The purpose of this study was to visualize how regional differences observed from the population census deviate from their “true” forms due to an increase in unreported (missing) cases by considering multiple scenarios in which there was an increase in the number of unreported cases in the census. For municipalities in the Tokyo metropolitan area, we estimated the percentages of unmarried people and those with short-term residence from the 2015 Population Census for different scenarios of unreported rates using 1) proportional distribution by age-group and 2) weighted distribution based on the ratio of unreported rates among attributes. In both indicators, the results showed that there were clear regional differences with high and low percentages in urban centers and suburban areas, respectively, in a scenario where the unreported rate became zero. However, when we examined the maps estimated under scenarios where the unreported rates increased by 1.5- or 2-fold, such regional differences appeared to be reduced or eliminated. This means that further increases in the number of unreported cases will increase the probability of spurious regional differences in the future. Careful interpretation of the results and use of statistically corrected data are required when analyzing the census data for items and regions with high unreported rates.
This study examined the role of public-private partnerships (PPPs) for city center revitalization in provincial cities, especially from the viewpoint of fiscal resources and policy goals of local government. In Japan, provincial cities have rarely implemented PPP schemes for city center revitalization because of their low profitability and the lack of participating firms. However, the city of Fujieda in Shizuoka prefecture has adopted a pioneering PPP scheme using idle publicly-owned land to build a composite facility consisting of a municipal library and shopping mall. The composite facility has played a key role in rejuvenating the city center. In this context, the municipal government played important roles in three areas: (1) following a consistent local policy in utilizing publicly-owned land; (2) intensive national policy information gathering through vertical intergovernmental relations such as subsidies and support measures; and (3) policy development and implementation promoting private investment and the public interests. On the other hand, the results also suggest that the facilities developed under through PPPs may be excessive in provincial cities in light of vacancies in them and additional cost burdens on municipal governments.
This study analyzed the intention, specific measures, and implementation challenges of the Location Normalization Plan using a questionnaire survey results from 332 municipalities. The analysis showed that the induction of the urban function is not restricted to economic reasons alone, although a large segment of the municipalities showed some understanding of the principles and economic necessity of this plan. In addition, the majority of municipalities are adopting a cautious stance toward the intensification of urban facilities and residential mobility with legal force on the basis of political considerations. It seems that the perception gap between the national government and local municipalities currently remainins wide.
This study analyzed the results of a questionnaire survey on “pilgrimage content tourism,” referred to as “seichi-junrei” in Japanese, undertaken by students in their mid-teens. The data were collected from first-year students at the National Institute of Technology, Oyama College, in southern Tochigi prefecture. The following main points were clarified in the questionnaire analysis. Among 205 survey respondents, one-fourth had visited sites that were depicted as backdrops in animated (“anime”) series or in televised drama features. One-third of respondents who had never been to those sites hoped to visit them in the future. Many of the sites students had visited were related to anime, but others were depicted in live-action dramas and music videos. Some of the visits had been spontaneous ones, but others had involved friends traveling together or a group activity in the form of school excursions. The common sites for spontaneous visits were clustered in the Tokyo metropolitan area and survey respondents’ hometowns or the surrounding areas. Visitors chose sites easy to access from their hometowns as day trips. More passive group excursions selected sites near their hometowns as well as more distant ones. Distant site visits were conducted under specific conditions, for example, as scheduled group travel planned in detail in advance. In summary, seichi-junrei are popular day trips among students in their mid-teens for both casual travelers and enthusiastic fans of anime and other televised features.
This study aimed to clarify how Japanese cities have changed under the Location Normalization Plan and whether the change can be evaluated as “compacting.” The Location Normalization Plan was institutionalized as a framework to guide urban functions to the center of compact cities. In metropolitan areas where the plan has been implemented, the improvement of the city center living environment is an important issue, as urban functions such as welfare and medical care are being guided to relocate to city centers. On the other hand, public facilities are being guided and restructured in the centers of local cities. In the future, the key to acheiving compact cities will not only be the distribution of urban functions based on the Location Normalization Plan, but also the increase in the residential population through the sharing of lifestyles among local communities.
In China, innovative farming methods are implemented to improve soil and water pollution, food sanitation, lost paddy ecosystem recovery, and rural poverty. In particular, modern rice farming integrated with aquaculture is one major method to preserve the environment while developing the economy. However, rice-aquaculture farming is adopted only in limited surface areas and households in much of the country. The main reasons for this are: 1) there are regional gaps between the competitiveness of rice-aquaculture farming and between aquatic animals raised in their natural habitats and outside them; and 2) there are constraints on aquaculture due to locational imbalances between major consuming areas and the preferred climate of the animals. In addition, market recognition of integrated agricultural methods, their ecological advantages, and associated brands important for creating value is not widespread among urban consumers. As future issues, it is particularly important to note the negative impacts on rural ecology due to the introduction of alien species and eutrophication from feeding. Urbanization of residents’ dietary preferences may lead to disruptions in crawfish aquaculture in southwestern China.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the Kyoto Gion Festival in 2020. In response, the Ritsumeikan University Art Research Center organized its research and archival resources related to the Gion Matsuri and then created the Gion Festival Digital Museum 2020: The Past, Present, and Future of the Gion Festival, which was released to the general public, local stakeholders, researchers, etc. This paper explains the contents of the website and considers the possibilities for digital museums of local culture.