In this study, we explore how cooperative financial institutions have contributed to revitalizing the regional economy and its sustainable development, focusing on a case study of three shinkin banks in Nara prefecture, Japan.
Through our interview survey, we identified factors that cause climate change in financial market of Nara and called attention to the extraordinary endeavors of cooperative financial institutions, which make it possible to raise both loan share and deposit share in Nara’s financial market. In the aspect of contribution to the regional economy, an increase in deposit share in Nara’s three shinkin banks has directly contributed to intra-area funds flows. Especially, lending patterns that are irrelevant to the economy have constantly led to the intra-regional reinvestment through stable supply of funds.
Moreover, as of 2009, an amount of loans as well as the number of loans has been on the increase (or recovering) in the regional economy where there has been a decrease in the number of private enterprises in all sectors. At the very least, it can be inferred that loan and deposit operations of ‘Nara Shinkin Bank’ and that of ‘Yamato Shinkin Bank’ are closely connected with Nara’s regional economy and have played a prominent role in sustainable development of its economy and society.
This paper argues the policy necessary to realize sustainable policy economically, socially and environmentally based on Swedish case. Basic purpose of this paper is to make it clear necessity and content of the policy possible to lead sustainable development of regional economy and society based on understanding of it as an " open complex" in other word as an entity with, while under the influence from the whole country and world, internal systemic functions. To make concrete the policy for sustainable city under the situation many cities are facing hollowing out of industry and declining population it’s necessary to establish policy and vision for sustainable development based on status quo of regional economy and society. This paper argues theoretic method to capture regional socioeconomic structure and the role of the policy toward sustainable development with two cases in Sweden.
Japan's ume production has kept growing since 1960's but it is overwhelmingly concentrated in Wakayama Prefecture, which now hosts over two thirds of ume cultivation in Japan. The success and prosperity of the Wakayama ume production center is noteworthy in the hardship of local production centers, which has struggled to survive amid the globalization. We examine what has most contributed to the Wakayama dominance by comparing the development and industrial structure of ume production centers between Wakayama and Gunma Prefectures. The latter is the second largest ume production center in Japan.
There are two epoch making periods in the postwar ume production growth in Japan. The first surge in ume production was led by the booming unripe ume demand in 1960's; the 1962 revision of the Liquor Tax Law lifted the ban on brewing private ume wine. The second surge occurred in late 1980s and 1990s; the growing health consciousness and the development of the restaurant industry stimulated a demand for "Umeboshi (a pickled Japanese ume）" and contributed to the rapid increase in ume production. However, the second surge was unique in Wakayama Prefecture and not significant in other areas.
Main results in this study on competitive advantages and driving forces of the Wakayama dominance in ume production are as the followings:
Firstly, from late Taisho period to early Showa ere, the core of ume production industry containing ume cultivators and processors was established in considerable size in Wakayama prefecture. The local specialty, "Nankoume," acted as a mediator of this combination. But the other ume production centers, even Gunma Prefecture, failed to form such combination.
Secondly, the combination benefitted both of two players. Cultivators provided primarily processed ume to processors either directly or through broker and could avoid the damage from market fluctuation. And processors were relieved from the burden of primary processing and could focus on the development of innovative products such as "Katsuoume" and "Ajiume". This enormously contributed to the Wakayama dominance.
Finally, owing to the benefits from the combination, the Wakayama Prefecture secured its position as a main center of ume production in 1960s and led the secondary expansion since late 1980s. Simultaneously, based on the combination, it formed a broader ume production complex containing various supporting industries such as distribution and tourism. This further strengthened the solid competitive advantage of the Wakayama ume production center.