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TITLE Era of dwindling population: Japan’s local revitalization strategy and restructu
Volume vol.555 DATE 2016-02-29 HIT 7642
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파일첨부 Brief_555.pdf

Era of dwindling population: Japan’s local revitalization strategy and restructuring of regional spatial structure


Summary


1. Japan’s population is on a downward trajectory after peaking at 128 million in 2008, and it was announced that the population decline would gather pace in the future. This has added to a sense of crisis that such population decline will wipe out regions outside of the capital area.

- The local revitalization policy adopted in 2014, is designed to prevent a vicious circle of decreasing population/rising elderly population, deteriorating consumption power and economic downturn and build a sustainable base for national and regional development, as part of measures to implement Abenomics. 

- The Japanese government set out a policy goal of maintaining the vigorous society by securing the population of 100 million by 2060 on the perception that decreased consumption from dwindling population would take a heavy toll on the economy.

2. After laying out a long term vision and comprehensive strategy in 2015 to reinvigorate towns, people and jobs by establishing a virtuous circle of jobs and people to overcome the falling population and shrinking regional economy, the government is executing policies to implement them.

- With establishment of the headquarters for revitalization of towns, people and jobs led by prime minister, Japan, at the central government level, has drawn up and enforced the long term vision for 2060 and the comprehensive revitalization strategy for 2015-2019, whilst prefectures and local administrative districts in Japan have set up and implemented the local comprehensive revitalization strategy. 

- The comprehensive revitalization strategy, at the central government level, has set out four goals to revitalize towns, people and jobs and come up with 13 major policies to establish a virtuous circle of towns, people and jobs. 

3. The central government aims at promoting and supporting the restructuring of the regional spatial structure so it can comply with the “compact + network” principle.

- The government has laid out the direction of how to restructure the spatial structure of cities and regions by taking into account the direction of development of metropolitan cities, smaller cities and mid-mountain areas, with a goal of enhancing the “compactness.” It is providing strong support for establishing plans and developing evaluation indicators.


Implications


1. The Abe administration has embarked on the placed-based local revitalization policy to establish a virtuous cycle of people and jobs, with a goal of building a base for sustainable national and regional development by responding to dwindling population and fulfilling local Abenomics, and has pushed ahead with the policy at inter-ministerial level.

2. Building on the analysis of the direction and status of development of metropolitan cities, smaller cities and mid-mountain areas to achieve local revitalization and cultivate space for convenience of local residents, the administration has induced and supported the overhaul of the regional spatial structure so it can abide by the “compact + network” principle.

3. To brace for the falling population, aging population as well as low growth, Korea also needs to overhaul the spatial structure of cities and regions such as metropolitan cities, local smaller cities and rural, mountainous areas to foster them as sustainable, convenient-to-live space.


Volume 555

Misook Cha, research fellow at KRIHS