In recent years afforestation and forestry public corporations throughout Japan have much debt and also find their profit-sharing forests approaching their regeneration cutting stage. As such, the growing of next-generation forests poses serious policy-related issues. To examine the prospects for next-generation forests in public corporation profit-sharing afforestation areas, it is useful to ascertain the intentions of public corporations and landowners for regeneration cutting and reforestation. We surveyed 41 public corporations and 300 landowners nationwide by sending questionnaires in FY2002 and FY2003. This paper intends to clarify the overall circumstances of public corporations and the policy issues of growing next-generation forests in profit-sharing forests. In our approach to such problems we analyze the differences in thinking between public corporations and landowners with respect to (a) growing next-generation forests, (b) rotation period extension, and (c) the financial/debt crisis of public corporations.
This paper studies how lumber companies, builders and public administrations in the Tokachi region of Hokkaido have been cooperating toward promoting the use of local Japanese larch in constructing houses. Cooperation among downstream industries (e.g., builders and architectural firms), lumber companies and public administrations in this region has promoted the use of local Japanese larch in the construction of detached housing. The builders and architectural firms have taken a leading role in establishing this cooperation. Further, lumber companies have established distribution systems for this housing material, at the request of the builders and architectural firms. Furthermore, public administrations have provided indirect support to enhance collaborative relations. This has increased housing construction that uses Japanese larch, and a nongovernmental organization has been formed to promote houses made with this material. Some limitations to the current approach have been identified: It is difficult for a nongovernmental organization to take the initiative, because it lacks human resources, and the cooperation of forest owners and forestry cooperatives has not been enlisted.
The following information was obtained through an investigation of lumber retailers in Ushiku City and Kukizaki Town, Ibaraki, which are on the outer edge of the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. The largest suppliers of lumber for these retailers are two local wholesalers. Little lumber is purchased from distant sawmills or wholesalers. The majority of customers are builders located within 20km of the respective retailer. As previously mentioned, the lumber retailers in these towns neither purchase from nor serve a wide hinterland, but rather focus solely on the local area. Some of the retailers started dealing in kiln-dried lumber in the early 1990s, but this was still not widespread up to the early 2000s. Some retailers also started dealing in glued-laminated timber in the mid 1990s, but this was still relatively rare in the early 2000s. The retailers often offer "machinery pre-cut" processing, which is usually contracted out. Most of the retailers think that sales in the future are likely to decrease, and are seeking to maintain sales by expanding their businesses to include services such as kiln drying and pre-cutting.