Local governments can't last in this time when the social structure itself begins to change a great deal. But, consolidation of municipalities is a big happening for the local administration to change the zone of its self-governing body again. It is also the best opportunity for the new self-governing body to make its future plan. Is the present cities joint conference being done based on such important recognition as expected? The viewpoint of the inhabitant autonomy is important from the viewpoint of the self-governing body management. Administrative services to the inhabitant in the outlying regions of the city tend to decline due to the consolidation. This is a fact that many local governments have since experienced by the consolidation. “Chiiki Jichi Soshiki: Community autonomy organization” is being discussed anew to solve such conditions. This “Chiiki Jichi Soshiki: Community autonomy organization” is being expected as a plan to secure inhabitant autonomy on the inside of the fundamental self-governing body after its consolidation. Through examining a case of “Chiiki Jichi Soshiki: Community autonomy organization” which is now being undergone, it gropes for a method with “Chiiki Jichi Soshiki: Community autonomy organization” of the inhabitant subject which copes with a consolidation of municipalities.
This paper aims to investigate how the agricultural programs by local autonomies under the consolidation of autonomies are being executed. As the consolidation generally weakens the relationship between residents including the farmers and the local autonomy, it is thus emphasized to reinforce the relationship by making new “small autonomies” within the consolidated autonomy. The “small autonomies” are also expected to revitalize the community and their economic activities. However, it does not work everywhere. Especially in the mountainous area of Shikoku district, what we call the “marginal community” has emerged. In such areas, “small autonomies” might play some roles to support the life of the community, but it is not easy to promote industry and create jobs there. In the real case of Ohtoyo-cho, which is one of typical mountainous areas in the Shikoku district, the agricultural programs by local autonomy have focused on supporting the life of community the last 10 years and almost wholly abandoned its industrial promotion program. Now industrial programs are mainly based on the wider area (Reihoku). The agricultural cooperative and agricultural extension office of Kochi prefecture in the region made an organization for promoting the agriculture, and have led farmer to produce semi-organic products and to acquire a certificate of ISO 14001. The products labeled “Reihoku Hassai” have reached about 300 million in only 3 years. In the handicapped region it is important not only to form “small autonomies”, but also to reorganize the relationship between the consolidated autonomies and the prefecture in these agricultural programs.
Generally speaking, when municipalities are merged into a big one and its jurisdiction becomes large, contact frequency of the merged municipality with local people will decline. On this account, we need to build “self-governing power” into the small autonomous units such as community or former administrative villages in order to support local agricultural and forestry development, and local administration. In this paper, I take up Takamiya town in Hiroshima prefecture well-known as one of the most successful cases in terms of resident self-governance. After having retraced the revitalization process of this town, we make clear the factors that have promoted “Chiiki Shinkou Kai” (unique autonomous community council in Takamiya town) to acquire their self-governing power. I would like to point out the fact that the development of the autonomous community council is also accompanied with the shifts of relationships between the autonomous community council and the town office or the town council. Finally, based on the above results, I try to define the self-governing power and to discuss the conditions for forming such self-governing power.
This paper aims to clarify the characteristics and future directions of the regional cooperative management based on rural community business, especially in connection with the making progress in the amalgamations of municipalities and focusing on a case study of agricultural cooperation founded on the principles of hamlets in Kyoto prefecture. The major results are described as follows: 1) Recently, looking at the rural communities, especially in the mountainous and semi-mountainous areas, it is proved that they are facing certain kinds of serious problems; the downward changes of farm household structure and agricultural workforces, the reduction of administrative services and the conversions of the ways to implement agricultural measures. 2) It is necessary to foster diverse regional cooperative management based on rural community business with some phases, including those of regional public utilities, since we can see the current tendency that agricultural co-operatives make light of the strategies for regional revitalization under the influence of the “JA Bank System”. 3) Finally, we can suggest that it is very important to take up the established position of regional cooperative management based on rural community business from the view not only of the agricultural policies aimed at promoting structural reforms, but also of the comprehensive policies on rural areas for maintaining and improving their welfare.