This study focuses on the vacant house owner (VHO) as a member of society, “Related Population,” to clarify the present understanding of (i) a vacant house, (ii) VHOs’ activities, and (iii) VHOs’ relationships with rural society. Data were collected through interview surveys in the remotest areas (the remote settlements), and a questionnaire survey in all the other settlements of the municipality (all the settlements) was conducted in Nanmoku Village in Gunma Prefecture. In the paper, VHO who come back to their home settlements on a regular basis, are called “commuting vacant house owner” (CVHO). The findings suggest the following: (i) Most VHOs return to their home settlements on a regular basis—more than once a year—with some visiting on a monthly or more frequent basis. Further, most VHOs return to undergo some association, with some visiting to undergo association actively, or private recreation actively at their leisure. (ii) The VHO’s relationship with rural society stipulates that VHOs have social impacts on the population, spatial management, and social participation. Therefore, it has been predicted that they activate rural society and contribute to rural sustainability indirectly through these impacts. (iii) The private and the social intentions of VHOs that are categorized from the viewpoints of recreation and social participation are considered as independent variables. According to these results, some subsidy programs have been proposed for the inclusion of VHOs in rural society, to promote and sustain social or private intentions and also inspire social intention.
Increasing the self-sufficiency rate of wood has been one of the most pressing issues in Okinawa where more than 90% of wood used are imported either from other countries or from different prefectures. However, forests also provide an important habitat for forest dependent rare and endemic wildlife species in Okinawa. Therefore, sustainable timber production must be achieved by periodic timber extractions which ensures minimum impacts on habitats of those wildlife species. Strip-cutting which remove trees from a series of narrow clear-cuts leaving adjacent strips uncut have been suggested as a low impact timber extraction method, which have been introduced in several locations in Okinawa. However, this cutting system has only been conducted on experimental basis and is scattered, hence, it has not led to stable timber production. Carefully developed harvest schedule, which considers forest growth and spatial distribution of strips, are necessary to achieve efficient sustainable timber production. In this study, we developed strip-cutting scheduling model in order to control spatial distribution of strip cutting over the planning horizon. To illustrate how the proposed model assembles spatial information, and ultimately contributes to the study of strip-cutting schedule for sustainable timber production under spatial constraints, we apply our proposed model to a section of forest in Ishigaki Island, Okinawa and conduct a simple simulation analysis for two management scenarios. Our model explores spatial strip cutting patterns which prohibit timber extraction activities in designated areas set aside for wildlife species and leaves adjacent strips uncut.
With the decline of local agriculture in Japan, community farm is set to play a central role in the future, especially in disadvantaged regions such as hilly and mountainous areas. Community farms are also expected to play key roles as main entities for the conservation and management of local resources, as well as the maintenance of local communities. In this study, we clarify the social, economic, and regional conditions for the formation of community farm in Hyogo Prefecture, which has the highest proportion of community farm in Japan. We assumed that the development of a community farm encompasses three stages, and analyzed the factors affecting the development of community farm using the ordered probit model. Our results revealed that the development of community farm requires consideration of local socio-economic conditions, such as the appropriate size of the community, young farmers and successors, local social capital, cooperation with non-farmers, and farmland liquidity.
Trust, distributive justice, and procedural justice are seen as salient factors in the social acceptance of HLW management policy. Trust is indispensable in the acceptance of HLW facilities that may entail long-lasting, uncertain risks and impacts on human health and the environment. Issues relating to justice are intrinsic to HLW management concerning the allocation of benefits and burdens between communities and between generations. This study examines the relationship between the three factors by focusing on the UK's Public and Stakeholder Engagement (PSE) program implemented in the decision-making process. The program provides an excellent foundation to examine the relationship between the three factors, as the program showed different results in terms of trust-building at the national and local levels. This study reviews justice issues raised before and during the PSE process and how those issues were addressed. The results demonstrate the changing interactive relationship between trust, procedural justice, and distributive justice depending on the different national and local contexts in which HLW management policy takes place.
Information on anthropogenic Cd in local area is important for public health, food hygiene and ecosystem. Bioaccumulation of Cd and zinc (Zn) by wild pteridophytes, harvested farm plants, wild boars and raccoon dogs were measured in a local area of the southern part of the Hiroshima Regional Urban Area for 3 years from 2017 to 2019. Pteridophytes concentrated Cd and Zn exponentially with the wide range of individual value, whereas the concentration ratio of Cd to Zn was constant and 1 to 106±79 (N=18). The farm plants (N=16) and wild boar muscle (N=17), which are the foodstuff of residents, concentrated the metals less than 0.025mg/kg for Cd and 89.0mg/kg for Zn. Females of wild boars (N=19) and raccoon dogs (N=7) accumulated Cd in their kidneys, the values of which were correlated to those of Zn. The mean value of Cd/Zn in muscle was lower than that in kidney of wild boars (p<0.05). The accumulation of Cd with the correlation to Zn among the examined organisms indicated that the concentrations of Cd utmost 20.6 mg/kg in kidney were the results of chronic exposure for years. These data could be useful for the risk communication of Cd between residents and researchers.
In this study, we conducted a fact-finding investigation on the worship pattern and utilization of Da-shu gong (a long-lived sacred tree) in Taichung City, Taiwan in order to consider how tree worship places should be passed down to next generations in East Asia. The study revealed that most Da-shu gongs are enshrined with Tu-di gong (a land god) in their sites and that the number of Da-shu gongs per urban village represents not much difference by district although urban areas are likely to have fewer Da-shu gongs than suburbans. In most of the sites where Da-shu gong is worshiped with Tu-di gong, their local administration committee has been doing daily maintenance activities, with the range of utilization broadened, and non-daily activities, such as festivals and feasts, with the utilization more active. Da-shu gong standing in a park managed by Taichung City offers a broader range of utilization forms and the tree itself is given great care for growth. Moreover, the study suggests that Da-shu gong can contribute to local communities environmentally, socially and economically. If an administration committee is responsible for maintaining a place of tree worship and collaborates with local governments in doing so, the place of tree worship would be more secured, and we could enhance its value environmentally, socially and economically.
Collaborative activities among governments, NPOs, private companies, and citizens are essential for lake basin conservation. To clarify the differences of forms of collaboration and factors determining the forms, the authors investigated all the prefectural governments in Japan if they have conservation plans for lakes and collaborative activities carried out within the plans, and what is the role of each stakeholder in the activities. As a result, 110 collaborative activities were implemented at 18 lakes in 2016. According to the type of role sharing and visualized roles of respective stakeholders, the activities could be categorized into the following four types: “Council initiative type”, “Government initiative type”, “Well-balanced type”, and “Environmental education type”. It was also revealed that all “Council initiative type” activities have similar forms of collaboration as the measure councils were established by respective local governments and have had fixed relationships with the governments for many years; and “Government initiative type” activities have various forms of role sharing even in similar projects.
The session on “International Comparison of Landscape Appreciation”was held at the meeting of the Japan Geoscience Union, from 2013 to 2019, to discuss the understanding of landscape appreciation. The landscape appreciation comprises four components, that is observers, appreciation, landscape, and analysis of results with physical data. From the archive of these meetings, five literature reviews gave the trends of the landscape appreciation studies in the world, 26 international comparisons studies showed the effects of different cultural background of observers, 62 landscape evaluation factors studies showed the results of various types of appreciation, five studies examined different methods of landscape presentations, and 11 others proposed some example of planning. Although many presentations and discussions were given from various perspectives, no final, unified interpretation of the phenomenon of landscape appreciation has been obtained. It is necessary to continue these sessions and exchange opinions.
In the Japanese green space policy, the securement and improvement of open space such as those involving the function of refuge sites and recovery base in disaster, and fire spread prevention, etc. have been examined to aid the prevention of disaster in the city. Under these circumstances, an increasing number of municipalities are introducing the farmland system for disaster prevention and cooperation as a measure to utilize the disaster prevention methods of farmland. In this report, the following were examined: Operation situation of the system, relationship that exists between entities related to the operation, situation of popularization and enlightenment, and problems in future policy development for the Tokyo Metropolitan in which most municipalities have introduced the farmland system for disaster prevention and cooperation. The results are summarized as follows (1) the problem on the securement of disaster prevention cooperation farmland has been highlighted. (2) the problem on the utilization method of disaster prevention cooperation farmlands in the disaster is indicated. (3) there is the issue of raising awareness among local residents. (4) the problem on disaster prevention training using the system of disaster prevention cooperation farmland was indicated.