The topic for this symposium first carves to mind because this particular convention of the Association of Japanese Geographers was held in Hokkaido, an area in Japan which is considered peripheral. The concept underlying the term “periphery” is multidimensional; there are peripheral areas in territories on a national scale in contrast with peripheral areas of care areas ; there are marginal productive areas in the economic sense such as the mountainous areas of a country, developing or dependent countries versus metropolitan or developed countries on a worldwide scale, and so on. The symposium aimed at not only presenting the multifaceted nature of the periphery concept but also at discovering characteristics common to peripheral areas of various kinds and dimensions and the peculiarities of changing dimensions in the periphery concept. The location of socio-economic activities in peripheral areas cannot be interpreted in terms of abstract economic theories but must be analysed in the context of historical dominancy/dependency relationships, segmentation/integration processes, and the political dynamics of the relationships between centralisation and regional autonomy. The problems concerned require new approaches in geographical studies and, in this sense, the organizers' intent was that the discussions contribute to the progress of methodology in contemporary geography. The paper session and the general discussion were presided over by Y. Okuda (Chuo Univ.) and K. Takeuchi (Hitotsubashi Univ.). Before the general discussion, the following seven papers and three commentaries were read: Y. Fuaita (Aiichi Univ.): Characteristics of mountain villages as peripheral areas and some important themes of studies on this subject H. Sakamoto (tiara Univ.): Agricultural location in the peripheral areas, focussing mainly on cases in Hokkaido K. Yamashita (Hokkaido Univ. of Education): Public investments in the agricultural sector in Hokkaido M. Miyagi (Ryukyu Univ.): Excessive imbalances in the location of administrative functions concerning maritime and air traffic and meteorological observation in periphe-ral areas in Hokkaido and Okinawa T. Ishihara (Okayama Univ.): Regional policies in France, with special emphasis on the case of Brittany H. Kurihara (Ochanomizu Univ.): he-examination of the “periphery” concept in the case of Spain M. Koga (Hitotsubashi Univ.): Locational problems in the peripheral areas of developing countries K. Ito (Keio Univ.) : Commentary on industrial development in the peripheral areas of Japan, in relation with regional policies F. Mizuoka (Hitotsubashi Univ.) Commentary on the periphery as an internal colony F. Yamaguchi (Hosei Univ.): Commentary on the emergence and relevancy of regional problems pertaining to peripheral areas The general discussion which was very animated was focussed mainly on the following four points: 1. The conceptual distinction of “periphery” of various kinds and dimensions and the transcendental meaning of the concept, granting that said meaning exists. In this connection, the difference between the terms “periphery”, “frontier”, and “border” was also discussed. 2. Problems concerning the articulation of economic aspects with socio-cultural aspects in geography. 3. The mechanism of reproduction/persistency of the centre-periphery relationship. 4. Measures for overcoming the peripheral character. In tEis connection, questions concerning actual regional policies in Japan and the regionalist movement were discussed.
Cold regions are featured by most distinctive activities and developments conducted by mankind with much bearing on life. The aspects and concepts of the cold regions might be defined geographically for understanding the relation between human activities and physical environments. Coldness acts on the ground and vegetation in a long geological time. And the characteristic land forms have developed in those regions, while vegetation such as coniferous forests have adapted so well to the cold environments that they have dominated the regions.
This symposium was planned and organized with an aim to understand the characteristics of the cold regions from various viewpoints through interdisciplinary discussions. Those researchers who were invited to participate in it represented the fields of physical geography, plant ecology, glaciology and anthropology. The symposium had the following five sessions with topics and speakers mentioned together: I) Cold Regions location and definition in a global scale * Cold regions defined by climatology, by Prof. M. Yoshino, of Tsukuba Univ. * Cold regions characterized by forest ecology, by Prof. A. Sakai, of Hokkaido Univ. II) Polar Regions Glacial erosion and glacial fluctuations in Antarctica, by Prof. Y. Yoshida, of * National Polar Research Institute * Sea-ice and glaciers in polar regions, by Prof. K. Kusunoki, of the same * Submerged topography near the coast of Showa Station Antarctica, and its relation with the advanced ice-sheet from inland, by Dr. K. Omoto, of Tohoku Univ. III) Sub-Arctic Regions * Regional distribution and characteristics of permafrost, by Prof. S. Kinosita, of Hokkaido Univ. * Glacial and interglacial alternations in late Quaternary, by Dr. K. Hirakawa, of Yamanashi Univ. W) Alpine Regions * Characteristics of plant ecology in alpine regions, by K. Dr. Ito, of Hokkaido Univ. * Characteristics of alpine regions in Japan compared with other alpine regions, by Dr. T. Koizumi, of Tokyo Gakugei Univ. V) Climatic Changes * Climatic changes in cold regions, by Prof. Y. Sakaguchi, of Tokyo Univ. * Climatic changes and their impacts on human history, by Prof. K. Okada, of Hokkaido Univ. * Paleo-environments in coastal regions in Hokkaido in the post last glacial age, by Dr. K. Endo, of Nippon Univ. Session I started with Prof. Yoshino's introduction of a variety of classifications of cold regions from the viewpoint of climatology. He pointed out the index of a warmer period such as the monthly mean air temperature of the warmest month during the year, which was the most suggestive in the definition of the cold regions. Then, Prof. Sakai indicated that coniferous forests dominate the cold regions, such distributions of the trees being due to accumulating temperatures during the growing period and to their dormance during the cold period. Besides these thermal conditions, precipitation is also important, he said, adding that boreal forests in the cold regions adapt to the physical environments characterized by coldness and precipitation such as above and that as the results of adaptation, the number of tree species is smaller in the warmer regions. Session II began with Prof. Yoshido's explanation of the characteristics of land forming process in Antarctica. He also pointed out that glacial erosion dominates in Antarctica, because other fluvial erosions do not occur. In his talk, however, the intensity of the erosion was not examined in detail. Next, Prof. Kusunoki showed the paleo-climatic records obtained from ice-core samples from the Antarctica ice-sheet. He also explained the importance of the sea-ice coverage along the Antarctical Coast resulting in the global climatic changes.