With the recent penetration of the Internet, local governments as well as local companies are recognizing more and more that transmitting local information to residents through the Internet can contribute to regional vitalization and enhancement of residents' lives. However, residents are not always provided with necessary information in the form on the websites of local governments that provide information in a conventional way or private companies that post only information related to their own company. Local governments can cut costs by entrusting their service to private companies, while private companies can profit from advertising revenues by transmitting administrative information along with private sector information. However, some issues arise from providing local information this way. Our study aimed to identify how residents evaluate the value of local portal sites where both public and private information that had been provided separately, is provided in a single local portal site. Based on a questionnaire survey we conducted in Itami City in 2008, we determined the value of local portal sites to residents and estimated the benefits from information provided by Itami City's local portal site operated by a public private partnership. In our study, we applied several types of conjoint analyses to observe how respondents react to differentiated questioning methods and verify whether the same estimated value of local portal sites was also obtained from the respondents.
Rapid economic development in Inner Mongolia, China has brought structural change in agricultural production. However, the economic development in this area is facing serious problems involving deterioration of the environment and income gaps among farming populations. This study aims: (1) to identify the structural changes in agriculture of Inner Mongolia by comparing data from 2000 and 2007, (2) to measure the impacts of agricultural production factors on agricultural income, and (3) to discuss the possible future issues based on the analysis results. All seventy (70) rural areas (Banners) excluding 3 with missing values were analyzed in this study. A principal component (PC) analysis was conducted using four dimensions with forty-four (44) variables regarding land, labor, capital and productivity of agricultural and livestock. Using the resultant score of the PC analysis, a pass analysis was conducted to identify the influence on agricultural income. In this path model, agricultural income was a dependent variable and the PCs of the dimension of productivity of agriculture and livestock were intermediate variables, while the other PCs were used as independent variables. The results show not only a significant income increase for farmers but also a wide income gap during the period from 2000 to 2007. Second, the structure of productivity of crop cultivation becomes increasingly complex during the period. The production of high economic value grains (for example, corn, wheat and oil) influenced the productivity of crop cultivation. Third, the structure of agricultural production also becomes increasingly complex during the period. These results indicate the importance of government grants, including those for ‘ Ecological Migration' and ‘ Cropland to Forest and Grass' policies, in the income components.
The purpose of this paper is to construct a core-periphery model including environmental factors, which is solvable analytically, to analyze the effect of environmental damage caused by the manufactured goods sector on regional agglomeration and dispersion. Results of the model analysis showed the conditions that lead to stable labor migration between regions and that labor migration may even occur in a particular region in spite of large environmental damage due to pollution caused by manufactured goods production.
In the field of new economic geography, recent years have produced new empirical attempts to investigate the wage structure resulting from regional potentials. Pioneering studies are reported by Hanson (2005) , Redding and Venables (2004) and Brakman et al. (2006) . Although the model structure is somewhat complicated, the idea is simple and familiar because of its relation to traditional gravity analysis. Regional potentials are determined by market access and supplier access. In regions with a large market or numerous suppliers, firms have advantages in competition over firms in other regions. Employees in such regions receive higher wages. This paper constructs a new economic geography model of Japan, and takes a simulation approach to investigate the transition of regional potentials and labor distributions with trends of a decrease in transportation costs. We first calibrate the main parameters (including the elasticity of substitution, transportation cost levels, etc.) , and derive the regional potentials in Japan. Then we predict (and replicate) the transition of regional potentials and labor distribution by changing the transportation costs. Consequently, we show that (i) the simulation result approaches the actual labor distribution, (ii) decreased transportation costs stimulate the dispersion of economic activities, and (iii) the simulation replicates the following the historical movement of the economic center of Japan. Some time ago, economic activities were concentrated in the Kansai area (including Kyoto and Osaka) when transportation costs were extremely high, but these activities were displaced to the Kanto area (including Tokyo) as transportation costs decreased.
Land prices in Japan changed almost in tandem with the economic growth rate until circa 1970. However, since 1970 these prices have changed with various economic factors other than the economic growth rate. Residential land prices surged in every region until 1985, but decreased until 1990. Only prices in the Tokyo and Kinki areas rose further. From 1995 and onward, after the burst of the bubble economy, residential land prices dropped sharply, especially in the Tokyo and Kinki areas, but the rate of decline became smaller in 2005. Commercial land prices, on the contrary, rose until 1990 in all regions, then dropped sharply until 1995 with the residential land prices. Declines were especially significant in the Tokyo and Kinki areas, where the land prices had surged sharply. Since then the rates of decline have became smaller in every region, and the prices turned upward in the Tokyo and Tokai areas in 2010. These land price changes are caused by various economic factors. This paper analyzes how well economic factors can explain the changes. Multiple linear regression analyses were used to analyze the relationships between the rates of quinquennial residential and commercial land price changes and economic factors. As a result of trial and error, we employed the following 16 economic factors; population, rate of population aging, rate of secondary industries, rate of tertiary industries, unemployment rate, per capita prefectural income, financial capability index, per capita budget allocation from the central and local governments for public works projects, labor productivity, per capita annual retail sales, academic qualification index, capital expenditures, housing starts, product shipment value, consumption expenditures, outstanding loans and discounts. With these analyses, we obtained determination coefficients of 0.69-0.95, with residential land coefficients of 0.80-0.93 and commercial land coefficients of 0.69-0.95 after the degrees of freedom were adjusted. Based on these results we analyzed the relationships between economic conditions and partial correlation coefficients for each period and found the partial correlation coefficients responding to economic conditions in each period affect changes in land prices. Factors affecting land price changes are complex so it is difficult to explain every aspect by these analyses that are also affected by non-economic factors. This paper contributes to the analyses of factors causing changes in land prices of Japan, rather than give a full explanation of land price changes based on economic factors.
Based on the new economic geography (NEG) theory and field surveys on Japanese food companies in Thailand, we analyzed the determinants of final processed food location choice for Japanese food industry investments in East Asia. According to a survey in Thailand, we found that Japanese food companies emphasize the following three points for foreign direct investments (FDI) in East Asia, local and neighboring markets, possible cost reduction due to lower wages and measures to attract FDI, and procurement of raw materials and intermediates. A location choice model of Japanese food companies with regional market access, vertical and horizontal supplier access in each country, agglomeration of Japanese food intermediate producers and traditional factors such as wages, infrastructure and policy incentives as the explanatory variables was estimated. Particularly, accesses based on the estimated trade equation of Redding and Venables (2004) were separately computed. Compared to existing analyses on market and supplier access, more realistic data was used as variables for the characteristics of importer and exporter, distance between two countries and relationships between them. Therefore, market access of a country is defined by the real GDP of both domestic and trade partners including the following two effects, trade costs subjected to time distance between the biggest export ports in each country and existence or non-existence of free trade agreements (FTA/EPA) with other countries. Supplier access of a country is also defined by relative export food price including the foregoing two effects. As a result of the logit model, we found that market access, vertical supplier access and agglomeration of Japanese food intermediate producers, similar to traditional cost reduction factors such as wages and policy incentives, are determinants of processed food location choice for Japanese food industry investments in East Asia. Especially, we clearly showed that the estimated marginal effects of market access and vertical supplier access are stronger effects than wages on the final processed food location choice for Japanese food companies in East Asia. Therefore, we conclude policy implications in which FTA/EPA let the final processed food location choice of Japanese food industry investments in East Asia should increase, because both accesses affect the existence or non-existence of free trade agreements in other countries.
Extending the standard two-good and two-factor Heckscher-Ohlin model by incorporating a recycling activity, this paper examines how the activity in production processes influences international trade in a small open economy. We reexamine various trade theorems carried out by Tanigaki (2007), since his analysis can be further extended by formulating precisely production technologies in the background of his analysis. Then, we investigate the effect of a recycling ratio to the economy and show that an increase of the recycling ratio raises the national income and thus the national welfare.
This study reconsidered the issue of regional planning from the perspective of a new relationship between multi-functionality of agriculture and community-based business. The following three aspects were clarified using a questionnaire survey of residents in Niigata City, Japan. First, the causal relationship between urbanization and the residents' quality of life was analyzed. Second, the determinants for overall evaluation of urban residents in agriculture and farmland were clarified. Third, the determinative factors of residents' intentions for community-based business were clarified. From the results of the above analyses, we found that residents in Niigata City have high expectations for the roles of agriculture in providing environmental amenities, accumulation of social capital and management of local resources. It became evident that the basic elements for the improvement of the residents' quality of life were closely related to the functions of agriculture. Moreover, the degree of urbanization, the assessments of agriculture/farmland, the level of abundance of regional resources (particularly human-network and social capital) and their types have important effects on promoting community-based businesses. It was also discovered that, in terms of preferred fields of business, the residents gave high ratings to issues related to the environment, culture, scenery, and education. This suggests the promotion of community-based and farming-related businesses linked with the multiple functions of the environment, culture, scenery, education, etc., can be an effective strategy for regional planning.
This paper clarifies the characteristics of the current industrial structure in Inner-Mongolia, based on comparisons with the nation-wide industrial structure in China. The method introduced for this purpose is input-output analysis. The data used for the analysis are from the 2007 input-output tables publicly announced by the Statistical Bureaus of the Inner-Mongolia Government and Chinese Government, respectively. First, the paper overviews the structural characteristics and changes of Inner-Mongolian industries compared with the national structure of industries. Second, it focuses on diffusion impacts between industries based on an analysis of the production inducement coefficient and power of dispersion. Finally, the paper addresses the trade structure between Inner-Mongolia and other areas to clarify economic mutual dependency with a skyline analysis. The following are some outputs of the analysis. First, the major industries in Inner-Mongolia are five: agriculture; food processing (manufacture) ; coal mining and washing; energy supplies (electric and heat power) ; and metal processes (smelting and rolling) . An interesting finding is that export (from the province) of coal, which is an important material for other industrial processes, is larger than that of energy (electric and heat power) . Another interesting fact is that metal processing (smelting and rolling) has become one of the major industries, while metal mining is one of the traditional major industries because of the rich supply of natural resources in the province. Second, the province still faces a relative disadvantageous position in the industries associated with intensified technology and thus depends on import from outside the province in such fields. The province basically still maintains its traditional trade characteristics as a natural energy-resources exporter, but there is a significant industrial shift towards more process-oriented manufacturing. Third, the two industries energy supply and metal processing have very strong diffusion impacts on other industries in the province.
Ensuring food safety to protect public health and promote economic development remains a significant challenge in both developing and developed countries. Considerable progress to strengthen food safety systems has been achieved in many countries, highlighting the opportunities to reduce and prevent food-borne diseases. During the last several decades, risk assessment, risk management and risk communication have been formalized and incorporated into a process known as risk analysis. This new approach enables information on hazards in food to be linked directly to data on the risks to human health, a process that was not considered in the past. By providing a science-based approach to improve food safety decision-making processes, risk analysis contributes to a reduction in the incidence of food-borne disease and continuous improvements in food safety. After the BSE crisis and dioxin crisis, the European Union (EU) established a new legal framework in 2002. The EU Commission drastically revised its food safety policy. These revisions cover the complete food chain, all aspects of food products “ from farm to table” (from animal feed production to consumer health protection), and clearly attribute primary responsibility for safe food production to industries, producers and suppliers. Co-regulation is a mechanism of rule-making that is based on the EU legislative act that entrusts the achievement of the defined objectives to private parties. Therefore, it is a “ mixed public-private” act that combines legislative authority with self-regulatory action. The European Feed Manufacturers' Federation (FEFAC) played an important role in formulating the main amendments of this regulation by using co-regulation and the comitology procedure. After the outbreak of the BSE in Japan, the feed and food safety system in Japan changed in line with the example of the EU food safety policy. As with the EU, such changes in Japan cover the entire food chain. The process management concept was introduced into the feed safety legislative framework. However, feed business operators in Japan have few opportunities to engage in constructive dialogue and cooperation with regulators. Additionally, there is no feed legislative framework for co-regulation in Japan. There are many unsolved issues concerning a legislative framework and the application of feed legislation in Japan. The objective of this article is to put forward suggestions on how to improve feed legislation by examining a co-regulation study on Japanese legislation.
In general, local government tenders are based on the principle of open bidding. To promote regional economy, industries and employment, regional requirements such as the location of the headquarters and the offices may be introduced as an eligibility condition for a bid to qualify in tender participation. This is being adopted across Japan in many local government tenders even though it may obstruct the participation of external enterprises in the tender. Currently, companies in the regional construction industry often declare bankruptcy due to the long-term recession. Although many previous studies have discussed the introduction of regional requirements in tender qualifications and effects on the regional construction industry, our study considers improvements in the welfare of a “ Resident” and examines the significance of regional requirements for local governments that execute public purchases on behalf of the Resident. The procurement costs of local governments may increase with a decrease in competition (an increase in the bid rates) once the tender mandates the regional requirements, even though it may contribute to the regional economy. In contrast, when regional requirements are not introduced (a decrease in the bid rates) , the procurement costs may fall but contributions of the procurement to the regional economy may become limited despite ensuring competition. In such circumstances, should competition or promotion of the regional economy be prioritized in the tender ? Our study values the competition from the perspective of the “ Resident” and the local government and insists that securing the economy should be given priority. Competition can lead to promotion of the regional construction industry and “ Value for Money” by a public purchase. On the basis of the above observations, we conclude that local governments should phase out mandating regional requirements in tenders.
Previous studies on Italian internal migration have shown that income differentials are more effective than unemployment differentials in driving interregional reallocation of population across regions. In this paper we follow the macroeconomic empirical literature on migration and test the role that has been played by relative per capita GDP and relative unemployment rate differentials in shaping long-run internal migration. In addition, we split total migration into high- and low-skilled net migration and highlight the different patterns of these two variables in the long-run trends. Finally, we extend the model and introduce population age structure and population density. Different from almost all existing literature, we investigate the dynamic characteristics of the series and study interregional migration inside a cointegration framework.
With recent penetration of the Internet and a proposal from the central government for an e-local-government, local governments, local companies, local associations and local residents are more and more aware that transmitting local information to residents and potential visitors via the Internet can contribute to regional vitalization and enhance the quality of residents' life. Local information composed of information from the local government, local business organizations, local associations and local residents can be provided through a “ local portal site” and this site may be operated through a public private partnership (PPP) . Some advanced local governments have already started “ local portal site” services by applying PPP. However, there are some issues on this way of providing local information. Our study aimed to identify how residents evaluate the credibility of information providers. Based on questionnaire surveys conducted in Itami City in 2008 and Minami-Awaji City in 2009, we reveal the residents' value structure on the credibility of operators for local portal sites and derive some policy implications. In this study, we applied the weight evaluation method of the Analytic Hierarchy Process. Our results show that both citizens of Itami and Minami-Awaji value credibility, public-spiritedness and technological capacity as important factors for operators of public-private local portal sites, while operators' vitality and strength of organizations are less highly regarded. Also, regarding “ credibility” that ranked first in both Itami and Minami-Awaji, operators reliability, response capability and past achievements were identified as key elements regarded by citizens as “ sources of credibility” . Factors such as degree of recognition, authority and strength of an organization contributed less to the regard of citizens for a local portal site operator's credibility. Also, the fact that the survey results in Minami-Awaji showed similar tendencies to the results in Itami suggests that regional disparities are relatively limited. Based on previous studies that point out local portal site operators must attract enough visitors to pay for the running costs within two to three years of government funding, we aim to further analyze the possibilities of local portal sites including social networking service (SNS) .
This paper explores thermal environmental factors that contribute to the heat island phenomenon and examine easy policies and methods for valid heat shield pavements in Ota Ward, Tokyo. First, a case study and related study on the heat island phenomenon in Tokyo are shown. To clarify the thermal environmental problems of Ota Ward and understand the current state of the environment, I focus on the weather data that shows increments and characteristics of the population and changes in the land that cause thermal environment problems. As a result, regional differences in the thermal environment and development change the surface of the land, for example buildings, roads. In addition, pavement for heat shielding mitigation is considered. Moreover, I discuss the thermal environmental impacts of Ota Ward on human health based on the estimated data. Finally, reducing the pavement surface temperature as heat shield mitigation and valid ways to identify and analyze the economy of the environment are also discussed.
Rural to urban mobility has become a prominent social phenomenon. Based on the data of a field survey in Hebei Province of China, this study estimated the multinomial logit model to find determinants of floating migration with particular attention to education and net agricultural income. We found that farmers with less education were more likely to participate in floating migration and local off-farm activities. Especially, lower educational levels of elementary school and junior high school were statistically significant and positive factors affecting floating migration and local off-farm activities. Furthermore, farmers with less net agricultural income were also more likely to take part in floating migration and local off-farm activities.
In order to make a comparative analysis of city center retail environments (CCREs) among mega cities in East Asia from the viewpoint of consumer shop-around behavior we have carried out a series of surveys of consumer shop-around behavior at CCREs of Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul, Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. One purpose of the analyses is to estimate the number of people that come into CCREs per day. There has been no theoretical method to estimate total in-migrants to CCRE solely from on-site information, but Saito, Nakashima and Kakoi (2001) first established a consistent method to estimate the probability density over shop-around routes using data from an on-site survey of consumer shop-around behaviors. Using this consistent estimation method, we estimated the actual numbers of consumer shop-around movements within the CCRE of Hanoi based on an on-site survey conducted there. The numbers of pedestrians visiting several facilities were counted by different surveys, and then the results were used to determine the numbers of consumer shop-around movements in the CCRE by expanding the Origin-Destination density estimated from the consistent method. In contrast to a simple biased method, the estimated results of this consistent method drastically improve the accuracy of estimation enough to show the applicability and efficacy of this method for use in further studies.
To make better decisions and justify the decision making process, it is essential to introduce participation procedures that are not only for reflection of diversity but also for avoidance of arbitrariness. Various studies must be accumulated for the effectiveness and efficiency of participation procedures. In the previous study, we discussed ‘ participation' for a multi-criteria analysis. However, problems of participation need to be pursued more to become better. Therefore, we continue to study participation. In this study, we examined two cases that reflect diversity by participation procedures. Specifically, we examined “ the master plan for greenery and open space in Sagamihara City” and “ the master plan for Minuma-tanbo in Saitama City” . These two cases were designed by participation procedures. The former is diversification of a city area by merger, and the latter is an area that needs more supporters including citizens. Consequently, the results show that diversity by participation is composed of the following three diversities; diversity of participation stages, diversity of participation types and diversity of participation subjects, and that diversity by participation depends on how the participation is accomplished. To make efficiency in a limited time and a resource, it is necessary to appropriately combine participation methods.
This paper discusses the population distribution in a region that needs to solve regional income disparity problems. The targeted region was the Jiangsu Province in China where the intra regional income disparity (city level and prefecture level) shows expansion with recent economic growth. First, the population (population distribution) necessary for regional income disparity to completely disappear under very simple assumptions was estimated. The ‘ desirable’ population was named the “ convergence population” . Differences in the real (estimated) population and the convergence population were compared, and the degree of the solution for income disparity was verified. Consequentially, population cannot be absorbed sufficiently in rich regions, and income disparity is far from being solved. On the other hand, it is possible to think of a population movement plan for the future by estimating the convergence population. The population and accompanying income disparity were estimated in several projections by combining the registered population with the convergence population. In this estimation, a larger adjustment rate produced a greater decrease in the income disparity. Although it is difficult to estimate the regional population including population movement, we hope such discussions will become a concern for policymakers.
Greenery is expected to reduce the effects of greenhouse gases and the heat island phenomenon. Improvement of the greenery of the environment is also important for residential amenity. In addition, the abundance of personal small gardens may contribute to a better environment. We investigated the consciousness of residents as related to greenery in a detached house garden. The purpose of this study was to clarify factors that affect the consciousness of residents on the contributions of greenery in a garden to the regional environment, and suggest a better environmental policy for greenery. Our observations showed that residents recognize differences in the regional range effects of greenery in a detached house garden and clarified that residents distinguish between the living environment and natural environment. These observations indicate that planning of greenery policies with consideration of regional range and intended use are necessary. Factors influencing the consciousness of the effects of greenery were also clarified. These factors include “ interest for environment” , “ community outreach” and “ contributions to society” . Therefore, we conclude that greenery policies for the overall environmental community are required, and information that a detached house garden contributes to a better environment for the citizens needs to be supplemented.