In recent times, with growing attention toward data analysis using a microdata set, anonymized data of official statistics were published in Japan; however, these data have limited geographical details so they cannot be used for geospatial analysis at a small area level. Therefore, in order to overcome such problems, we attempted to apply a spatial microsimulation technique to create geographically disaggregated synthetic microdata from anonymized data from official statistics of the 2004 National Survey of Family Income and Expenditure. Our study area was Kusatsu City, Japan.
As a method for creating a synthetic microdata set, we used a simulated annealing, which is a combinatorial optimization technique. For each cho-cho-moku (administrative region for the census), by using a simulated annealing, the samples were repeatedly swapped between anonymized data and synthetic microdata in a manner that they agreed with the five constraint tables created from the small area statistics of the 2005 Japanese Population Census. The output of the synthetic microdata was evaluated based on the Overall Total Absolute Error and the Overall Relative Sum of Squared-Z scores. The results showed that the synthetic microdata almost perfectly matched the constraint census tables, except for a few districts in the southern part of the study area, where skewed population distributions are found. We assumed that the reason for a high rate of accuracy was that the anonymized data contained 1.8 thousand samples of households and the sampling biases were relatively small.
Another merit of using anonymized data from public surveys is that it has a detailed and wide range of variables on demographic and socioeconomic attributes as well as on spending amounts. Therefore, the synthetic microdata were retabulated as per cho-cho-moku to visualize the spatial patterns of monthly spending per person by items. In addition, we presented a map of spending patterns for 28 items revealing geographical diversity in consumption. These detailed maps will be used for supporting further analysis relating to food deserts, health, and income inequalities. In conclusion, the use of anonymized data and its geographical disaggregation using a spatial microsimulation allow us to implement geospatial analysis at a small area level using a microdata set.
In September 2008, Lehman Brothers Holdings, a major American financial services firm, filed for bankruptcy, which consequently resulted in the global economic downturn. Many Japanese multinational companies, especially export-oriented manufacturers, downsized their factory floor employment mainly by reducing the number of subcontracted workers. In this paper, the author analyzed factors related to the workers who were placed in manufacturing factories by temporary staffing agencies or subcontractors, and who lost their jobs because of the economic downturn. The author analyzes the casework records of the consultation desk, which was established by a local municipality located in Kyushu, Japan, of those who had lost their jobs. Over a thousand workers lost their jobs as the economy of this locality was supported by a few export-oriented plants.
Most visitors to the consultation desk had worked at specific plants but were not directly employed by the owners of their workplaces. Their move to the locality was mediated by a temporary staffing agency or subcontractors. When the financial crisis broke out and the restructuring of employment began, many workers who had lost jobs went back to their hometowns to seek family support. However, most visitors to the consultation desk did not have reliable families. Moreover, some of them had been remitting parts of their wages to their parents. This heavily strained their budget. Some households, such as those consisting of only couples where both partners were subcontracted workers, or households containing sick persons, etc., suffered even more severe circumstances.
Typically, the residences for subcontracted workers are company-supplied dormitories. They are furnished, and workers who lived there did not need to provide either guarantors or deposits. However, the rents for the dormitories, plus a surcharge for the furniture, were relatively high, although the subcontracted workers did not receive large wages. Thus the visitors to the consultation desk rarely had any savings.
With the reduction in the number working days and hours, the workers’ incomes were reduced to such an extent that they could no longer sustain their lives. Unemployed and isolated from their families, they exhausted their meager financial resources and soon had to evacuate the dormitories. Some workers arrived at the consultation desk in a condition of homelessness and hunger.
The factors that contributed the difficult conditions of the workers are: (1) lack of contact with families, a source of support; (2) lack of financial resources; (3) lack of direct employment contracts; (4) lack of housing facilities independent of employment; and (5) migrant status. They were the first ones to lose their jobs because they were not employed directly. They lost their housing because it was bound to the employment contract. They could not withstand the hardship because they did not have financial or family resources. Moreover, they were migrants in the locality.
The aim of this paper is to reveal the process of innovation and inverstment in advanced medical equipment and the role of “seeking recipients from a wider area” at medical facilities in non-metropolitan areas. Travelling outside one’s residence for affordable medical care, which is called “medical tourism,” is growing on a global scale. In Japan as well, medical check-up tours have become popular over the last decade. This paper focuses on the process of the spread of PET screening tours, from the viewpoint of the management in medical facilities. PET (positron emission tomography) is an advanced medical technology useful for diagnosing cancer.
This paper is composed of two parts. Primarily, it reveals how PET or PET-CT (PET-CT) instruments have penetrated Japan and how the PET screening tours were started in medical facilities in non-metropolitan areas. Second, as a case study, a PET screening tour was explored which was initiated by a clinic in Koriyama City, Fukushima Prefecture. Results are as follows:
First, it was concluded that PET screening tours are a defined medical travel product developed by three groups: private hospitals having PET-CT equipment which provide the service to recipients in the three major cities; accommodations adjacent to the hospitals; and travel agencies which have customers who live in the three major cities. In the beginning of the PET screening boom, the number of facilities was insufficient even in the cities when compared to the number of people seeking to be diagnosed by PET-CT so that scheduling an appointment was difficult. On the other hand, private hospitals were facing the high cost of establishing PET-CT facilities. For the purpose of bringing recipients mainly from the three major cities, some of the hospitals started PET screening tours, which include a diagnosis using PET screening and accommodation for rest.
Second, it was found that there are three main reasons for the success of the clinic’s PET screening tour: (1) Both hospital and tourism industries have positive reasons for the tour; (2) PET screening matches with the demands of the partnering travel agencies; and (3) the clinic tried to provide a high-value product. It might be expected that many tourists will come seeking medical care from foreign countries, and it could enlarge the number of advanced medical equipment facilities available at medical institutions in Japan. Planning the distribution of advanced medical equipment facilities is important to avoid low rates of utilization.