Recently, disaster prevention against large-scale disaster is currently a matter of interest. Local governments face significant safety issues of inhabitants in mountainous regions where depopulation and aging are in progress. This study examines the current status of participation in the volunteer fire corps in three mountainous areas in Kyushu by occupation to identify their realities and challenges, using official data and questionnaires. The results show shortage and aging of the members tend to increase their dependency on officials and retired members. Volunteer firemen engaged in forestry and agriculture are frequently dispatched, as well as contractors, although their component ratio is low. Volunteers in Kuma village (regarded as a commutable area) are engaged in a wider range of occupations and their participation rate is lower than the other areas. Morotsuka village (outback area) has established "fire supporters" composed of retired members in each community, and the center of disaster prevention has shifted to officials. In Gokannosho (mostly outback area), volunteer fire corps members engaged in forestry and construction play a leading role in community safety, while a task of search for the missing has add more burden upon the fire corps with its increased need.
This paper aims to clarify the status and issues of risk management in the Oirase Stream Area (OSA). First of all, a visitor questionnaire was carried out in the OSA in October 2009. The respondents were asked to answer questions such as notion of self-responsibility for accidents. The survey showed that respondents could be divided into 4 groups with regard to risk preferences. While around 90% of respondents hoped more recreation facilities should be built for safety, a small portion of respondents agreed to the notion of self-responsibility even in case of the OSA. Furthermore, risk management practices in the OSA were investigated by taking interviews to public authorities. After an accident happened in the OSA in 2003, the public authorities more frequently conducted inspections of fallen trees and fallen branches in advance. Also the Aomori Prefecture signed the facility liability insurance. There, however, still exits potential risks such as inadequate infrastructure and ambiguous borders among stakeholders. More collaborative actions such as establishing a liaison council could be needed.
It is becoming increasingly important to include forest education within school curriculum. This paper reports on the organizing process of the "Yamanoko Forest Education Programme", a unique programme in Japan targeting all Shiga Prefectural schools. In Shiga, all primary school pupils in their fifth grade participate in the programme while spending in two days aboard the learning ship "Uminoko", which was provided by the Education Committee of Shiga Prefecture and the "Uminoko" is the cause of leading the introduction of projects to success. According to the analysis of this paper, the relation between the governor's department and board of education was the main demotivating factor to the introduction of the programme. The main reason of the success of introduction of "Yamanoko" are the existence of "Uminoko" and also the importance of forest which surround the valuable water ecosystem of the lake Biwa.