, a town goverment and a village government have qeen responsible for the fulfillment of the required policies in the local level which they are belong to. The late Professor Seiichi Tohbata mentioned that the development of Japanese agriculture largely depended on the efforts of the Central Government which did not own risk. And he also pointed that a peasant was merely a follower of the policies established by the Central Government. However, the author mentions that the local governmets, such as a city government, a town governmet and a village governmet, have been taking very important roles on the agricultural development in the local level. And he also indicates the following points; (1) the most important target of local governmets have been the also indicates perfect fulfillment of policies with no failure, (2) peasants have been organized by the advanced farmer who has been taking an important leadership of a community. The key strategy for the revitalization of agriculture in the local level is tightening and strengthening the relationship and the cooperation among local governments, agricultural cooperatives and advanced farmers.