This paper serves as an introduction to the special issue of “state rescaling Japanese version”. 2010/12 term JARCS research committee featured recent international debate over “rescaling” concept and invited international academics to the 2011 and 2012 annual conferences. I would like to show gratitude to the authors in this issue, Neil Brenner and Takashi Machimura who presented at the 2012 conference, and also to those who worked hard to realize these symposia. Behind this thematic choice lays an intention toward internationalization of JARCS, but also we thought Heisei style state rescaling in Japan should be questioned academically.
To invite readers into this debate whether Japan’s case could be discussed under the rescaling theory umbrella, this paper tries to develop an historical sociology of Japan’s statehood and scales it defines. Evidences suggest that 1940s Japan held multi-scale statehood, but following the WWII defeat, her statehood was rescaled into unitary, domesticated one with all the attentions are concentrated to full development of nature resources within four islands. I argue that the General National Land Development Plan, promulgated in 1961, can be seen as the symbol of this uni-scale, functionalized spatial Keynesianism. This spatial fix was unsustainable any more after the advent of global competition between city-regions, but the state’s attempt
to rescale its regional units, especially the Heisei municipalities’ merger, ended in failure. At this point we need also to theorise submerged effort of machizukuri actors in order to complement the lack of structurist viewpoint on rescaling debate. The machizukuri actors who involves in multi-scale institutions shall illustrate political culture seen in Japanese version state rescaling, which has something in common with other East Asian countries.
Does the state rescaling theory explain the historical change of spatial policies in Japan after rapid economic growth, and if so, to what extent? This article considers the political and spatial meaning of two major urban and regional policies in contemporary Japan, by using “rescaling” theory. One is Tokyo’s global city formation in 1980s, which was an early-born, competitiveness-oriented, urban locational policy, and the other is Heisei municipal mergers, which was a territorial readjustment at the local scale in 2000s. An
analytical framework of state rescaling, certainly, contribute to further understanding how and why both national and local governments have attempted to rearticulate a relationship between space and society in various forms, to solve problems caused by Japan’s transition from economic growth to shrinking. Yet there are several questions to be considered. An explanatory power of state restructuring theory was based upon the growing importance of supra-national scale such as EU in Europe. An increasing flow of capital and labor among East Asian countries has given rise to a relatively bounded economic space also in this region, while it is still difficult to tell about a same scenario of state rescaling, as in Europe. A potential form of governance and its spatial manifestation should be considered.
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the characteristics of personal networks and social support of elderly women in an underpopulated mountain village in Okayama Prefecture. A questionnaire survey was conducted in 2006 to all the women in the village aged between 65 and 79. The data was compared with those of elderly women in Okayama City. The analysis of the data revealed the following findings: (1) Elderly women in the village had more kinship and neighbourhood relationships than elderly women in the city.
Elderly women in both areas had very few workmate relationships. (2) Elderly women in the village had more kinship relationships in their neighbourhood area and in the area more than 20 kilometres from its research area within Okayama Prefecture than elderly women in the city. (3) Elderly women in the village had personal relationships of larger size than elderly women in the city. (4) While more elderly women in the village could receive social support from kin and neighbours than elderly women in the city, the latter could get social support from friends more than the former. More elderly women in the village could receive social support from anybody in the situations considered than elderly women in the city. This is because of the fact that near the village there is a middle-sized city, where many children of elderly women of the village reside.
In this paper we aimed to formulate Activity-approach for Urban Community studies based on the findings from field research in Okubo, Shinjuku, which is inner-area of Tokyo. And then we consider a focal point of Urban Community studies from this methodological perspective. In previous studies, Community under urban conditions have been considered to be Lost, Saved or Liberated (Wellman and Leighton 1979=2012), and then the last argument has developed into Network theory. In Japanese Community studies, Urban Ethnicity has focused attention on since latter half of 1980’. Today a significant problem of Urban
Community studies is to reconstitute a concept of Community as homogeneous-closed system as a concept of
Community as heterogeneous-open system. To do that, however, we need epistemological and methodological
turn. Thus far a lot of researches have accumulated through Institutional approach: their research objects are
static connections of institutions and organizations and consciousness of individuals who are set in them as members a priori, and they use structural-analysis and questionnaire investigation. In contrast to this, here we
show Activity-approach: their research focus on collective events and interaction of individuals as actors, and
they use dynamic analysis of connection of institutions, organizations and personal networks.
Arts projects are attracting increasing social attention as a new means for rural development. In this paper, I examine the impact of art projects implemented on depopulated small islands through a case study of “Setouchi International Art Festival 2010”. Based on the findings, I argue that, firstly, while the art project was promoted by local governments and business circles with the aim of generating tourist flow and economic outcomes, the inhabitants’ evaluated the project largely from the standpoint of social interchange, especially continuous interchange between the artists and volunteer workers, rather than from its economic outcomes. Secondly, the arts project contributed to cultural revitalization of local communities on the small islands, but its economic effects were relatively limited. Thirdly, it is important to focus on policy trends like decentralization
and fiscal austerity as the arts project was embedded within institutional contexts such as these. While arts
projects should of course be evaluated as a new means for island development policy, it should also be kept in
mind that such projects can make daily life on the island more severe by masking a retreat in state policy for
In 2002, Taiheiyo Colliery Co, Ltd., the last coal mine in Japan, closed, resulting in the unemployment of 1,600 people. Their re-employment was extremely difficult. The objective of this paper is to analyze how the characteristics of the last coal mine affected their subsequent careers, using longitudinal microdata of all miners who lost jobs due to the Taiheiyo closure. We can trace them for three years until they lost eligibility for unemployment insurance.
We assume two factors for the difficulty in re-employment. First, the last colliery could not offer other mining jobs as had former mine closings, except one new small-scale mine, Kushiro Coal Mine Company, Ltd., (KCM). It was established under the 5-year project to actively transfer world-leading mining technology to Asian countries, so it could employ only 500 people. In addition, the local area centering on Kushiro did not have sufficient jobs to absorb these workers due to the recession.
Second, while most miners at other mines lived in company housing, Taiheiyo had a unique welfare policy that promoted home ownership. It is said that this unique housing policy enabled Taiheiyo to survive until the last moment. Therefore, at the closure of the mine, 74% of the miners owned their houses and they preferred to stay and seek jobs in Kushiro. Of course, house ownership lightened the conditions for seeking jobs in Kushiro, but made miners hesitate to seek jobs outside Kushiro. Therefore, when Kushiro fell into
recession, motivation to seek employment decreased, especially in the case of elderly. We conclude that the
housing policy led to a dysfunction in re-employment
This study is to consider the procedures to map out the post-earthquake reconstruction plan of Kamaishi City in Iwate Prefecture, which is one of the cities affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake and the tsunami. Reconstruction plan after disaster is required to be drawn up as soon as possible to rebuild residents’ life. However, it is generally said that there is possibility that prioritizing the speed would cause insufficient confirmation of the citizen’s will. I investigated whether this kind of issue happened in Kamaishi City.
Kamaishi City provided many opportunities for the residents’ participation. There is some criticism that the plan-making steps are being delayed due to such opportunities. In fact, as of September 2012 (one and a half years after the earthquake), Kerobe was only one district in Kamaishi City, whose land-use plan was determined. But, the residents in Kerobe participated in plan-making process, and in December 2011 Kerobe district and Kamaishi City reached agreement with the land-use plan of Kerobe. That was the first agreement between a district and Kamaishi City. In Heita district too, residents participated in the process and made a rough land-use plan in December 2011 (but the plan was not agreed by Kamaiahi City until September 2012). Such communities have several common features, for example, that they have effective leadership or that the
size of damage caused by the earthquake/the tsunami was relatively small. Kerobe district selected the option
not to build a seawall and the decision contributed to downsize the reconstruction project. It is one of the
reasons to enable the district and the City to strike an agreement.
As mentioned above, under certain conditions, residents’ participation in plan-making doesn’t cause delay in completing the reconstruction plan.
After the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, approximately 60,000 people were evacuated from Fukushima prefecture and dispersed throughout Japan. As a result, many evacuees were in danger of living in isolation in temporary housing. To provide support for evacuees during catastrophes, previous disaster research has emphasized the importance of local networks. This paper examines the mechanism of organizing local evacuee networks, based on fieldwork conducted in eight cities and towns in Saitama prefecture.
The four types of local evacuee networks found were influenced by two factors: spatial proximity and cooperation by local government hosts. The first type of network was organized in the same temporary housing complex as a consequence of exchange meetings held by local government. The second is a network also formed in a temporary housing complex, but without local government cooperation. In this situation, evacuees who found a neighboring one formed the network on their own. Another network consisted of evacuees living across a city or town. In this case, local government hosts planned exchange meetings for evacuees, and staff
officials and local residents continued to support evacuees. The last type of network was formed among the
evacuees living apart without governmental support. Under this circumstance, evacuee networks were formed
by local resident volunteers who actively searched for information about those displaced.
The aforementioned networks function to protect evacuees from isolation, providing evacuees a chance to interact, connecting them with support groups, and demanding local governments to improve their living conditions in temporary housing. On the other hand, these networks hold a risk of disruption owing to differences in evacuees’ hometowns and a risk of being excluded from the restoration of Fukushima prefecture.
This paper demonstrates the early phase of prolonged evacuation from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster, suggesting the importance of continuous research on evacuee networks.