In recent years, it has become necessary for local governments to establish a low carbon society with their own initiative. Therefore, tools are needed for developing a roadmap to establish a low carbon energy system in an increasingly unpredictable future. However, currently no practical roadmap tools that local governments can use for the development of an energy policy are available. In this study, we developed a planning model for a low carbon energy system to be used by local governments. One of the characteristics of this model is that it allows for the most efficient construction of an energy plant under constraints of budget, CO2 emissions, and other factors.
By adopting this model in Toyama Prefecture, we obtained the following results:
1） It is possible to establish a low carbon energy system that will reduce CO2 emissions 80% by the year 2050 in Toyama Prefecture.
2） A roadmap to establish an energy system from 2016 to 2050 significantly increases hydropower and geothermal power generation.
JEL Classifications: Q28, R50, R58
In this paper, we proposed a travel consumption model of foreign visitors in Japan, which consider their travel trips for tourism. The origin-destination table of foreign visitors has the same table format as input-output tables. If the expansion table of travel consumption in each region can be estimated, we can perform the calculation similar to the input-output analysis, by using the expansion table. If the number of foreign visitors in Japan from an international airport is increased, you can analyze which area travel consumption will increase.
And the Origin-Destination table of Chines is picked up and we built a travel consumption model of Chinese. In addition, we checked the accuracy of the model, by using the total number of foreign visitors in each prefecture which is listed in Japanese tourism and accommodation statistics. In Japan, the number of Chinese visitors to Japan who are arriving from Kansai Airport greatly increased from 2014 to 2016. If the estimated consumption in each prefecture is compared with its actual value, the correlation was a relatively high value of 0.994.
And using this model, the beneficiary area of a Chinese budget airline into international airports is identified in three metropolitan regions. As a result of this analysis, in the case that a Chinese budget airline is in service to Narita or Haneda airport, it is shown that the travel consumption of Chinese increases mainly in Tokyo metropolitan region. On the other hand, in the case that a Chinese budget airline is in service to Kansai or Chubu airport, it is cleared that the travel consumption of Chinese increases not only in Osaka and Nagoya metropolitan regions, but also in Tokyo metropolitan region.
JEL Classifications: C67, L83, L93
In 2016, the number of domestic dogs was estimated be approximately 9,878,000 in Japan. Until 2004 or 2005, dogs were usually kept outdoors. Now, more than half of all companion dogs are kept indoors. The number of condominiums that allow residents to keep dogs has increased to: 93.8% of condominiums recently completed and 42.5% of condominiums overall, have rules that allow residents to keep dogs in their apartments. Due to the rapid increase in the number of dogs in urban areas, dog-related issues have escalated. The top three social problems related to dogs are barking, odors, and dog feces left in public and private areas. However, in Japan there is no legislation to control these problems at a national level. Several local municipalities have developed legislation and enforced regulations relating to dog feces, but barking and odors cannot be legislated. In contrast, in the U.K., barking is categorized as “noise” and “odor” as “nuisance” and both are regulated by the “Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005.” The act also includes regulations for dog feces.
To provide support for dog owners and to allow them to conform to regulations, it is necessary to improve the Japanese legal system. In this paper, the differences between the U.K. and Japan are analyzed.
The results of a comparison between the regulations and support provided in the U.K. and Japan can make the issues in Japan clearer and provide pathways to overcome these problems.
JEL Classifications: Z18, Z19
In the year 2004, the Chinese government introduced the Grain Direct Subsidy System for stabilizing grain production and sustaining farmers’ income. Since then until 2012, the Statistical Yearbook of China shows an expansion in both grain acreage and total farm production along with a reduction in the income gap between rural and urban areas. However, at the same time, the income of farm households has become increasingly dependent on non-farm jobs, indicating less importance of the subsidy for their income achievement.
This paper deals with the farmers’ attitudes and evaluations from the standpoint of recipient of the subsidy by analyzing the relationships between the living conditions of farmers and the given subsidy. For this research, interviews based on structurally constructed questionnaires were conducted in March 2014 to the house representatives of 64 farm households sampled randomly from a village of 124 farm households in a major wheat production village in Shandong Province, the major wheat production province in China. In the questionnaires, 51 variables were collected from four conceptual groups: family attributes （12 variables）, labor allocation （21）, family income （12）, and subsidies and evaluation （6）. The variables of the last conceptual group were dependent variables and the other three were independent variables in the path causal model. As to each of the three conceptual groups of independent variables, a principle component analysis was introduced to extract component factors and then the component factor indices were constructed according to the factor scores.
The analysis produced two important findings. The first is that non-farm jobs are directly associated with recognition, receipt and evaluation of the subsidy. Part-time farm households having stable employment （such as governmental employment） with higher income related to higher education have positive attitudes and evaluations towards the subsidy, while those having unstable non-farm jobs （such as construction） with lower income related to lower education have negative attitudes and evaluations towards the subsidy. The second is that most general farmers do not recognize the positive impacts of a subsidy on farm income or wheat production, while farmers that only produce wheat and heavily depend on wheat and farm income recognize positive impacts on the costs of wheat production. These findings indicate a strong necessity to consider the relationships between the labor and income structure of farm households, that is, the non-farm and farm employment conditions even if agricultural policies are under consideration.
JEL Classifications: C39, Q1, Q18
In this study, we analyzed the effect of GHG reduction by utilizing various sewage sludge fuels based on collaboration among sewage infrastructures, industrial infrastructures, and domestic waste incinerations as well as sludge treatment aggregations from 2020 to 2030. First, we estimated the amount of un-utilized sludge, and acceptance capacity of sludge fuel at industrial factories and municipal incinerators. Second, we extracted the small-sized sewage treatment facilities that were expected to be aggregated with river basin sewage systems. Then, GHG reduction effect was analyzed with respect to the GHG inventory of fuelization technologies and allocation rules of sludge fuel. As a result, collaboration can recover energy from 87.3% of the un-utilized sewage sludge, and reduce 3,900 thousand tons of carbon dioxide. In addition, GHG reduction influences the production of industrial infrastructures in future and mixed combustion ratios in the pulp industry.
JEL Classifications: Q29, Q42
In Japan, large-scale earthquakes have occurred in various places, including the Great East Japan Earthquake in March 2011 and the Kumamoto Earthquake in April 2016. Important ports exist in Aichi Prefecture, such as Nagoya Port and Mikawa Port, where many automobile-related industries are located. Serious direct damage have occurred at these ports from earthquakes and the tsunamis. However, the indirect damages and the recovery process of the regional economies in the wake of the earthquakes and the tsunamis have not been adequately considered.
In this study, we constructed a sequential dynamic bottleneck model by combining forward linkage and production technology for 54 municipalities in Aichi Prefecture. By sequentially applying the hypothetical extraction method on the basis of the initial direct damage for each industry affected by the tsunami, as well as recovery scenarios for the Nankai Megathrust Earthquakes, we estimated the regional economies’ recovery process, where goods and services are traded among sectors and regions. In addition, to assess additional supply conditions such as supplementary goods from outside the target areas, we used non-competitive, import-type, inter-regional input-output tables that disaggregate imports.
The recovery process of the municipality economy in Aichi Prefecture based on the stoppage / restoration scenario of the production activity in the coastal area of Mikawa Port and the tsunami flooded areas was simulated. In the coastal area of Mikawa Port, with the basic scenario and the optimistic scenario, all municipalities recovered to the normal production levels. Even in the tsunami flooded areas under the same scenarios, the production recovered to the normal level.
JEL Classifications: Q54, R15
Many regions have problems with declining birth rate and an aging population. In Hokkaido the area of this study, low birthrate and aging are creating a population decline that is progressing at a speed higher than the national average. Particularly, there are few manufacturing industries in Hokkaido, so the actual situation is that many men move to the metropolitan area to find work.
An important element of the revitalization of regional economies is “people”. In order to develop a regional economy on a continuous basis, encouraging new graduates to find jobs in local companies and promoting career shifts to local companies through U-turns and I-turns are essential. However, there is no effective method for the present situation. Here, a U turn is when a person working in the metropolitan area returns to his hometown to get a job, and I turn is when a person gets a job in a local area other than his own hometown.
In this study, based on the survey results of the Muroran Institute of Technology conducted as part of the COC+ project, we examined new ways to make engineers available to companies in Hokkaido. In order to keep engineers in the region and recall them from the metropolitan areas, it is necessary to create an attractive region for engineers. To that end, a large number of technology development projects need to be created in the region. In this paper, we propose a system to operate a large number of technology development projects in the Hokkaido region.
JEL Classifications: O15, J21, R23
In this study, we estimated the Mincer earning function and implemented Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition to clarify whether wage disparity of regular workers between large enterprises and SMEs in Korea is actually caused by characteristics such as enterprise size, using micro data from the “Economically Active Population Additional Survey by Employment type”.
The results of estimating the Mincer earning function are as follows. First, the larger the company size, the higher the hourly wage increased even if other characteristics remained the same. Specifically, hourly wages for enterprises between 5 and 9 employees increased by 16.5% compared to enterprises with less than 5 employees, enterprises between 10 and 29 employees by 24.9%, enterprises between 30 and 99 employees by 30.0%, enterprises between 100 and 299 employees by 34.8%, and enterprises with 300 or more employees by 54.0%. For women, hourly wages for enterprises between 5 and 9 employees increased by 8.5 compared to enterprises with less than 5 employees, enterprises between 10 and 29 employees by 16.3%, enterprises between 30 and 99 employees by 27.0%, enterprises between 100 and 299 employees by 26.4%, and enterprises with 300 or more employees by 40.7%. As a result of estimating the Mincer earning function, wage disparities arise depending on the enterprise size, even if workers have the same characteristics as enterprises of other sizes.
Next, we attempted to decompose wage disparity between large enterprises and SMEs into disparities based on attributes of enterprise size and other disparities by the Binder-Oaxaca decomposition. In men, the hourly wage of SMEs was 47.3% lower than for large enterprises. The results of the Binder-Oaxaca decomposition showed more than half of hourly wage disparities in males, concretely 28.0%, was decomposed into the disparity caused by enterprise size. In women, the hourly wage of SMEs was 51.8% lower than that of large enterprises with a 42.6% hourly wage disparity. Concretely 22.1% was decomposed into the disparity caused by enterprise size. The rest was caused by characteristics of workers other than enterprise size.
As a result of the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition, more than half of the hourly wage disparities for male workers were shown to be caused by enterprise size.
JEL Classifications: J31, J71
In previous studies on theoretical new economic geography, a 2 regions framework and numerical analysis framework have been adopted. However, these 2 frameworks create problems in the study of empirical research. The 2-regional model is not good for research on core-periphery patterns of multi-regional transportation improvements. Whereas, the numerical analysis is theoretically difficult to understand what parameters affect the conclusion. In this study, I constructed a new economic geography model with 5 linear regions in a theoretical and analytically solvable framework and analyzed the core-periphery patterns across regions in transportation improvements for each link. The main conclusions are as follows. Under the circumstances of autarky economy or symmetry equilibrium transport costs were very high, and all link improvements across all regions brought straw effects to the fringe region. Also for single link improvements, the number of firms increasing in the regions that directly improved transport costs across each region and the number of firms decreasing in regions that were not directly connected across regions were elucidated. The number of firms increased in regions where transportation was linked with another region improved directly. On the other hand, the number of firms decreasing in regions where transportation was linked with another region improved indirectly.
JEL Classifications: R12, R40
As population aging progresses, reverse mortgages in which one’s own residential assets can be transformed into income, are gaining significance worldwide. In Japan, however, reverse mortgages have failed to gain popularity and only a very small number of financial institutions offer them.
In this study, I focused on the collateral valuation rate, the borrowing rate and the land price fluctuation rate to examine conditions for the spread of reverse mortgages with low land prices and conducted a comparative statics analysis under specific fixed conditions. Additionally, from the perspective of asset liquidation, I investigated indifferent conditions through a comparison of the use of reverse mortgages and selling one’s own home as an alternative option. From this analysis, I conclude that even given a certain degree of fluctuation in interest rates and land prices, provided that reverse mortgages can be offered with a collateral valuation rate of approximately 70% or more, reverse mortgages can be utilized effectively in regions with low land price such as Aomori Prefecture.
In order to promote the economic independence of elderly people in the region, government and financial institutions must collaborate in the planning and design of reverse mortgage as financial products with a collateral valuation rate of 70% or more.
JEL Classifications: B21, R13, R21