Japanese Journal of Human Geography
Online ISSN : 1883-4086
Print ISSN : 0018-7216
ISSN-L : 0018-7216
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  • Hiroshi Sato
    2024 Volume 76 Issue 1 Pages 1-25
    Published: 2024
    Released on J-STAGE: May 25, 2024

    This paper classifies and organizes geographical studies on decentralization, focusing on the decentralization of authorities, financial resources and government. As a premise, the geographical implications of decentralization are considered. It then compares the research trends between the Anglophone world and Japan, clarifies the achievements and presents new research issues. The achievements of Japanese geographical research on decentralization are as follows: (1) In the decentralization of authority, research focuses on regional disparities in public services and the concept of territorial justice. (2) In the decentralization of financial resources, research focuses on regional characteristics and horizontal intergovernmental relations for the allocation of revenue and expenditure. (3) In the decentralization of government, studies focusing on scale and horizontal political competition have accumulated for municipal mergers and wide-area administration. The issues and contributions from geography are as follows: (1) In the decentralization of authority, as there is a lack of research on the spatial scope of public service provision and spillovers, clarification of the basic theory of decentralization through such research and the construction of a system in which public services could be shared among local governments. (2) In decentralization of financial resources, as research on expenditure has been lacking in recent years, realization of efficient and sustainable administrative and financial management through examination of the impact of regional characteristics on expenditure. (3) In the decentralization of government, the shortage of human resources in local governments is seen as a problem, and the mismatch between the transferred authority and human resources needs to be resolved.

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