Living Cities in Japan: Citizens' Movements, Machizukuri and Local Environments (Nissan Institute Routledge Japanese Studies Series)

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Living Cities in Japan: Citizens' Movements, Machizukuri and Local Environments (Nissan Institute Routledge Japanese Studies Series)

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Living Cities in Japan

In recent years local citizens’ movements have spread rapidly throughout Japan. Created with the aim of improving the quality of the local environment, and of environmental management processes, such activities are widely referred to as machizukuri, and represent an important development in local politics and urban management in Japan. This volume, originating in a session of the conference of the European Association for Japanese Studies held in Warsaw in 2003, examines the growth and nature of such civil society participation in local urban and environmental governance, raising important questions about the changing roles of and relations between central and local government, and between citizens and the state, in managing shared spaces. The machizukuri processes studied here can be seen as the focus of an important emerging trend towards increased civic participation in managing processes of urban change in Japan. Studying Japanese machizukuri also contributes to important contemporary debates about sustainability and local governance. One of the great challenges of our time is to create more livable and sustainable cities, that are economically vibrant, provide a high quality of life and health for their residents, while reducing resource consumption and waste production. Collaborative governance processes to create livable places and communities are widely seen to be a key aspect of the solution, but are not easily achieved in practice. Living Cities in Japan provides a comprehensive overview of the machizukuri phenomenon through examination not only of theory and history, but also of case studies illustrating real changes in the institutions of place making and neighborhood governance in Japan. This book will be of particular value to readers interested in social, urban, geographical and environmental studies. Dr André Sorensen is Associate Professor in the Department of Geography and Programme in Planning at the University of Toronto. Dr Carolin Funck is Associate Professor at Hiroshima University Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences.

In their study of machizukuri, Sorensen and Funck have achieved an exemplary cross-cultural collaboration. For those wishing to understand the inner workings of the Japanese culture of planning, this book is essential reading. John Friedmann, University of British Columbia, Canada This book is a fine contribution to the literature on urban governance and citizens’ engagement with planning and development processes. It not only provides a critical insight into the rapid growth of citizens’ movements centred on the quality of local living environments, but also sets detailed experiences in the context of their historical evolution and the wider relations between the state, economy and civil society in Japan. Patsy Healey, University of Newcastle, UK

The Nissan Institute/Routledge Japanese studies series

Editorial Board J.A.A. Stockwin, formerly Nissan Professor of Modern Japanese Studies and former Director of the Nissan Institute of Japanese Studies, University of Oxford, Emeritus Fellow, St Antony’s College; Teigo Yoshida, formerly Professor of the University of Tokyo; Frank Langdon, Professor, Institute of International Relations, University of British Columbia; Alan Rix, Executive Dean, Faculty of Arts, The University of Queensland; Junji Banno, formerly Professor of the University of Tokyo, now Professor, Chiba University; Leonard Schoppa, Associate Professor, Department of Government and Foreign Affairs, and Director of the East Asia Center, University of Virginia. The Myth of Japanese Uniqueness Peter Dale The Emperor’s Adviser Saionji Kinmochi and pre-war Japanese politics Lesley Connors

Banking Policy in Japan American efforts at reform during the occupation William M. Tsutsui Educational Reform in Japan Leonard Schoppa

A History of Japanese Economic Thought Tessa Morris-Suzuki

How the Japanese Learn to Work Second edition Ronald P. Dore and Mari Sako

The Establishment of the Japanese Constitutional System Junji Banno, translated by J.A.A. Stockwin

Japanese Economic Development Theory and practice (second edition) Penelope Francks

Industrial Relations in Japan The peripheral workforce Norma Chalmers

Japan and Protection The growth of protectionist sentiment and the Japanese response Syed Javed Maswood

The Soil, by Nagatsuka Takashi A portrait of rural life in Meiji Japan Translated and with an introduction by Ann Waswo Biotechnology in Japan Malcolm Brock Britain’s Educational Reform A comparison with Japan Michael Howarth Language and the Modern State The reform of written Japanese Nanette Twine Industrial Harmony in Modern Japan The intervention of a tradition W. Dean Kinzley

Japan’s Early Parliaments, 1890–1905 Structure, issues and trends Andrew Fraser, R.H.P. Mason and Philip Mitchell Japan’s Foreign Aid Challenge Policy reform and aid leadership Alan Rix Emperor Hirohito and Showa Japan A political biography Stephen S. Large Japan Beyond the end of history David Williams

Japanese Science Fiction A view of a changing society Robert Matthew

Ceremony and Ritual in Japan Religious practices in an industrialized society Edited by Jan van Bremen and D.P. Martinez

The Japanese Numbers Game The use and understanding of numbers in modern Japan Thomas Crump

The Fantastic in Modern Japanese Literature The subversion of modernity Susan J. Napier

Ideology and Practice in Modern Japan Edited by Roger Goodman and Kirsten Refsing

Militarization and Demilitarization in Contemporary Japan Glenn D. Hook

Technology and Industrial Development in Pre-war Japan Mitsubishi Nagasaki shipyard, 1884–1934 Yukiko Fukasaku

Growing a Japanese Science City Communication in scientific research James W. Dearing Architecture and Authority in Japan William H. Coaldrake Women’s Gidayu and the Japanese Theatre Tradition A. Kimi Coaldrake

Democracy in Post-war Japan Maruyama Masao and the search for autonomy Rikki Kersten Treacherous Women of Imperial Japan Patriarchal fictions, patricidal fantasies Hélène Bowen Raddeker Japanese–German Business Relations Competition and rivalry in the inter-war period Akira Kudo Japan, Race and Equality The racial equality proposal of 1919 Naoko Shimazu Japan, Internationalism and the UN Ronald Dore Life in a Japanese Women’s College Learning to be ladylike Brian J. McVeigh On the Margins of Japanese Society Volunteers and the welfare of the urban underclass Carolyn S. Stevens The Dynamics of Japan’s Relations with Africa South Africa, Tanzania and Nigeria Kweku Ampiah The Right to Life in Japan Noel Williams The Nature of the Japanese State Rationality and rituality Brian J. McVeigh

Society and the State in Inter-war Japan Edited by Elise K. Tipton Japanese–Soviet/Russian Relations since 1945 A difficult peace Kimie Hara Interpreting History in Sino-Japanese Relations A case study in political decision making Caroline Rose Endo Shusaku: A literature of reconciliation Mark B. Williams Green Politics in Japan Lam Peng-Er The Japanese High School Silence and resistance Shoko Yoneyama Engineers in Japan and Britain Education, training and employment Kevin McCormick The Politics of Agriculture in Japan Aurelia George Mulgan Opposition Politics in Japan Strategies under a one-party dominant regime Stephen Johnson The Changing Face of Japanese Retail Working in a chain store Louella Matsunaga Japan and East Asian Regionalism Edited by S. Javed Maswood

Globalizing Japan Ethnography of the Japanese presence in America, Asia and Europe Edited by Harumi Befu and Sylvie Guichard-Anguis Japan at Play The ludic and logic of power Edited by Joy Hendry and Massimo Raveri

Japanese Electoral Politics Creating a new party system Edited by Steven R. Reed The Japanese–Soviet Neutrality Pact A diplomatic history, 1941–1945 Boris Slavinsky, translated by Geoffrey Jukes

The Making of Urban Japan Cities and planning from Edo to the twenty-first century André Sorensen

Academic Nationalism in China and Japan Framed by concepts of nature, culture and the universal Margaret Sleeboom

Public Policy and Economic Competition in Japan Change and continuity in antimonopoly policy, 1973–1995 Michael L. Beeman

The Race to Commercialize Biotechnology Molecules, markets and the state in the United States and Japan Steve W. Collins

Modern Japan A social and political history Elise K Tipton

Institutions, Incentives and Electoral Participation in Japan Cross-level and cross-national perspectives Yusaka Horiuchi

Men and Masculinities in Contemporary Japan Dislocating the salaryman doxa Edited by James E. Roberson and Nobue Suzuki

Japan’s Interventionist State The role of the MAFF Aurelia George Mulgan

The Voluntary and Non-Profit Sector in Japan The challenge of change Edited by Stephen P. Osborne

Japan’s Sea Lane Security, 1940–2004 ‘A matter of life and death’? Euan Graham

Japan’s Security Relations with China From balancing to bandwagoning Reinhard Drifte

The Changing Japanese Political System The Liberal Democratic Party and the Ministry of Finance Harumi Hori

Understanding Japanese Society (third edition) Joy Hendry

Japan’s Agricultural Policy Regime Aurelia George Mulgan

Cold War Frontiers in the AsiaPacific Divided territories in the San Francisco system Kimie Hara

Living Cities in Japan Citizens’ movements, machizukuri and local environments Edited by André Sorensen and Carolin Funck

Living Cities in Japan Citizens’ movements, machizukuri and local environments

Edited by André Sorensen and Carolin Funck

First published 2007 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 270 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2007 Selection and editorial matter André Sorensen and Carolin Funck; individual chapters, the contributors This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2007. “To purchase your own copy of this or any of Taylor & Francis or Routledge’s collection of thousands of eBooks please go to” All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilized in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data Living cities in Japan : citizens’ movements, machizukuri, and local environments / [edited by] André Sorensen and Carolin Funck. p. cm. – (The Nissan Institute/Routledge Japanese studies series) Includes bibliographical references and index. 1. City planning–Japan– Citizen participation. 2. Urban policy–Japan– Citizen participation. 3. Environmental policy–Japan–Citizen participation. 4. Urban renewal–Japan–Citizen participation. 5. Citizens’ association–Japan. 6. Urban ecology–Japan. 7. Community development, Urban–Japan. I. Sorensen, André, 1960- II. Funck, Carolin. HT169.J3L48 2007 307.1'2160952–dc22 ISBN 0–203–96172–2 Master e-book ISBN ISBN10: 0-415-40237-9 (hbk) ISBN10: 0-203-96172-2 (ebk) ISBN13: 978-0-415-40237-8 (hbk) ISBN13: 978-0-203-96172-8 (ebk)



List of illustrations List of contributors 1 Living cities in Japan

xiii xv 1



The context of managing shared spaces in Japan 2 Toshi keikaku vs machizukuri: emerging paradigm of civil society in Japan, 1950–1980




3 Changing governance of shared spaces: machizukuri as institutional innovation



4 Japan’s construction lobby and the privatization of highwayrelated public corporations




The practice of machizukuri ‘community making’ 5 The concept of machi-sodate and urban planning: the case of Tokyu Tama Den’en Toshi




6 Machizukuri, civil society, and the transformation of Japanese city planning: cases from Kobe CAROLIN FUNCK




7 Earthquake reconstruction machizukuri and citizen participation



8 Machizukuri and historical awareness in the old town of Kobe




Conflicts over changing places and governance 9 Citizens’ movements to protect the water environment: changes and problems




10 Civic movement for sustainable urban regeneration: downtown Fukaya City, Saitama prefecture



11 Neighborhood Associations and machizukuri processes: strengths and weaknesses



12 Inner-city redevelopment in Tokyo: conflicts over urban places, planning governance, and neighborhoods




Conclusions: making livable places


13 Conclusions: a diversity of machizukuri processes and outcomes






Figures 3.1 The postwar evolution of institutions of place governance 4.1 Japan’s construction investment and construction establishments, 1970–2003 4.2 International comparison of construction investments, 2001 4.3 Japan’s national debt and budget balance, 1990–2005 4.4 The working of the ‘iron triangle’ of vested interests in Japan’s ‘construction state’ 4.5 Traffic volume by type of transport, 1950–2001 6.1 Population changes in the nine wards of Kobe, 1995–2004 6.2 A new community hall built in Kobe after the earthquake 6.3 A biotope created under the Hanshin expressway in Kobe 6.4 Day-care salon run by Nishisuma Danran NPO 7.1 Tea-time after cleaning Hiehara Park, Kobe 7.2 The House of the Wind 8.1 Kitahama: Nishide, Higashide, and Higashikawasaki 8.2 The apartment building “Higashikawasaki 7 Chome” 8.3 Old wooden house and new apartment buildings 8.4 The Glory Higashikawasaki apartment building 8.5 An outline map of the Cove 8.6 The map of the neighborhood factories in Irie 9.1 Changes in keywords relating to water environmental problems 9.2 Location of Lake Kasumigaura and Lakes Nakaumi and Shinji 9.3 Environmental problems of Kasumigaura addressed by citizens 9.4 Distribution of members of two environmental groups in 1987 9.5 Distribution of elementary schools joining in NPO Asaza foundation’s project by May 2002 9.6 Nakaumi Land Reclamation Project 9.7 Regional structure of the Nakaumi Land Reclamation Project problem 10.1 Scale model of existing downtown Fukaya (2003)

66 93 94 96 98 103 138 144 146 148 167 168 173 178 179 179 181 182 193 194 195 197 198 199 201 209



10.2 Downtown redevelopment scheme (left) and Chuo Land Readjustment Project Plan (right) 10.3 Preliminary drawings for the policies of downtown planning: three directions 10.4 Yanase Warehouse renovation 10.5 Activities in Yanase Warehouse 11.1 Relationships among residents 11.2 Motives for participation in local activities 11.3 Traditional rural landscape in Kakegawa 11.4 New institutional development in rural areas of Kakegawa 11.5 New urban sprawl near the Japan Alps in Hotaka 12.1 Successive deregulations of slant plane restrictions 12.2 Permitted building envelopes before and after deregulation 12.3 The newly completed high-rise manshon building in Arakawa ward 12.4 Newly completed manshon in Kagurazaka

209 215 220 221 230 231 233 237 239 251 252 258 261

Tables 4.1 Recent trends in Japan’s construction industry, 1992 and 2002 4.2 Change of road investment, public works expenditure, and gross domestic product (GDP), 1970–2002 4.3 National and local tax revenues earmarked for road investment, 2002 4.4 Road classification, roads in operation, and planned total length, 2002 5.1 Land use allocation and area reduction by land readjustment 6.1 Number of registered machizukuri groups in nine Kobe wards (2000) 7.1 The number of deaths in the Kobe inner city and suburbs by age groups 11.1 Major activities of Neighborhood Associations 11.2 Administrative activities delegated to NAs by municipal governments

95 105 106 106 119 140 162 226 227


Toshihisa Asano is Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University. He is a human geographer; his current research topics are environmental movements in Japan and Korea. He co-edited Kankyo Mondai no Genba kara (From the front of environmental issue studies; geographical approaches) with Tatsuya Ito (KOKON Shoin, 2003). Articles include “Geographical perspectives in the study of environmental issues from four cases about the environmental issues caused by wetland developments in Japan and Korea,” Journal of Environmental Sociology, 10, pp. 3–24, 2004. Thomas Feldhoff was born in 1970 in Oberhausen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. In 1996 he gained his Diploma in East Asian Studies, focusing in particular on Japan. In 1999 he became a Doctor of Philosophy in Geography, his dissertation focused on “Air Transport, Airport Locations and Airport Competition in Japan.” In 2004 his post-doctoral thesis (Habilitation) was titled “Japan’s Construction Lobby Activities and their Spatial Implications.” Currently, he is Assistant Professor at the Institute of East Asian Studies and the Institute of Geography at Duisburg-Essen University, Germany. His research focus is on the origins, structure, and functions of Japanese social and political institutions, networks of key-actors in Japan’s political economy and their spatial implications with regard to sustainable regional development. He has undertaken many field trips and field studies in Japan since 1994. Sayaka Fujii is Assistant Professor of Land Use Planning, in the Department of Social Systems and Management, Graduate School of Systems and Information Engineering, University of Tsukuba. Her research focuses on land use planning and citizen participation in metropolitan inner urban area. She has published papers in Japanese on manshon conflicts and urban planning. Her doctoral thesis, completed in 2005, titled “The Mechanism of Manshon Conflicts and the View for a New Planning System” won the Publication Encouragement Award of the City Planning Institute of Japan in 2005. Carolin Funck, born in Freiburg, Germany, is Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University. Her



research in human geography focuses on tourism development and on comparative research on urban planning and citizen participation in Germany and Japan. Publications include Tourismus und Peripherie in Japan. Über das Potential touristischer Entwicklung zum Ausgleich regionaler Disparitäten (Verlag Dieter Born, Bonn, 1999) and “Hiroshima 60 Jahre danach – eine ganz normale Großstadt?” (Funck, Carolin, Yui, Yoshimichi, and Styczek, Urszula in Geographische Rundschau 57–7/8, 56–64, 2005). Shizuka Hashimoto is a Post-doctoral Fellow in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. He received a Ph.D. in agricultural engineering and rural planning from the University of Tokyo. He won the Encouragement Prize of the Japanese Association of Rural Planning in 2003 for his academic papers about participatory local land use planning in urban fringe areas. His research interests include planning theory, public participation, consensus building, and disputes resolution. Yorifusa Ishida is Professor Emeritus at Tokyo Metropolitan University, specializing in urban and regional planning history and land use policy. He is the co-editor of TOKYO: Urban Growth and Planning 1868–1988 and Rebuilding Urban Japan After 1945, as well as the author of numerous books including Nihon kin-gendai toshikeikaku no tenkai 1868–2003 (Development of Japanese Modern and Contemporary Urban Planning 1868–2003) and Mori Ougai no toshiron to sono jidai (Mori Ougai’s Essays on Urban Problems and his Times). Atsuko Ito is Assistant Professor at the Department of Regional Policy, Takasaki City University of Economics. Her research in sociology focuses on community development and citizen participation in machizukuri in Japan. Publications include contributions to Hanshin Awaji Daishinsai no Shakaigaku 3 Fukko/Bosai no Syakaigaku (Sociology of The Great Hanshin Awaji Earthquake vol. 3 Sociology of Reconstruction/Disaster prevention Machizukuri) (Iwasaki, Nobuhiki, Ito, Atsuko, Urano, Masaki et al. (1999) Showado pp. 41–54), and Chiiki seisaku to shimin sanka (Regional Policy and Citizen Participation), Toru Sato (ed.) (2006) Gyosei pp. 42–65. Akito Murayama is Associate Professor at the Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Nagoya University. He is the co-author of Urban Design Management: New Public that Regenerates American Cities (2002, Gakugei Shuppan-Sha, in Japanese), and Toward a Stable City: Struggles in Local Cities (2005, Nihon Keizai Hyoron-Sha, in Japanese). His current research topics include sustainable planning and urban design methodology, comparative study of growth management policies of megacities, and urban regeneration through viaduct removal and reuse. Hiroshi Nunokawa is Professor at the Graduate School of Integrated Arts and Sciences, Hiroshima University. He is a historian; his current research topic

Contributors xvii is the history of urbanization in modern Japan. Recently he wrote “Urbanization and the Making of the Urban Problem” (Lecture of Japanese History 8, Making of Modern Japan, Tokyo University Press, 2005, pp. 193–217). Articles include “Role and Feature of the Metropolis in Modern Japan” Journal of Japanese History, pp. 68–84, 2002. Junichiro Okata is Professor of Land Use Planning, in the Department of Urban Engineering, University of Tokyo, and is Secretary-General of the Centre for Sustainable Urban Regeneration, University of Tokyo. His research focuses primarily on local land planning ordinances, the analysis of land use transition in metropolitan inner urban area, and the process of making urban general plans through citizen participation. He has published extensively in Japanese on participatory planning and urban redevelopment processes. André Sorensen is Associate Professor of Urban Geography in the Department of Geography and Programme in Planning, University of Toronto. He has published widely on Japanese urban sprawl, land development, and planning history. His book The Making of Urban Japan: Cities and Planning from Edo to the 21st Century (2002) won the book prize of the International Planning History Association in 2004. He was also co-editor with Peter Marcotullio and Jill Grant of Towards Sustainable Cities: East Asian, North American and European Perspectives (2004). Significant papers include: “The Developmental State and the Extreme Narrowness of the Public Realm: The 20th Century Evolution of Japanese Planning Culture” in Bishwapriya Sanyal (ed.), Comparative Planning Cultures (2005), “Building World City Tokyo: Globalization and Conflict over Urban Space” in Annals of Regional Science (2003), “Building Suburbs in Japan: Continuous Unplanned Change on the Urban Fringe.” Town Planning Review (2001). Shun-ichi J. Watanabe is Adjunct Professor of Urban Planning at the Department of Architecture, Tokyo University of Science. He has published and lectured widely on topics of comparative planning in the US, Britain, Japan, and Taiwan. His contemporary interests include the history and comparison of planning systems and machizukuri (community building) of Japan, Korea, and Taiwan. Formerly he was with the Building Research Institute, Ministry of Construction and visiting professor at Michigan State University and University of Washington and is now at National Taiwan University. Selected publications (all in Japanese): American Urban Planning and the Community Ideal (1977), Introduction to Comparative Urban Planning (1985), The Birth of ‘City Planning’ (1993) and Machizukuri by Citizen Participation (ed. 1999) and Practical Guide to Citizen-Made Machizukuri Plans (ed. 2001).


Living cities in Japan André Sorensen and Carolin Funck

Introduction This volume examines the changing roles of citizens’ participation in local environmental management and governance in Japan. A variety of processes for citizen engagement in place management spread rapidly throughout Japan during the 1990s, and are widely referred to as ‘machizukuri.’ We use the Japanese term ‘machizukuri’ in this volume, as the word does not translate easily into English. It refers to a diverse range of practices, and has multiple and contested meanings as discussed in several of the chapters collected here. What is not in dispute is that this is a very important phenomenon. Thousands of machizukuri processes have been established nationwide, in an enormous outpouring of local energy into attempts to achieve more bottom–up input into local place management in which local citizens play an active role in environmental improvement and management processes. This in itself is a remarkable phenomenon that should be better understood. These processes of social and political change are also widely seen as indicative of major changes in Japanese society and politics. In the Japanese media a parallel is frequently drawn between Japan’s current crisis and the two modern upheavals of the Meiji period and postwar occupation and reconstruction. Each was a major turning point in Japanese political, social, and economic organization. Since the 1990s the political legitimacy of the ‘1955 system,’ which established the ‘iron triangle’ of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)/ bureaucracy/big business rule, has been challenged, and a new social contract, economic strategy, and political arrangement are being sought (Masumi 1988; Iida 1994; Fukatsu 1995; Johnson 1995: 214; Kato 1998; Pempel 1998). The argument is that the unraveling of the former social contract has generated enormous pressures for new approaches, particularly as the former system is no longer delivering the steady economic expansion that was its main source of legitimacy. Others suggest that real change has not been so significant, and point to the fact that in 2007 the LDP is still in power, its continuous rule broken only for a period of less than two years in the early 1990s. There is certainly good reason to be skeptical about claims of radical changes in the Japanese political


André Sorensen and Carolin Funck

economy, particularly as several features of the system have proven so enduring. These issues are taken up in more detail later on in the chapter along with the political context of the growth of machizukuri. Here we suggest that gaining a better understanding of Japanese machizukuri contributes to three important contemporary debates that are prominent both in Japan and around the world. First is the issue of creating more livable and sustainable cities. These are primary goals expressed by many machizukuri movements, and a major aim of this volume is to contribute to a better understanding of some Japanese approaches to these issues. It is widely argued that one of the great challenges of our time is to learn how to create more livable cities, that are economically vibrant, provide a high quality of life and health for their residents, and that contribute to long-term environmental sustainability through reduced resource consumption and waste production (Owens 1991; Blowers 1993; Haughton and Hunter 1994; Pugh 1996; Beatley 2000; Evans 2002). Good urban environments are believed to contribute positively by providing access to a high quality of life and health for residents, and economically in terms of attractiveness to investment, stimulation of innovation and creativity. Although there are still some who do not see environmental sustainability as an important goal for public policy, for many others around the world the imperative to achieve sustainability is real and the role of cities and urban planning to achieving it is key. Since the passage of Local Agenda 21 at the Rio Earth Summit in 1992, action at the scale of local communities and neighborhoods has been seen as central to achieving more livable and sustainable cities. Neighborhood-based machizukuri movements in urban Japan are an important case of attempts to move towards such goals, and should be better understood. Are machizukuri processes really contributing to more livable and sustainable places? How do Japanese community groups understand issues of livability? Are these processes successful in establishing and institutionalizing new ideas and priorities, or are they merely a continuation of former priorities and struggles under a new banner? How much has really changed? A second major set of issues to which the study of machizukuri contributes are the questions of local governance, and the changing roles of and relations between central and local government, and between citizens and the state, in managing shared spaces that have been the focus of intense interest during the last decade and more (see Pretecielle 1990; Magnusson 1996; Borja and Castells 1997; Castells 1997; Healey 1997; Friedmann and Douglass 1998; Tarrow 1998). One important aspect of machizukuri is the attempt to strengthen and gain greater involvement of and legitimacy for local community-based organizations in managing processes of urban change. Such urban management is the responsibility of local governments, although these operate within the context of significant constraints imposed by senior governments and their own position within regional, national, and global economic systems. In Japan particularly, the central government has been dominant, and even in the area of land use planning has tightly constrained the freedom of local government action (Sorensen 2002; Ishida 2006).

Living cities in Japan 3 For these and other reasons local urban politics has often been seen by political scientists as merely a sideshow to the more weighty political issues of the central state, but the growing importance of issues of urban livability and sustainability, and the central role seen for communities in furthering them have led many to see local arenas as moving to centre stage in processes of political and social realignment. The last two decades have seen the spread of processes of decentralization, downloading, and rescaling of governance responsibilities to local and regional governments in countries around the world. As in other countries, Japanese structures of local governance are being transformed not only by changing economic, political, and social priorities, but also by the pressures associated with globalization. It is not yet clear, however, whether in the case of Japan these realignments represent a case of local empowerment, or merely a temporary reshuffling of priorities among traditional power holders, nor which interests are being furthered by the changes. To what extent are new actors gaining voice in local governance? What opportunities and constraints do local groups face? How do Japanese community groups claim a legitimate voice in governance processes? How can we measure success in such efforts? Understanding attempts by citizen movements to gain a greater role in managing shared spaces provides an important window for understanding recent governance changes in Japan, and also contributes to the global debates about decentralization, localization, and the rescaling of governance discussed further below. The third major set of debates to which this volume contributes is that on the changing roles of civil society in local governance in Japan. Changing conceptions of the role of civil society in governance have been central to attempts at political reform in Japan, and one of the key sites of practical attempts to create new governance practices and priorities has been at the scale of the urban neighborhood through the machizukuri processes studied here. The development of civil society in Japan has been a prominent subject of research in recent years (Yamamoto 1999; Pekkanen 2000; Takao 2001; Schwartz and Pharr 2003; Hasegawa 2004; Kingston 2004). There is, again, real disagreement about the degree to which things are really changing. Several prominent observers argue that there has been a significant growth in the importance of civil society actors’ involvement in governance in Japan since the 1990s (Yamamoto 1999; Furukawa 2003). Others are more skeptical about the extent to which real power is being gained by civil society, pointing particularly to the continuing power of state actors in shaping civil society development (Vosse 1999; Garon 2003; Pekkanen 2003). Citizen-based machizukuri movements for local environmental management are an important type of civil society development, as suggested by the fact that about 40 percent of the non-profit organizations (NPOs) registered under the NPO law of 1998 have a selfdeclared interest in machizukuri. The question is: to what extent are machizukuri processes contributing to the growth and maturation of civil society in Japan? Are civil society actors gaining a real voice in governance, or are they merely being delegated a range of


André Sorensen and Carolin Funck

responsibilities that the state has little interest in? If they are gaining a role in governance processes, how has that been achieved, and to what extent are such changes becoming institutionalized? This collection of case studies of citizen participatory ‘machizukuri’ and environmental movements provides an important perspective on these changes in Japanese society and governance. This chapter serves both as an introduction to these three interlinked substantive questions the volume engages, and to the contributions of individual chapters to those debates.

Livable and sustainable urban regions Certainly one of the most important global debates of our day is the question of how we can create societies and economies that provide for all, yet do not deplete the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Within that debate, the role of the dense concentrations of population, usually referred to as cities, occupies an important place, particularly in the most developed countries that consume a disproportionate share of the earth’s resources. All of the developed countries are now, and several have long been, close to 80 percent urban in population. It is estimated that now for the first time in human history more than half the world’s population now lives in cities, and that share is growing steadily, particularly as a result of urbanization in Asia. Urban areas loom large as the sites of most production, consumption, and waste creation, but the often extraordinarily wasteful patterns of consumption and waste production in cities are also believed to present an enormous opportunity for reducing our ecological footprint while improving quality of life (Elkin et al. 1991; Blowers 1993; Haughton and Hunter 1994; Wackernagel and Rees 1995; Wheeler 1998; Sorensen et al. 2004). The question is: how to achieve as fully as possible the dynamism, synergies, and efficiencies of cities with as few of the negative side effects as possible. Although we refer often to cities, urban planning, and neighborhoods, in fact the main issues discussed in this book apply equally to all settled areas. In Japan the whole national territory has been transformed during the postwar period by processes of rapid urban industrial development, and even areas where the dominant land use is farming are relatively dense, and are highly integrated into larger political and economic structures through flows of people, money, goods, and waste. The issues of sustainability and cities are thus not related to cities as administrative units, but are related primarily to concentration of population and activities. The value of thinking about sustainability comes precisely from that concentration, which amplifies the negative impacts of bad practices, but also provides opportunities for more efficient, less wasteful ways of achieving social goals, and perhaps provides opportunities to develop different goals. This evaluation of the importance of local environmental governance is reflected in the Local Agenda 21 project (LA21), initiated at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, which envisions local governments, communities, and citizens as the key actors in efforts to achieve greater environmental sustainability (Sitarz 1993;

Living cities in Japan 5 United Nations Dept. of Public Information 1993; Low et al. 2000). The assumption is that local governments commonly have major environmental planning powers and responsibilities, and as they are the level of government closest to the people, will be most able to involve them, and be influenced by them in a meaningful way. The involvement of citizens in turn was understood to be essential because of their crucial knowledge of local conditions, their key roles in local innovation and capacity building, and because of the importance of popular ownership of new approaches for their longer-term viability and impact. The goal was that every local authority in the world would have established a LA21 plan by 1996 in discussion with citizens, civil society organizations, and businesses that would detail processes and plans to move toward sustainable development. The LA21 project was taken up enthusiastically, particularly in Europe and in Japan and South Korea (Barret and Usui 2002; ICLEI 2002; Barret 2005). Worldwide some 6,416 local governments in 113 countries were engaged in LA21 activities when the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) surveyed them in 2000 and 2001 (ICLEI 2002: 4). While that is an impressive increase over the first such survey in 1997, it is still a tiny proportion of local governments worldwide, and is largely a result of the high response rate in Europe, which was responsible for over 80 percent of the worldwide results. It is fair to say that while many projects have been started, and some municipalities have established sustainable development as a policy goal, overall much less has been accomplished than originally hoped (Yanarella 1999; Goll and Lafond 2002). Attempts to make cities more environmentally sustainable are not restricted to LA21 processes, of course, and it may yet be that greater results will result from other emerging initiatives. Another argument for the significance of urban issues for public policy has been the growing economic importance of high amenity urban environments. Recently the old idea that cities are the creative crucibles of civilization has received renewed attention. Sir Peter Hall (1998) eloquently and voluminously documents the central role of cities in flourishing and creative civilizations, from Greece and Rome to contemporary Japan. Hall’s argument is but the high end of an increasingly wide-ranging literature on entrepreneurial or competitive cities which are seen as competing not only for inward investment, but also for a highly mobile skilled labor force (Harvey 1989; Brotchie et al. 1995; Hall and Hubbard 1998; Kipfer and Keil 2002). The skilled knowledge workers that are essential to the success of high-tech firms can and do choose to live in highamenity urban areas, so as high-tech and information industries occupy an ever more important place in the economy, they create more economic incentives for the creation of clean, high-amenity urban areas. In the US this argument has been successfully marketed to many local governments by Richard Florida through his writings about the centrality of the ‘creative class’ in economic growth, innovation, and urban vitality (Florida 2005). Others are more pessimistic, arguing that in a globalizing world dominated by neoliberalization processes inter-city competition will inevitably be a ‘race to the bottom’ as cities attempt to position themselves as attractive locations for


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investment by multinational firms that seek low tax regimes, lax environmental standards, and weak labor laws (Leitner and Sheppard 1998; Swyngedouw 2000; Brenner and Theodore 2002a: 346; Peck and Tickell 2002; Brenner 2004). There seems little doubt that both processes are happening simultaneously, creating a world of greater polarization of urban environmental quality both within cities, and between those cities caught in the race to the bottom, and those fortunate enough to be able to adopt a high-amenity urban economic strategy. A more powerful normative argument for a pro-environment, pro-sustainability approach may be the centrality of cities as a constraining and enabling context for a range of other issues including health, quality of life, and social equity. Multiple environmental factors that influence population health, from access to suitable housing and public services, exposure to environmental risk factors such as air pollution, social exclusion and polarization, and the availability of basic needs such as clean water supply are all profoundly influenced by urban policy, with failure linked directly to increased health risks (Davies and Kelly 1993; Aicher 1998; Takano 2003; Frumkin et al. 2004). In societies with widespread access to medical treatment the costs of medical systems are spiraling up, driven by aging populations, rapid technological advance, and increasing expectations. A significant share of growing healthcare costs have been directly linked to poor urban environments, and creating healthier cities has grown into a major goal of urban environmental policy and research, driven in part by attempts to restrain such rising costs. These arguments all point to the central role of cities in attempts to solve global environmental problems, improve economic competitiveness, and protect public health. Urban areas are seen not merely as a space of economic productivity and concentrated markets, but also as the environments in which most people live, attempt to shape their own communities, and broaden their opportunities for livelihood and life-space. Japan’s postwar urban experience showed in a dystopian way the validity of these arguments about the importance of the urban in contemporary societies. In the postwar period Japan’s developmental state strategy of putting economic growth ahead of urban environmental quality contributed to rapid growth and also to the development of a wide range of urban environmental problems that have tended to limit the translation of high incomes into a high quality of life for most urban residents. Degraded urban environments, expensive and cramped housing, the shortage of public space and parks, all have been major contributors to the ‘rich Japan – poor Japanese’ syndrome (Inoguchi 1987; Ui 1992; Douglass 1993; Wegener 1994; McCormack 1996; Sorensen 2002). Poor urban environments have also been the greatest motivator of machizukuri movements over the last 20 years, as communities organized to resolve issues and improve neighborhoods that had been neglected by government policy, as shown in many of the chapters collected here. The LA21 vision offers an appealing analysis of the central role of neighborhoods and communities acting collaboratively to solve urgent problems of urban livability and sustainability. The pressing questions are: how realistic is this vision? Do such local actors really have a strong allegiance to the goal of

Living cities in Japan 7 environmental sustainability? To what extent have machizukuri processes enabled attempts by local actors to create more livable neighborhoods? Are local conceptions of livability even consistent with larger conceptions of sustainability? Our hypothesis in embarking on this project is that local groups and communities do have a strong interest in improving their immediate environment, and that some groups can contribute to environmental improvement. While the case studies presented here show that local community-based organizing by citizens is central to achieving more livable and sustainable cities, they also make clear that larger political structures and actors are also key to success and failure. It is to these issues that we turn next.

The governance of space and place The second major set of issues to which the study of machizukuri contributes is the question of urban governance, and the changing roles of, and relations between, central and local government, and between citizens and the state, in managing urban change. One important aspect of machizukuri is the attempt to strengthen, gain greater involvement of and legitimacy for local communities and community-based organizations in managing processes of urban change in their neighborhoods. The studies of machizukuri processes collected here allow an important window on recent developments in the management of living environments in Japan. The period since the collapse of the bubble economy has been one of major upheaval in political arrangements in Japan, and governance of urban space and change has been a major issue for local groups. A major challenge facing machizukuri movements is how citizens, residents, and communities can become more involved in local governance in pursuit of more livable and sustainable environments. We are concerned here with machizukuri processes established to influence urban policy and to assert new sets of priorities. In attempting to gain greater influence in the management of communities and environments, machizukuri movements confront two major structural obstacles. First, citizen groups attempting to intervene in local policy processes are faced with existing practices and actors, among which landowners, developers, the construction industry, and other place-based economic interests commonly have great economic and political power, and significant incentives to protect established practices and priorities. The municipal governments responsible for local urban planning and place management are often more responsive to such economic interests than to small citizen groups (Logan and Molotch 1987; Harding 1995; Jonas et al. 1999; Gilman 2001). Second, although in Japan, as elsewhere, urban management has traditionally been the territory of local governments, these operate within the context of significant constraints imposed by senior governments and by their own position within regional, national, and global economic systems (Steiner et al. 1980; Samuels 1983; Wolman and Goldsmith 1992; Goldsmith 1995). In Japan the central government has long been the dominant player, and in the area of land use planning, has tightly constrained the freedom of local government action. It is worth


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looking at each of these issues in turn. The ability of communities and citizens to improve their living environment is also structured by their own organizational strength and capacity, of course, and that is discussed further in the next section. Urban regions are dense concentrations of population, property, public and private spaces, infrastructure, institutions, and diverse claims and rights. Attempts to change these patterns must be negotiated with multiple sets of actors, and are confronted with a variety of established institutional arrangements that have their own logics and resistances to change. Existing governance structures were usually not designed with the active involvement of citizens in mind, and established actors can be expected to have an interest in excluding new players if the newcomers challenge their freedom to pursue business as usual. This expectation is supported by the fact that urban development and redevelopment is commonly the generator of enormous wealth and power, so the incentives to maintain positions of influence are large. Perhaps equally important for local movements attempting to shape processes of urban change is the fact that for many urban homeowners who are neither wealthy nor powerful, their residence is their main asset, and frequently represents a key retirement strategy or legacy for their children. These residents may support the goals of community movements where they are seen to enhance their interests, but may just as easily oppose changes or policies that are perceived to limit asset values or constrain future options. Even though those promoting greater citizen involvement and the governance vision of LA21 argue for major changes in urban management, the main theories of local government are quite pessimistic about the opportunities for communities to gain substantial influence in shaping their own future. Urban political theory is particularly pessimistic about the possibilities for local action to achieve democratic participation in favor of livability and sustainability in the face of the larger structural constraints posed by globalization and the existing political economies of national and local governance. Several related arguments suggest that citizens and communities are unlikely to gain a significant voice in shaping local environmental change. Perhaps most influential has been the ‘growth machine’ theory (Logan and Molotch 1987; Jonas et al. 1999) that suggests that local economic actors have such strong incentives to maintain their influence over local decision-making, they tend to dominate the urban political economy. The local decision-making that really matters here, of course, is that on permitted land development and redevelopment, and the public investment in infrastructure that makes such activity possible, and sometimes very profitable. A large body of research has substantiated and validated the basic insight that while they may have great differences of opinion in other policy areas, economic elites consistently unite in favor of policies that promote continued growth, even in cases where such growth is not in the interest of most residents or actually degrades livability (reviewed in Jonas et al. 1999). Similarly, urban regime theory, while including not only economic elites but also other community actors in the growth coalition, similarly argues that accu-

Living cities in Japan 9 mulation strategies are the dominant incentive for building and maintaining coalitions that can effectively attract investment to their city (Stone 1989; Stoker and Mossberger 1994). Agreement on the benefits of growth is the glue that holds disparate coalitions together. The huge possibilities for profits in growing cities present compelling arguments that unite urban elites in their efforts to dominate local political processes, as in the classic case of Atlanta, where the local business and property elites created a stable regime that included the black political machine that controlled city hall (Stone 1989). Unfortunately for communities, while there will certainly be some cases in which such accumulation strategies will have only small impacts on urban livability, or may even support environmental improvement, in many cases the prioritization of economic growth runs directly counter to the goals of livability and sustainability, and can also lead to higher tax burdens and other costs for existing residents (Real Estate Research Corporation et al. 1974; Blais 1995; Burchell 2005). A more recent and even more pessimistic interpretation deriving from research on the political economy of globalization and neoliberalization suggests that the current process is one of intensification of international competition, the rescaling of established governance structures, and the abandonment of the postwar social contract of full employment, Keynesian intervention in markets and growing spending on the social safety net. Briefly, the argument is that after the collapse of the postwar Fordist production regime in the stagflation of the 1970s, the rapid spread of ‘neoliberal’ ideas promoting the panacea of unregulated markets promoted heightened competition between states and between cities (Harvey 1989; Jessop 1994; Peck and Tickell 1994; Hall and Hubbard 1998; Peck and Tickell 2002). At the same time, the growing influence of multilateral economic governance arrangements such as the IMF, GATT/WTO, NAFTA and the European Union reduced the powers of nation states in economic policy-making, producing a rearrangement of the hierarchy of governance, manifested as the ‘hollowing out’ of national governments, and the downloading, devolution, and restructuring between scales of many state roles (Peck and Tickell 1994; Rodriguez-Pose and Gill 2003; Brenner 2004). The dominant interpretation in this literature is that neoliberalization and rescaling combine to produce increased polarization among and within cities, and the creation of a harsher economic and social environment in which attempts at local resistance are increasingly marginalized (Brenner and Theodore 2002a; Peck and Tickell 2002), even while creating some opportunities for alternative projects and governance strategies (Brenner and Theodore 2002b; Swyngedouw and Kaika 2003). Although the growth machine, urban regime, and rescaling theories clearly offer a powerful framework for the analysis of urban governance in many developed country cities, particularly those in the Anglo-American countries, there are problems in attempting to extend this analysis to Japan. When the growth machine framework was applied to Japanese cities by one of its early theorists, for example, it was discovered that the role and powers of local governments in managing urban growth and change was relatively weak, allowing

10 André Sorensen and Carolin Funck little leverage for local economic actors who succeeded in influencing local government policy. At the same time, the role of central government and national economic actors was so dominant that local growth coalitions were relatively weaker, and looked primarily to national government and national corporations (Molotch and Vicari 1988). While all the primary actors; local state, local business (small and medium size capital), national state, and national business (oligopolistic capital), are involved in promoting growth, national big business dominated growth coalitions with the aid of the national state, while other actors were forced to adjust to their needs (Broadbent 1989, 1998). In these accounts economic priorities still trump local environments and livability, but national actors are dominant players, not local ones. It is also worth noting that in many ways the Japanese government was always neoliberal, with slim welfare spending, continuous administrative reform (downsizing and contracting out of government functions), weak unions, and a pro-business policy orientation highly concerned with global competitiveness, so critiques of neoliberalization seem to have little to contribute to existing analysis of Japanese governance. This brings us squarely to a consideration of the second major set of structural obstacles facing groups attempting to gain greater influence in the management of local environments in pursuit of livability and sustainability: the structure of local and national governance. Municipalities in Japan, as elsewhere, are the units of government responsible for most issues of managing urban space, providing infrastructure and urban services such as waste management and water supply, creating public space, policing property rights, and enforcing building regulations. They thus have primary responsibility for urban sustainability, quality of place, and quality of life; issues that were not high on the list of government priorities anywhere when many of the basic structures of urban governance were established during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Urban planning and environmental management issues have in consequence traditionally occupied a relatively junior place compared to policy areas such as economic development, defense, social welfare, and healthcare. Governance roles in cities were seen primarily as the provision of hard infrastructure services in return for property taxes. It was seen as normal that local governments that were primarily infrastructure managers should have relatively weak powers and resources compared to national governments that handled more ‘important’ issues. Municipal governments have thus traditionally been by far the weakest political unit in states around the world, with few independent legal powers, and very limited sources of revenue (Goldsmith 1995). They are usually either the creation of central government in the case of unitary states like Japan, or of provincial/state governments in federal states. Either way, in virtually all cases, their legal and taxation powers, boundaries, and even existence can be altered or terminated at the discretion of the senior level of government (Magnusson 1996). This is particularly problematic for projects of urban livability, as while municipal governments are much more likely to be responsive to citizen demands for better urban environments and amenities their ability to deliver on their promises are often quite limited.

Living cities in Japan 11 For several decades after the end of World War II the accepted analysis of central–local relations in Japan stressed the dominance of central government, and particularly the central bureaucracy over policy-making and implementation (Norman 1940; Steiner 1965; Calder 1988). This analysis of Japanese political economy commonly refers to the concept of an ‘iron triangle’ of Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), national government bureaucracy, and major business interest-groups that dominated Japanese policy-making and coordinated the developmental state policies for rapid economic growth during the 1950s and 1960s (Johnson 1982; Sugimoto 1997; Broadbent 1998, also see Feldhoff, Chapter 4, this volume). It is not necessary to review in detail the extended debate about the relative power of the three main actors. The traditional view is that in the rapid growth period the bureaucracy was dominant, successfully engineering rapid growth, and exercising power through the drafting of laws, administrative guidance of firms, formation of cartels, and planning of infrastructure investment (Johnson 1982). Some have argued that big business had significant power, as policy has so often followed business agendas (Patrick and Rosovsky 1976; Broadbent 1989). Sugimoto suggests that now the three players are deadlocked in a mutual embrace (Sugimoto 1997). Although there have been major changes to Japanese politics and policy-making, however, the concept of ‘iron triangle’ as a key to understanding central government policy is still widely argued (Sugimoto 1997; Colignon and Usui 2001; McCormack 2002; Feldhoff, Chapter 4, this volume). As a result of the environmental crisis of the 1960s, and the spread of ‘progressive’ (socialist and communist affiliated) local executives, local governments attempted vigorously to challenge central government and began to develop their own policy approaches (Steiner et al. 1980; McKean 1981; Reed 1986). A major debate since the mid-1970s has been about the increasing role of LDP politicians as generators of policy priorities, as the extended period of single-party rule allowed legislators to gain significant expertise and influence in specific policy areas, and they in turn were influenced by a variety of special interests, producing a kind of ‘patterned pluralism’ (Muramatsu and Krauss 1987; Muramatsu 1993). A growing role for a diverse range of actors in policymaking through political processes has since become the accepted interpretation (Allinson 1993; Richardson 1997). Calder (1988) argued that the degree of political influence of the politicians varied greatly with the policy sector, with traded internationally-competitive sectors seeing less political interference, and nontraded domestic sectors such as agriculture, construction, and small business offering great rewards for pork-barrel politics, and seeing a high degree of politicization of policy-making. This analysis helps to understand policy-making in urban planning and public works, as the construction and development industries have long been a key source of campaign finance and votes for the LDP (Woodall 1992; McCormack 1996; Woodall 1996; McGill 1998). Most recently, the 1990s brought changes at the national level as the bursting of the bubble economy and the lackluster national government response to the Kobe earthquake led to challenges to central government dominance, and a

12 André Sorensen and Carolin Funck number of moves to decentralize power (McKean 1993; Muramatsu 1997; Smith 2000). The rallying cry of the ‘Era of Local Rights’ was that it was time to decentralize power and limit the authority of central ministry bureaucrats to make and implement policy (Namikawa 1996; Steffensen 1996; DeWitt 1998; Kobayashi 1999; Yamamoto 1999; Sorensen 2002: Chapter 9). Central government did make several significant decentralizing moves since the early 1990s (see Hein and Pelletier 2006), but the varied and continued calls for decentralization suggest that central government still remains dominant. In particular, the weakening financial position of local governments suggests that they may be unable to take advantage of any expanded legal authority (Shirai 2005; Schebath 2006). As Krauss (2000: 7) argues, the full consequences and extent of reform to governance structures during the 1990s is not yet clear, and studies of local policy-making present contradictory evidence both of increasing autonomy at the local level, and continuity of top–down bureaucratic dominance in some policy areas. With regard to city planning, and environmental management more generally, however, governance authority remained much more centralized (Sorensen 2002; Mulgan 2004; Ishida 2006). Local governments have long been tightly constrained by central government controls over finance, legal frameworks, and staffing, and have scant legal autonomy with which to pursue independent policy directions (Steiner et al. 1980; Masumi 1988: 298; Allinson 1997). As Ishida (2006) shows, until the major reforms of 1999, urban planning was still considered a national government matter, not one for local government. Property development was too lucrative an arena of accumulation to allow local governments the legal authority to pass more restrictive regulations over development or to block infrastructure spending. Instead, the central government monopoly of legal authority through national city planning legislation was maintained, and attempts by local governments to gain greater planning autonomy or legal leverage over the development industry were repeatedly rolled back by central government (Hebbert and Nakai 1988; Otake 1993; Sorensen 2003). Broadbent (1989, 1998) has argued persuasively that the ‘developmental state’ has retained its ability to override even determined local opposition in favor of strategies that prioritize economic growth. The highly centralized developmental state style of land development control and urban planning clearly contributed to poor urban environments, and low levels of urban infrastructure and public space. Local governments were effectively unable to link the process of development approval to contributions by developers to public space and infrastructure such as local roads, sidewalks, parks, schools, and sewers, as is common in other developed countries. Land developers were thus able to pocket enormous profits from land development, while pushing the infrastructure costs of such development on to local governments and local taxpayers (Hebbert 1994; Mori 1998; Sorensen 2001). Weak development controls also contributed paradoxically to the high cost and small size of housing and other urban problems, because it was so easy to redevelop housing land and neighborhoods to more lucrative uses (Machimura 1992;

Living cities in Japan 13 Douglass 1993; Noguchi and Poterba 1994; Wegener 1994). This weakness was particularly evident during the bubble period of the late 1980s as the hyperdevelopment of urban space spun out of control (Hayakawa and Hirayama 1991; Anchordoguy 1992; Yamamura 1992). Urban environmental management is a key policy area in Japan today for all the reasons discussed above, but also because it sits at the intersection of two opposing forces: the growing citizen machizukuri movements for improved living environments, and the traditional top–down, public-works oriented, porkbarrel construction state. The tenacity with which the central ministries responsible for urban management have resisted dilution of their authority to make urban policy is ample evidence of how important the control over urban land and development has been in the Japanese political economy (Sorensen 2003). So too are persistent attempts by local citizens’ groups to gain more local control over urban spaces and neighborhoods, most recently seen in the spread of machizukuri activities during the 1990s. This conflict indicates that the management of change in shared spaces is a highly political activity in Japan, not merely a technical matter of applying existing regulations, and spending infrastructure budgets. Although conflicts over urban planning and the management of shared spaces are potentially a very important window for understanding Japanese politics and society, however, there has been a remarkable lack of scholarly interest in these issues among the mainstream of Japan studies. Yet in human settlements conflicts over space and place are critical issues for many people, and as the management of place is such a politicized activity, understanding the nature and extent of changes in such governance processes provides important clues about recent political and social changes in Japan. The study of machizukuri helps us to understand to what extent new actors are gaining voice in local governance, and to what extent new priorities are being asserted. Have the decentralization policies of the 1990s created more room for innovative policy approaches by local governments and/or citizens groups or are top–down controls still too dominant? What openings are available for real change in the local management of shared spaces? How have the opportunities and constraints that local groups face in their attempts to influence government policy changed? Understanding machizukuri contributes to understanding recent political change in Japan, and also contributes to global debates about decentralization, localization, and the rescaling of governance, as Japan is a major developed country with a distinctive tradition of politics and environmental management.

Citizen engagement in managing shared spaces The third key set of issues that the studies collected here contribute to understanding is that related to citizen engagement in the management and governance of change in places where they live and work. The shift of focus is from the issues of local government and local/central relations, to those of citizen involvement in the management of shared spaces, in Healey’s (1997) felicitous

14 André Sorensen and Carolin Funck phrase. There are three main bodies of literature on such engagement: those on urban social movements, public participation in planning, and civil society and communicative planning. While many machizukuri processes are public participation processes in the sense that they are often in whole or in part sponsored by government bodies or agencies, machizukuri movements also draw inspiration from and continue traditions of urban social and environmental movements, and indeed in some cases is their direct descendant (see Chapters 2 and 5, this volume). The suggestion that local people should have a role in managing urban change would have been surprising to most local government officials around the world before the 1960s. During the 1950s and 1960s the imperative of economic expansion and reconstruction after depression and war was uncritically assumed, it was widely imagined that most people shared broadly similar values, and that urban planning was an activity appropriately left to experts in planning, civil engineering, and architecture, who could calculate the various costs and benefits, and develop appropriate design and engineering solutions for urban growth. Planning was thus a primarily technical activity, responsible to carry out goals and pursue values that were decided elsewhere, under the overall guidance of elected politicians and/or bureaucrats. The goal was to develop rational and comprehensive planning systems and procedures that would produce efficient outcomes, while avoiding the pernicious influences of local political dealing (Perloff 1957; Kent 1964). That approach was especially true of Japan, where during the period of rapid economic growth, the developmental state paradigm of heavy state involvement in coordinating and planning economic expansion was at its zenith (see Harris 1982; Tsuru 1993). While there has been a long debate about the degree of credit to accord the role of the state in the ‘economic miracle’ (see, for example, Patrick and Rosovsky 1976; Johnson 1982; Deyo 1987; Okimoto 1989; Gao 1997), there is no disagreement that the state played a central role in providing the physical infrastructure of roads, railways, ports, airports, water supply, electrical transmission corridors, and industrial land supply, etc. That job was carried out with remarkable efficiency by the Ministries of Construction, Transport, the Economic Planning Agency and other agencies through a sophisticated system of inter-ministerial and central/local coordination and consultation (see Samuels 1983; Tsuru 1993; Sorensen 2002: Chapter 5). On the ground the big issue was always persuading local land-owners and elites to part with their land or fishing or forest rights to acquire space for landhungry infrastructure. That critical function was never entirely possible through market mechanisms, or through expropriation, as demonstrated so forcibly by the Narita Airport debacle (see Apter and Sawa 1984), but was carried out on behalf of the central ministries by local governments and the local and regional offices and committees of the national ministries. In this prefectural and municipal government planning departments worked closely with central ministry city planning commissions and employed local Neighborhood Associations and other groups such as fishing and farming cooperatives to ensure compliance

Living cities in Japan 15 among their membership. While in some cases such cooperation resembles that of local growth coalitions in the US (see Allinson 1975 on land assembly for Toyota Motors), Broadbent’s (1998) remarkable research on the political dynamics of the Oita new Industrial City project in the 1970s and 1980s shows clearly the coercive effectiveness of this system in overcoming local opposition to central plans when necessary (see Hashimoto, Chapter 11, this volume, for an examination of more recent incarnations of this system). Although there emerged considerable skepticism, at least in the West, about the possibility or effectiveness of top–down, rational comprehensive planning (Lindblom 1959; Altshuler 1965a, 1965b), that did have an impact on debates among planners, the most fundamental challenges to the approach came from elsewhere. New social movements including environmental movements, student movements, feminism, anti-poverty, and anti-racism movements of the 1960s and 1970s rendered the notion of widely shared values or interests untenable (Davidoff 1965; Castells 1977; Friedmann 1987). At the same time the failure of modernist planning to fulfill its promise of better cities, exposed for example by the influential critiques of urban renewal in the US (Jacobs 1961; Anderson 1964), of large-scale planning in Britain (Hall 1980; Ravetz 1980; Reade 1987), of major public housing projects (Newman 1973), and urban expressways (Nowlan and Nowlan 1970), undermined the legitimacy of the technocratic top– down vision of planning governance. Social movements In Japan the major turning point was the environmental crisis of the 1960s, when massive and concentrated urban industrial growth with limited pollution regulations or land development controls resulted in disaster. Intense concentrations of industrial pollution in air and water resulted in miserable living conditions in many Japanese cities, caused hundreds of deaths and thousands of debilitating and painful diseases, children who were born deformed and/or mentally disabled, and an epidemic of asthma, allergies, and skin diseases (McKean 1981; Ui 1992; Broadbent 1998). In the early 1960s protestors were stigmatized, particularly as most victims were poor (Iijima 1992), and protests largely followed the traditional pattern of deferentially requesting compensation from offending companies (Koschmann 1978; Hoshino 1992). By the end of the decade, however, the gross injustice of pollution damage to health and livelihood was more widely recognized, and thousands of local anti-pollution movements were started, many of which became much more confrontational in their tactics. As Iijima explains: Pollution, occupational hazards, and consumer health problems caused by flawed or poisonous products have been more effective in inducing citizenbased mass movements than any other type of social disaster since the beginning of Japan’s period of modernization. (Iijima 1992: 154)

16 André Sorensen and Carolin Funck The environmental crisis had major enduring impacts on Japanese society: it legitimized protest and direct public engagement in political issues, a phenomenon that had seldom been seen in Japan; it created a new tradition of local mobilizing, often outside the established neighborhood associations and other existing structures that tended to have strong ties to the conservative power structure; it led to a steep drop in support for the LDP and its growth-first policies; and it led to a wave of ‘progressive’ (socialist and/or communist endorsed) mayors and governors, especially in the largest cities, so that by 1974 over 40 percent of the Japanese population was living under leftist local executives (Krauss and Simcock 1980; MacDougall 1980; McKean 1981). In an attempt to regain public support and retain its control of the parliament the LDP passed a new City Planning law in 1968 and 14 stringent pollution-control laws in 1970 including the establishment of an Environment Agency, as well as more generous welfare and public health care systems in 1972 and a new National Land Planning law and National Land Agency in 1974. Although by the end of the 1970s the electoral momentum of the left had been lost, and the LDP had regained virtually all the local executive offices, the progressive administrations did introduce a new approach to local politics, in which residents’ concerns and quality of life issues were given a much higher priority, and the support for local groups initiated in the 1970s contributed greatly to the gradual emergence of machizukuri approaches and experiments that spread during the 1980s and exploded across Japan in the 1990s (Kobayashi 1994; Sorensen 2002: chapter 9; Chapters 2 and 5, this volume). The environmental movement also continued and diversified into a range of new social movements, such as the Green Coop, Life Clubs, the anti-nuclear movements, anti-dam groups and other local environmental groups (Lam 1999; Bouissou 2000; Hasegawa 2004; Avenell 2006; Chapter 9, this volume). Perhaps most importantly, many of the characteristic organizational features of the environmental movements had enduring impacts on later machizukuri organizing. The main legacies of the environmental movement model are: a tendency towards small, relatively autonomous, local groups with few vertical distinctions in rank or internal hierarchy; democratic decision-making structures; the ability to draw on the resources of dense networks of overlapping organizations instead of having to start organizing from scratch; and extensive women’s participation which was seldom the rule in traditional community organizations. Most of the environmental movements tried hard to avoid direct affiliations with any party or with state agencies or other groups, in part to avoid being co-opted by political parties, and in part to ensure that as non-partisan bodies they could claim to represent the whole community. As a result of the institutional legacies of the environmental movements, a number of the main questions asked by social movement research are applicable to machizukuri movements, such as: who are the participants; how do machizukuri groups mobilize resources, what resources do they mobilize, what are the costs and benefits of participation for participants; how are collective identities formed within the group; to what extent are groups merely reactive,

Living cities in Japan 17 trying to protect their own narrow self-interest and to what extent do they take on larger more altruistic goals; and how do changing political opportunity structures influence the strategies, goals, successes, and failures of machizukuri movements? (Castells 1983; Klandermans 1991; Fainstein and Hirst 1995; Tarrow 1998). As most machizukuri movements organize in the hope of achieving influence over processes of urban change, often in their own neighborhoods, and must do so within the context of existing economic and political frameworks, the concept of political opportunity structures offers a useful lens with which to examine them. Political opportunity structures have been defined as the “consistent – but not necessarily formal, permanent, or national – dimensions of the political struggle that encourage people to engage in contentious politics” (Tarrow 1998: 18). It seems clear that changing political opportunity structures in Japan greatly encouraged the spread of machizukuri since the 1990s, so the studies of machizukuri here should be revealing of how those opportunity structures have changed, what sorts of opportunities have opened and what sorts have closed, and how the growth of machizukuri may have worked to shape changing opportunity structures. Finally, the risk of co-option is a key systemic problem for many urban social movements, as although engagement with local administrative systems often does further the aims of the movement, groups that get involved in service delivery can suffer a loss of vitality, professionalization, or separation from the movement from which they emerged (Fainstein and Hirst 1995: 196; Mayer 1998). Similarly, many machizukuri movements in Japan have shown great willingness to participate in direct provision of services in association with local governments, and have suffered problems of co-optation and distraction from their original goals (Bouissou 2000; Hasegawa 2004; Chapters 5, 6, and 9, this volume). Although machizukuri emerged out of the environmental movements, however, and shared many of the same networks and actors, the heavy engagement of machizukuri groups with local government in processes often created or supported by local government, means that machizukuri today often has more in common with ‘public participation’ processes than with social movements (see Chapters 7, 10, and 11, this volume). Research on public participation in planning has a different tradition, and poses somewhat different questions. Public participation During the same period that the environmental movements were at their peak membership and influence in Japan, the growing conflict over processes of urban change prompted a wide range of attempts to facilitate greater ‘public participation’ in planning. For example, in the UK the Skeffington Report of 1969, and the 1968 New City Planning law in Japan both emphasized the importance of public participation in planning although neither went much farther than suggesting that more information be provided to residents and other stakeholders


André Sorensen and Carolin Funck

(Cullingworth and Nadin 1994: 252; Sorensen 2002: 219). In hindsight it is easy to dismiss such changes as rather crude attempts to manipulate or placate opponents, without giving them any real say in issues of substance. The problem that in practice the local politics of planning is contingent upon unequal power relations that are seldom challenged by public participation processes was succinctly presented by Shelly Arnstein in her ‘ladder of citizen participation’ analysis, in which she distinguished eight possible levels of participation, from degrees of non-participation such as manipulation and therapy, through degrees of tokenism such as informing, consultation and placation, to degrees of citizen power such as delegated power and ultimately citizen control (Arnstein 1969). It seems likely, however, that few activists were deceived that government’s new willingness to inform them of plans meant that they had gained any say in the content of those plans, particularly in Japan. The growing range of public participation practices and experiments around the world has also led to an increasingly sophisticated research literature on citizen participation in planning processes. Leaving aside for the moment the more theoretical literature on communicative planning and civil society, research on participatory planning raises a number of important questions for research and practice apart from Arnstein’s important question about power. Four related questions are worth looking at here: who participates? At what scale does participation take place? What kinds of issues and decisions are open to influence by participation? To what extent does participation challenge existing arrangements? An early approach to the question of who participates was that of Olson (1965) in his seminal work The Logic of Collective Action. Olson argued that in many cases where significant collective benefits can be gained through collective action, the benefits of participation for each individual are likely to be smaller than the costs, and as the benefits are in most cases public goods such as a better environment that everyone benefits from whether or not they participated, it is rational for individuals to free-ride, or enjoy the results of participation without having contributed to achieving them. As Olson puts it, “unless the number of individuals is quite small, or unless there is coercion or some other special device to make individuals act in their common interest, rational selfinterested individuals will not act to achieve their common or group interests” (Olson 1965: 2, emphasis in original). In most cases there will be systematically less participation than optimal to achieve the common interest, so everyone will suffer. Olson suggested that balanced participation is most likely at the smallest scales where the possibility of monitoring and punishing free-riders is relatively easy, as in the case of neighborhood associations where everyone knows everyone else, and long-term social ties are a strong incentive to participate (Ostrom 1990: Chapter 3; Rydin and Pennington 2000). As Rydin and Pennington (2000: 158) argue, collective action problems also lead to a second issue, that in cases where participation provides significant benefits for a defined group, while imposing a small individual cost on a much more numerous public, the benefiting group will have strong incentives to

Living cities in Japan 19 achieve their own collective action, while the cost to the broader public will often be too small to justify collective action to oppose it. Some forms of growth coalition could be described as this sort of rent-seeking behavior, as could much of the expenditure on unnecessary public works in Japan (see Woodall 1996; McGill 1998). The spontaneous emergence of NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) type disputes can also be explained in this way. In such cases, expanding the opportunities for public input into policy-making processes may not result in better public policy, or more sustainable, equitable or livable environments if such collective action problems mean that either there is significant free-riding, or if rent-seekers manage to capture the process. In this view the issues of participation are not just that opportunities to participate in policy-making are routinely limited in highly structured ways, as they normally are, but that even when opportunities to participate are relatively open, the costs and benefits of participation mean that different types and scales of public participation with different reward structures will attract different sorts of participants. This approach does appear to provide some useful insights. For example, most machizukuri processes and groups do operate at the small-scale of the neighborhood. That is a scale at which it is relatively easy to ensure that the costs and benefits of participation are balanced and shared equitably, and it is not so difficult to know who is not pulling their weight, and to sanction them appropriately. Other issues remain, however, such as how political influence is gained, what kinds of issues are engaged by participation, and how are those issues determined? A useful approach to these questions is presented in a recent paper by Sharp and Connelly (2002). While Arnstein’s focus was on the important issue of the degree of power gained by participants, Sharp and Connelly push the analysis further, suggesting that not only are changes to power relations important for understanding citizen participation, but also the scale of planning concerned, the timing of participation, and the degree of risk participatory processes pose to established institutions. They suggest that participation be evaluated not only on a continuum of power, but also on a continuum of scale, from neighborhood to region, and a continuum of risk, from low risk participation such as when participation means park maintenance, to higher risk situations in which participants have input into major policy decisions. In the latter case there is clearly more risk for the sponsoring agency that participants may disrupt existing priorities or plans. Similarly, timing is important because participation early in a policy process will be more likely to have an impact on policies and will pose a higher risk of significant change, or significantly divergent imaginaries, than participation after most decisions have already been made. Perhaps the most fundamental critique of public participation in planning processes comes from the development policy community, where participatory development emerged as a dominant methodology during the 1980s and 1990s. In contrast to urban planning in developed countries, where on the whole each country is inventing its own processes and systems of public participation and consultation, the situation in developing countries is quite different. Development

20 André Sorensen and Carolin Funck assistance from wealthy countries to developing countries is a huge flow of money, resources, people, and ideas largely in one direction, and practitioners at all levels have a sophisticated and multinational conversation on methods, practice, evaluation, and theory. The idea was that participation of local people in development projects would both engage ‘local people’s knowledge’ to produce better outcomes, and serve to reverse the power relationship from a process where outside experts transfer technology to poor recipients, to one where the outsiders listen and learn from local people, and help them create their own development strategy (Chambers 1983, 1994). The dominance of this conception is indicated by the fact that it was accepted as best practice by the World Bank in the mid-1990s (see World Bank 1996). This context has encouraged the emergence of a critical theoretical literature on participation that applies concepts from social psychology, political science, management studies, and sociology to unpack some of the contradictions common in participatory development practices, asking whether participation may be creating a ‘new tyranny of participation’ (see Cooke and Kothari 2001). Put simply, this approach identifies the ‘tyranny of decision-making and control’ in which participatory processes override existing legitimate decision-making processes, the ‘tyranny of the group’ where group dynamics can lead to participatory decisions that privilege the most powerful or even to results that no one wants, and the ‘tyranny of method’ in which participatory methods block the use of other methods that may work better (Cooke and Kothari 2001: 7). These varied perspectives on participation suggest that a careful and critical approach to the study of machizukuri practice is required, not merely cheerleading of bottom–up approaches. Theories of public participation raise many questions for the study of machizukuri. Who are the participants, and is the composition of participation changing through the spread of machizukuri, or is it really the same actors as before, operating under a new set of keywords and justifications? What are the costs and benefits of participation, how do those costs and benefits structure participation, and are benefits systematically captured by small groups at the public expense, or are benefits being produced that are spread more widely? At what scales does machizukuri operate most effectively, and are the scales engaged by machizukuri processes changing? Is the timing of participation changing, from a situation where participation is opened after the most important decisions were already made, to a situation where participation can actually influence the direction of important issues? Finally, are the kinds of policies, plans, and issues influenced by participation processes changing? Are machizukuri processes creating situations of greater risk to existing actors, power relations, and policies, or are the issues dealt with such that even big changes in outcome pose little risk to established structures? We do not mean to suggest that more risk is better. A machizukuri project could be quite successful in terms of providing participants with the outcomes that they want, without generating any risk to established institutions. On the other hand, it seems valuable to ask; what kinds of risks do different kinds of machizukuri processes present to established structures and

Living cities in Japan 21 actors? Is it possible to evaluate how the risk profiles of machizukuri processes are changing over time? Our hypothesis is that machizukuri processes of public participation in the management of shared spaces are creating new opportunities, new priorities and new outcomes in some cases, but that real change and institutional innovation is not as easy as might be imagined. The concept of civil society provides a useful way of understanding such institutional change and social innovation. Civil society, communicative planning, and urban livability This final section brings together the perspectives of civil society, participatory management of shared spaces, and livability. An important characteristic of the concept of livable cities is that it is impossible to determine a priori a solution that would be broadly applicable for diverse places, communities, and individuals. What livability means in practice can only be defined by those living in a place, and it is certain that there will sometimes be disagreement on what livability means, and whether, how and who should contribute what to achieving it. Notwithstanding the problems with participatory governance processes noted above, however, it is clear that in the many places where individual solutions to livability (whether through exit or private investment) are not possible or not desired, some sort of collective process is necessary. In the contemporary world there are three main ways of structuring such collective processes: through state action, through market processes, and through civil society organizing. The approach of early planning advocates at the beginning of the twenty-first century was to entrust such issues to the state, democratic or otherwise, as the livability issues were so huge and so pressing that voluntary action was considered insufficient, and market processes had created the nineteenth century urban crisis in the first place. That strategy was reasonably successful in the developed countries in providing fundamentals such as water supply, roads, waste management, security, and other basic public goods. One major problem with reliance on the state is that, as discussed earlier, central governments are systematically inclined to privilege economic development over livability, and local government is routinely more responsive to economic interests than citizens’ groups. Where the interests of economic development or private profits diverge from the interests of livability, as they often appear to have done, reliance on the state and market to deliver it proves to be problematic. A more fundamental dilemma is the fact that the issues involved in making places more livable have grown far more complex. While basic issues such as a safe water supply and clean air are easy to agree, as societies have become more affluent and diverse, and basic minimum standards are achieved, demands have become more complex. Government-dominated planning processes, that necessarily apply uniform standards, and instinctively apply what Watanabe in Chapter 2 describes as a ‘big area’ conception of the public interest, are not very effective at the small and context-specific interventions valued in particular

22 André Sorensen and Carolin Funck places. Further, in complex and open societies, within even small areas there will always be multiple stakeholders, with criss-crossing relationships and interests, varied degrees of embeddedness and engagement in the area, diverse conceptions of the meanings of and aspirations for livability, and varied capacities to engage and influence outcomes (Healey 1997). It is therefore essential that the people living in and using shared spaces are actively involved in defining the conceptions of livability that are relevant to that place and which have sufficient support to be possible to achieve, and maintain. Processes of consensus building and collaborative decision-making are valuable not only to define shared goals and values, but also to create new shared values, and to generate commitments to achieve them (Innes 1995; Healey 1997). The ability of diverse actors to engage meaningfully in processes of consensus building and collaborative decision-making is structured by the institutional capacity to bring the relevant actors together, manage processes of information sharing and consensus building, and mobilize the resources to implement the decisions taken. The concept of civil society is useful for analyzing such institutional structures. Since the 1990s the discussions of urban social movements, and of public participation in planning, have been informed by a broader debate about the role of civil society in urban governance (Forester 1987; Innes 1995; Borja et al. 1997; Healey 1997; Friedmann 1998). Civil society has been defined in a range of different ways, but it is still, we believe, a useful analytical concept (see Hall 1995; Keane 1998). It makes sense for our purposes to define civil society broadly, following Pharr, as “sustained, organized social activity that occurs in groups that are formed outside the state, the market and the family” (Pharr 2003: 317). This definition would include business associations, religious groups, and political groups that are not attempting to gain political office. The growing role of civil society in governance has been a particularly prominent subject of public debate and research in Japan in recent years (Yamamoto 1999; Pekkanen 2000; Takao 2001; Schwartz and Pharr 2003; Hasegawa 2004; Kingston 2004). As in other countries, it is argued that civil society is a key arena in which new ideas and priorities for governance are formulated and debated, and in which education about, and mobilization in support of, such alternative visions is carried out. The particular value of the civil society perspective for understanding machizukuri is that Japanese civil society developed in very different ways than most of the other developed countries. Although there is a long history of civil society organizations and institutions in Japan, as discussed by Sorensen in Chapter 3, the state has actively and continuously worked to shape the evolution and institutional structures of civil society in Japan both through legal controls, as well as through positive efforts to encourage and shape the development of certain kinds of civil society organizations for local environmental management, such as neighborhood associations. The government’s efforts at creating institutions of self-governance at the neighborhood scale have had long-lasting impacts on the institutions of place management. They simultaneously did help to build significant social capital and self-governance capacity, and also directed that capacity to certain ends. Although neighborhood associations undoubtedly form

Living cities in Japan 23 a part of Japanese civil society, they are a very particular type of civil society institution, that functions in highly patterned ways, and are not easily amenable to conversion to other goals (see Chapters 3 and 11, this volume). In Japan, largely as a result of state efforts, most civil society organizations have remained small, and/or have ended up working closely with the state. The wide range of medium and large-scale organizations dealing with urban environmental issues that are common in most developed countries has only begun to emerge in Japan since the 1990s, largely because until 1998 each central ministry retained the discretion to approve or deny the legal existence of civil society groups within their area of jurisdiction. Obstacles to legal status are potentially important anywhere, but were crucial in Japan, as without legal status, organizations cannot have paid staff, cannot rent office space or open a bank account, cannot even have a phone number. Although the size of the environmental movements in Japan and the US were similar in the early 1970s, state efforts to manage their development and growth contributed greatly to the fact that in Japan no civil society organizations on the scale of the World Wildlife Fund, Sierra Club, or Brookings Institution have yet emerged (Pekkanen 2003; Pharr 2003). To gain a voice in processes of managing shared spaces it is often necessary to be able to engage the state over extended periods, through complex and timeconsuming procedures. That requires resources, staying power, networks, and a rich and diverse conversation among many actors. It is particularly important to have ongoing civil society organizations with resources sufficient to employ full-time staff, as well as retain professionals such as lawyers and planners. Such institutional capacity does not emerge overnight, but is the result of years of organizing and development. The evolution and thickening of the networks of civil society actors with diverse scales and capacities that Evans refers to as ‘ecologies of actors’ (2002), is a process of institution building for environmental management that takes place largely within civil society, even while one aspect of that capacity is the ability to engage state and market actors in projects of livability. The Japanese case makes clear the key role of civil society organizations for the management of shared spaces. Before the 1990s few independent organizations existed that had the resources or staying power to be able to develop effective critiques of the existing ordering of priorities, and even fewer developed the political power to have any influence on state policy. Those that did grow to any significant scale were routinely co-opted into existing frameworks of government activity. The tight controls over the legal existence of civil society organizations in the postwar period thus appear to have played a decisive role in preventing the emergence of a more influential civil society role in urban planning. That appears to be changing since the passage of the NPO law of 1998. During the last five or six years a number of larger intermediary civil society organizations have begun to emerge, such as Tokyo LANPO, or Kobe Green Net. The mission of several of these organizations is to provide skills and services to smaller organizations.

24 André Sorensen and Carolin Funck As a result of the legacy of tightly constrained opportunities for large-scale civil society institutions to develop, most civil society organizations that engage in processes of machizukuri in Japan are small, and have no staff or office space, relying entirely on volunteers. In this context, we must ask: to what extent are machizukuri processes contributing to the growth and maturation of civil society in Japan? Are civil society actors gaining a real voice in governance, or are they merely being delegated a range of responsibilities that the state has little interest in? If they are gaining a role in governance processes, how has that been achieved, and to what extent are such changes becoming institutionalized? Similarly, to what extent are machizukuri processes effecting lasting changes to governing institutions and ways of working? Are machizukuri processes really contributing to making places more livable, or is this a minor sideshow to a more important story that lies elsewhere? Some answers to these questions are provided in the case studies here.

A diversity of machizukuri processes The diversity and heterogeneity of machizukuri processes for managing shared spaces in Japan today means that it is quite impossible to present the full range of activity in a single volume. Instead, we present eight case studies of diverse machizukuri processes, introduced by three chapters that set out the context in which recent practice has developed, followed by a concluding chapter that attempts to draw out the main characteristics and significance of contemporary machizukuri in Japan. As discussed above, a central issue of machizukuri is to gain a voice for civil society in managing lived environments, so engagement with the existing legal/administrative system of city planning is inevitable. The relationship of machizukuri with the city planning system is examined by the prominent Japanese planning studies scholar Shun-ichi J. Watanabe, who argues that a new, twenty-first-century urban environmental management system is being created in the collision between the old city planning system (toshi keikaku) and a new system represented by machizukuri. The chapter first outlines a genealogy of machizukuri development during the postwar period, from early beginnings in the 1950s and 1960s to the paradigmatic case of Mano in Kobe, and suggests that its main characteristics are small area, participatory process, and incremental change. He then looks at the main problems with and structures of the old system of toshi keikaku, with its rigid, top–down, large-area and bureaucratic approach. Finally, he examines the contemporary interaction of these two divergent approaches to the management of shared spaces, and the challenges and prospects for future practice. In the next chapter, Sorensen takes a different approach to the postwar evolution of planning governance institutions in Japan, focusing on the evolution of civil society roles and capacity in the management of shared spaces in Japan from traditional neighborhood associations to more recent machizukuri approaches. He identifies three catalytic periods of change and growth in civil

Living cities in Japan 25 society: the period of postwar democratization during which the totalitarian governance apparatus of the wartime state was dismantled; the environmental crisis of the late 1960s and early 1970s, when mass mobilization of citizens’ environmental movements challenged the growth-first strategy of the developmental state and established the legitimacy of citizen opposition and organizing; and the ‘bubble economy’ period and especially its collapse in 1990, that exposed the bankruptcy of the ‘construction state’ approach to space management and sparked the contemporary spread of machizukuri practices throughout the country. During each of these transformative moments, the legitimacy of key institutional structures of governance of space was challenged, and an opportunity for transformative institutional change emerged. The chapter outlines changes to the planning system, traditional neighborhood associations, and civil society actors in a sketch of the processes of institutional innovation that permitted contemporary machizukuri processes. In great contrast, Feldhoff examines the persistence of what is undoubtedly one of the greatest challenges to citizen participatory governance of space: the construction state. He shows how enduring the postwar system of collusion between politicians, bureaucrats, and the construction industry has been, and argues that massive government spending on public works projects has routinely worked to the benefit of business rather than the general public. Using a case study of the privatization of highway-related public corporations, he examines the causes and consequences of the long-standing stability of the construction state and the networks of relationships in Japanese regional development processes. The chapter serves as a useful reminder that the spread of machizukuri is only one part of the picture of contemporary conflicts over managing shared spaces in Japan. Part II presents five case studies of the practice of machizukuri. The eminent Japanese planning historian Yorifusa Ishida introduces the idea of machisodate, introduced in 2001 by Yasuhiro Endo (Endo 2001). With the term machisodate Endo emphasized the importance of social network development in the process of community development in Japan. In this chapter Endo’s concept of machisodate is employed by Ishida to review his family’s 35-year involvement in citizens’ movements in the Aobadai area of Tokyu Denen Toshi, the largest-ever residential development by a private sector developer in Japan. Although during the process, the relationship between toshi keikaku and machizukuri took a variety of forms from conflict to cooperation, the author argues that ultimately the gradually improving living conditions in Tokyu Denen Toshi have been achieved by virtue of the hard work and basically cooperative relationship between citizens’ movements, Tokyu Corporation, and the administration of Yokahama city. In contrast to such gradual processes of community development, the Great Hanshin Earthquake (1995), which severely damaged the inner-city area in Kobe and surrounding municipalities, led to a sudden surge in citizens’ activities born out of necessity. Directly after the earthquake, activities by residents concentrated on rescue operations and organization of life in the evacuation centers,

26 André Sorensen and Carolin Funck but they later expanded to cover a wide range of issues aiming at the improvement of environment, welfare, education, culture, and social relationships as well as infrastructure maintenance. Carolin Funck explores the nature of recent changes in the system of machizukuri and urban planning through in depth case studies of several organizations involved in machizukuri in Kobe city. The chapter examines the extent to which machizukuri processes have enabled the involvement of new actors in urban planning and community development processes, especially of women. She asks: does machizukuri allow the development of new organizational forms and decision-making processes, or is it the same old top–down process in disguise? Are these new groups able to develop their own priorities independently of the old governance structures, and thus really contribute to the expansion of civil society and the public realm? The chapter shows that the creation and control of public spaces proves to be a central theme in all the cases examined, demonstrating that for urban residents shared spaces really are a key priority, and an issue that motivates civic engagement. In a second chapter on machizukuri in post-earthquake Kobe, Atsuko Ito examines the creation of a variety of new community organizational structures for involvement in the redevelopment and land readjustment projects implemented after the earthquake. In each project area, the Kobe government set up residents groups called Machizukuri Councils. Citizens’ activities were not restricted to this type of group, however, as residents also actively attempted to adapt traditional organizations like neighborhood associations to structure participation in the new machizukuri activities. The case studies in this paper show that although machizukuri in the damaged areas faced many difficulties, the energy and determination of residents enabled them to achieve a great deal. Hiroshi Nunokawa analyzes the role historical consciousness, knowledge of local history and visible historical traces in the urban landscape play in machizukuri activities. His chapter focuses on the districts Nishide, Higashide, and Higashikawasakimachi in Kobe city, an area which played an important role not only as a basis for shipbuilding and industries handling harbor cargo, but also as a lively red-light district in the past. But since the period of stable growth and the decline of its central industries, some typical inner-city problems have appeared. The chapter examines the activities of a citizens’ movement that has started to re-evaluate the local modern history as a foundation for the revival of the area. This paper examines the interaction between the recognition of the present and the recognition of history that support machizukuri movements. In the final chapter in this section, Toshihisa Asano focuses on the evolution of citizens’ movements to protect water environments. Citizens’ environmental movements first spread in the 1960s, as a response to the catastrophic environmental pollution that came to symbolize the negative effects of rapid economic growth. Many of the famous cases were connected to water pollution. Asano shows that while during the 1960s and 1970s the environmental movement had an anti-establishment character, later a stronger emphasis was put on individual responsibility for the environment. Recently civil society organizations are

Living cities in Japan 27 increasingly insisting that the civil sector and the administrative sector have to collaborate for the improvement of the environment. This paper analyzes citizens’ environmental movements concerned with water and wetlands in Japan through two case studies of changing environmental movements in Lake Kasumigaura and its watershed north of Tokyo, and in the area of Lake Nakaumi and Lake Shinji in western Japan north of Hiroshima. Although all these case studies include some conflicts between groups of residents and citizens, different levels of administration, and different types of business, the emphasis has been on the creation of structures for citizen participation. Part III takes a slightly different approach, consisting of three chapters that focus more on conflicts over spatial changes and the governance processes designed to manage such change. Akito Murayama introduces the emergence of a machizukuri movement from participation in a local government sponsored Master-Plan exercise in downtown Fukaya, a city in Saitama, focusing on the challenges a newly established machizukuri NPO experienced in attempting to promote sustainable downtown regeneration. Although the Fukaya City Master Plan was developed with citizens’ participation, many policies suggested by citizen groups and integrated in the plan were not realized, and the previous redevelopment plan is still gradually being implemented by the municipal government, threatening the historic environment that citizens’ groups sought to protect. Citizens’ activities therefore shifted to the creation of a non-profit machizukuri organization for the regeneration of downtown Fukaya as a living city with a historic environment. The major challenges are to gain both citizens’ and property owners’ support for historic preservation, and to change local government policy. Here the participatory process created by local government led to the emergence of a civil society organization that directly opposes the statutory local plan, and has begun to mobilize support to change it, illustrating nicely the creative collision of city planning and machizukuri introduced by Watanabe. The next chapter by Shizuka Hashimoto focuses on the institutional legacies of Japan’s most widespread citizens’ groups, the neighborhood associations (NAs). Based on the long tradition of local government engagement with NAs, in the rising tide of machizukuri movements, local governments very often expected NAs to play a central role in organizing the newly mandated citizen participation in planning processes such as Master Plans. Case studies of the Asuka district of Kakegawa city, Shizuoka prefecture, and the town of Hotaka in Nagano prefecture are introduced to explore the roles that local governments expect NAs to play, how NAs actually operate as a vehicle of local demands and concern, how effectively NAs are functioning as participatory governance mechanisms, and some problematic legacies of the traditional institutional structures of NAs. In the final chapter, Sayaka Fujii, Junichiro Okata, and André Sorensen examine opposition to high-rise residential development, one of the most common urban conflicts in recent years. During the last five years a boom of redevelopment of inner city sites has occurred in several Japanese cities, particularly Tokyo. In many inner-city neighborhoods of low-rise dwellings, high-rise

28 André Sorensen and Carolin Funck condominium buildings of 30–50 stories are being built. This has provoked many intense conflicts between existing neighborhood residents and the property development companies pursuing redevelopment. In Japan, urban planning governance is an increasingly contested terrain in which the balance of power between local and central governments, the contest for legitimacy between residents and the state, and the conflict between urban livability and economic pressures is constantly being renegotiated. Conflicts over the recent boom in high-rise residential development in inner-city Tokyo provide an indication of the structures and constraints faced by attempts to participate in planning processes, and the openness of Japanese planning and local governance systems to the demands of groups of local residents. None of these studies should lead the reader to conclude that contemporary machizukuri in Japan represents a simple paradigm shift from a top–down to a bottom–up style of planning, in which happy volunteers cheerfully pull together to create more sustainable communities, as in the brightly colored socialist realist paintings of Chinese peasants during the Mao era. Rather, the situation is more complex, diverse, and conflicted. Easy solutions are elusive, and established institutions and actors more entrenched and persistent than may have been imagined. Still, the energy, imaginativeness, and determination of local efforts to engage in processes of managing shared spaces cannot help but inspire a measured optimism. While the cases presented here do not pretend to represent a comprehensive picture of contemporary machizukuri processes in Japan, they do provide a glimpse of some major characteristics of recent efforts by civil society groups to engage in the management of shared spaces in Japan. The concluding chapter attempts to draw out the main characteristics of Japanese machizukuri processes, and provide initial answers to some of the questions posed above.

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36 André Sorensen and Carolin Funck Swyngedouw, Erik and Kaika, Maria. (2003). The Making of ‘Glocal’ Urban Modernities: Exploring the Cracks in the Mirror. City. 7(1): 5–21. Takano, Takehito. (2003). Healthy Cities and Urban Policy Research. London and New York: Spon Press. Takao, Yasuo. (2001). The Rise of the “Third Sector” in Japan. Asian Survey. 41(2): 290–309. Tarrow, Sidney G. (1998). Power in movement: Social Movements and Contentious Politics. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press. Tsuru, Shigeto. (1993). Japan’s Capitalism, Creative Defeat and Beyond. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ui, Jun, ed. (1992). Industrial Pollution in Japan. Tokyo: United Nations University Press. United Nations. Dept. of Public Information. (1993). Agenda 21: Programme of Action for Sustainable Development; Rio Declaration on Environment and Development; Statement of Forest Principles: The Final Text of Agreements Negotiated by Governments at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), 3–14 June 1992, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. New York: United Nations Dept. of Public Information. Vosse, Wilhelm. (1999). The Emergence of a Civil Society in Japan. Japanstudien: Jahrbuch des Deutschen Instituts fur Japanstudien der Philipp Franz von Siebold Stiftung. 11: 31–53. Wackernagel, Mathis and Rees, William. (1995). Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing Human Impact on the Earth. Gabriola, Canada: New Society Publishers. Wegener, Michael. (1994). Tokyo’s Land Market and its Impact on Housing and Urban Life. In Philip Shapira, Ian Masser, and David W. Edgington (eds), Planning for Cities and Regions in Japan. 92–112. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. Wheeler, Stephen. (1998). Planning Sustainable and Livable Cities. In Richard T. LeGates and Frederic Stout (eds), The City Reader. London: Routledge. Wolman, Harold and Goldsmith, Michael. (1992). Urban politics and Policy: A Comparative Approach. Oxford, UK and Cambridge, Massachusetts: Blackwell. Woodall, Brian. (1992). The Politics of Land in Japan’s Dual Political Economy. In John O. Haley and Kozo Yamamura (eds), Land Issues in Japan: A Policy Failure? 113–148. Seattle: Society for Japanese Studies. —— (1996). Japan Under Construction: Corruption, Politics and public works Berkeley: University of California Press. World Bank. (1996). The World Bank Participation Sourcebook, ESD (Environmentally Sustainable Development). Washington, DC: World Bank. Yamamoto, Tadashi, ed. (1999). Deciding the Public Good: Governance and Civil Society in Japan. Tokyo, New York: Japan Center for International Exchange. —— (1999). Emergence of Japan’s Civil Society and its Future Challenges. In Tadashi Yamamoto (ed.), Deciding the Public Good: Governance and Civil Society in Japan. 97–124. Tokyo: Japan Centre for International Exchange. Yamamura, Kozo. (1992). LDP Dominance and High Land Price in Japan: A Study in Positive Political Economy. In John O. Haley and Kozo Yamamura (eds), Land Issues in Japan: A Policy Failure? 33–76. Seattle: Society for Japanese Studies. Yanarella, Ernest J. (1999). Local Sustainability Programmes in Comparative Perspective: Canada and the USA. Local Environment. 4(2): 209–223.

Part I

The context of managing shared spaces in Japan


Toshi keikaku vs machizukuri Emerging paradigm of civil society in Japan, 1950–1980 Shun-ichi J. Watanabe

Introduction Japanese society has, since 1990, been suffering through the ‘lost decade’ of the post-bubble era. It seems clear that a solution to these problems has not been found yet, as we are now at the beginning of the twenty-first century, rushing through another ‘lost decade.’ Critical conditions persist throughout society, with the government and economy at the forefront of the problems. In my view, the contemporary crisis should be seen as one of three great turning points in Japanese history along with the Meiji Restoration and the post-World War II period. Even in the depths of dark despair, a small light of hope can be seen. We are currently in a process of switching over from the ‘old system,’ which demonstrated its effectiveness in the postwar reconstruction, to a ‘new system’ for the twenty-first century. Both the opening to the world of the Meiji Restoration and the defeat in the war were a result of strong external pressures, which forced rapid reforms. Because the current process of globalization creates a much more diffuse sort of external pressures, the current reform process is taking considerable time. This description of the situation also applies to urban and environmental management issues. A new twenty-first century urban environmental management system is being created out of the collision between the ‘old system,’ represented by city planning (toshi keikaku), and the ‘new system’ of machizukuri. We can already see the germination of such changes taking place. The purpose of this paper is to analyze both the old system and the new system through an analysis of their collision, in order to understand the future possibilities of such a system. The following discussion covers the most crucial period for the above analysis, which is the postwar period around from 1950 to 1980.

Term and concept of ‘toshi keikaku’ and ‘machizukuri’ First of all, let us clarify each term and concept of city planning (toshi keikaku) and machizukuri. City planning or ‘toshi keikaku’ is a rather an old term that was used for the first time in 1913 by Professor Hajime Seki (Watanabe 1993:


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90–91). In this chapter, I use the term ‘toshi keikaku’ not as meaning ‘city planning’ in general, but as meaning ‘the statutory city planning in Japan.’ This planning system is prescribed by national laws and is administered by the central and local governments. On the other hand, ‘machizukuri’ is a rather new term that was first used in 1952, by Professor Shiro Masuda (Masuda 1952; Watanabe et al. 1997). Contrary to statutory city planning (toshi keikaku), the concept of machizukuri is very vague and ambiguous. Many people use the term ‘machizukuri’ according to their own understanding of the term in many different situations. Today, the word ‘machizukuri’ has generally a positive image and its utilization is becoming more and more ambiguous.1 Nevertheless, I believe that a real activity does exist which can generally be identified as machizukuri. Machizukuri was born with the postwar democracy in Japan and is centered on the local community. It is closely related with the people’s desire to decide their own lifestyle with their own character. More importantly, from the viewpoint of production and consumption of the society’s commodities and services, the machizukuri activity is based on the principle of the civil society (or non-profit organization, NPO) sector, as clearly opposed to the principles of the government and market sectors. In order to understand the concept of machizukuri, it is useful to think separately of two elements, ‘machi (community)’ and ‘zukuri (making).’ These two elements have a particular hidden nuance and have mutual affinities. ‘Machi’ is the concept concerning the physical and/or other object of the machizukuri activities. It often means the ‘small area’ (kyoiki) rather than the ‘large area’ (koiki). ‘Zukuri’ is the concept concerning the method of the machizukuri activities. It is often social and political in nature, meaning ‘public participation’ of various degrees. ‘Machi’ for the ‘small area’ Machi often opposes the large area, like the country, region, or entire city; it strictly means the physical space and/or the social system of the small area like the community and neighborhood. Today, especially in the field of architecture and planning, machi means the physical space and environment such as city blocks or districts for the residents’ daily urban life. Machi deals not only with such physical areas, with which the planning and building laws are traditionally concerned, but also such ‘non-physical’ territories as community welfare, lifelong learning and municipal reform. The important point is that both physical and non-physical aspects are mutually and closely interconnected.2 The important point about the concept of machi is that it is not only about ‘the scale of the space,’ but also about ‘the viewpoint.’ That means to value the viewpoint of the local residents with their own values and lifestyles. It is not the viewpoint of the government, the market or the professionals, but is the viewpoint of the citizens and amateurs. This viewpoint values the rich community and family life which was especially neglected during the period of rapid eco-

Toshi keikaku vs machizukuri 41 nomic growth in the 1960s. Only the actual life experience of the local residents is valuable and has a strong social influence. ‘Zukuri’ for public participation The concept of ‘zukuri’ (making) concerns the method that an object is made by the people themselves. This idea of ‘zukuri’ does not only imply the one-time action of making hardware like the built environment or software like the machizukuri council (machizukuri kyogikai), but also the permanent action of maintaining and improving what the people once made. ‘Zukuri’ values a rich and continuing ‘process’ of the machizukuri activities rather than a beautiful final ‘product.’ I think the term ‘zukuri’ implies handmade (te-zukuri). It holds much surprise and joy when people began to realize that they can now create themselves something that used to be monopolized and made only by the experts of the market and government. In this sense, machizukuri is similar to other activities such as ordinance making (jorei-zukuri) or nation-making (kuni-zukuri) where the ordinary citizens could not participate before. What machizukuri ‘makes’ is not the object of personal interests or hobbies but is something ‘public’ in one way or another, involving many stakeholders. So we cannot avoid the issue of ‘public participation.’ This is the area, according to Arnstein, that is stretching from the non-participation as manipulation and therapy to various degrees of tokenism and to those of citizen power (Arnstein 1969). Why has machizukuri, with its essential characteristics like attention to the ‘small area’ and ‘participation’ come into existence? It is because the traditional statutory city planning (toshi keikaku) with its poor concern about these two elements (small area and participation) could not respond sensitively to the needs of the time. Then what is machizukuri concretely? First, let us trace a specific portrait of the development of machizukuri, particularly since its birth up to around 1980, and then let us compare it in order to analyze the structure of city planning (toshi keikaku) in order to get some meaningful future perspectives.

Machizukuri as the ‘new system’ Kunitachi: the birth place of the word ‘machizukuri’ When Professor Masuda in his university town of Kunitachi in the western suburbs of Tokyo presented the new word ‘machizukuri,’ a citizen movement was being developed to protect the good living environment from some socially undesirable buildings. This movement was initiated by volunteer citizens who appealed for the designation of the area as ‘Education District,’ which was one of the district systems of city planning (toshi keikaku). As a result, in 1952, the 280 hectare area in and around the university, or 34 percent of the town area,


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became the first in Japan to be designated as an Education District after citizens’ initiatives (Kunitachi Shishi Hensan Iinkai 1990). The area considered as machi in this case, was not the designated area itself, but the area of the entire municipality. The reason was that the municipality, as a whole, was strongly considered as the base on which the citizen movement was encouraged. It may be understood that the viewpoint of the small area was not yet established although that of the municipality as the core of citizen life was a quite new one at that time. In terms of the method or ‘zukuri,’ it is noteworthy that citizens, instead of relying on the local bureaucrats or politicians, independently initiated a proposal that successfully led to the official decision by city planning (toshi keikaku). This was an advanced and unique case at the time. However, this was after all, a movement within the existing framework of city planning and not one that challenged its system. As a result, when the goal of the designation was achieved, the movement died down gradually and did not develop into a permanent or sustainable system for environmental management and preservation. We may be able to conclude that the case of Kunitachi was not a radical challenge to the traditional planning even though there was a unique point of people’s initiatives in local planning. Council of social welfare: machizukuri in the non-physical field It should be noted that in the 1950s, the term ‘machizukuri’ was actively used not by physical planners, but by the people in the non-physical field. The typical case was the movement called ‘Council of Social Welfare’ (CSW), or Shakai Fukushi Kyogikai (Shakyo) in Japanese. The movement was started by the Ministry of Health and Welfare in order to promote the American-style community organization in Japan. The organization, which was originally envisaged as a ‘self-sustaining organization by its citizens’ for the community social welfare, was set up in every prefecture and municipality. The CSW was theoretically a collection of independent private organizations but, in fact, was and still is a huge national network under the full control of the central and local governments. Its basic policy is determined by the government and its private workers devote their manpower in accordance with the policy. In its early days, they provided small pubic services like installing streetlights, which were not provided by municipalities due to financial difficulties at that time; their slogan was the ‘bright machizukuri’ (akarui machizukuri). The CSW workers proudly called their movement ‘machizukuri’ (Nihon Chiiki Fukushi Gakkai Chiiki Fukushishi Kenkyukai 1993). In fact, the CSW was more precisely an organization for ‘government-made’ machizukuri activities. Today the CSW still have important functions in many municipalities and act as ‘the fingers of the municipal administration.’ For the CSW, ‘machi’ meant the local municipality itself, because each CSW was an organization closely united with each municipality. For the CSW, ‘zukuri’ was an extremely rudimentary form of participation where volunteers

Toshi keikaku vs machizukuri 43 supplemented the municipal administration. It is quite far from the initial target of ‘self-sustaining organization by its citizens.’ As a citizen movement, it was fatally lacking in people’s autonomy. I imagine there are only few people today, including the CSW workers, who would claim that the CSW is in the mainstream of machizukuri. Sakae-Higashi: a new approach with an old paradigm The precedent cases were developed in the 1950s, when the term ‘machizukuri’ was freshly born in an area near toshi keikaku, but since then machizukuri grew up quite far from it, in the non-physical world. One of the few exceptions in the 1960s is the case of Sakae-Higashi. This is an interesting case where machizukuri for the first time returns to the physical world and is related to existing statutory city planning (toshi keikaku) to some degree. Around 1958, Mr Haruo Miwata, a futon merchant who lived in his shop in the Sakae-Higashi area in the central part of Nagoya City, launched a movement for redeveloping his neighborhood including his own shop-house. Researchers and public officials with architectural background volunteered to help him, describing their work as machizukuri. In 1964, they proposed a Master Plan for the redevelopment of Sakae-Higashi district of 165 hectares, which had no relation with the city planning of Nagoya City (Hattori 1974). At that time, Japanese architects and planners were very interested in the American urban renewal program and were excited with all the stimulating information they received from the US. The Sakae-Higashi Master Plan proposed clearing the existing disorderly built-up areas and creating neatly designed high-rise modern buildings on wide open space inside super-blocks. Although the reactions of the local people were varied, the proposal was warmly welcomed by architects and planners all over the country. With surprise and pleasure, they thought that the urban image drawn by Le Corbusier was not a dream anymore and was becoming reality in Japan, which was rapidly progressing from poverty into abundance. The proposal for Sakae-Higashi, as machizukuri, made a lot of noise in the Japanese professional community. The machi in the Sakae-Higashi project meant the entire planned area of 165 hectares. We can say that for the first time, the viewpoint of the small area appeared here in that the local people initiated efforts to deal with the area as a whole with a strong sense of the unit for planned action. It should be noted, however, that this approach was to redevelop and change the area completely, at one time, which was quite different from an incremental approach, as to slowly remodel the area wherever and whenever possible, as most recent machizukuri processes attempt to do. In terms of ‘zukuri,’ Sakae-Higashi relied on the method where first you let experts draw an ideal plan, and then you approach the local people and government in order to realize the project. This method of ‘zukuri’ was quite similar to the traditional city planning (toshi keikaku) except that bureaucrat planners were replaced by private volunteer planners. With this method, the citizens themselves

44 Shun-ichi J. Watanabe did not gather together to start to think about a future vision for them, but instead they were invited to the meeting, were shown a plan already made for them by professionals, received an explanation about it and were asked for agreement. The citizens were the objects of involvement and persuasion, and not the subjects of the initiation, decision, or execution. It is noticeable that the Sakae-Higashi project was a new attempt in terms of vision, but its approach relied on an old paradigm. Finally, this redevelopment project met with legal and financial difficulties and was not implemented. However, from the machizukuri viewpoint, it is important to notice that the real reason for the interruption was that the concept created by a small number of citizens and experts was not able to convince the large majority of other citizens and land-owners. In an historical background, such conditions of persuasion were not yet prepared. It did not develop into a social movement that was based upon the real needs of the local people but ended up as an idealistic movement by a small group of the elites, who were caught with the old paradigm. About the same time, in two districts of Kobe where life was seriously threatened, a new approach appeared. Again, it was developed in a different world from the traditional toshi keikaku and made a new challenge against toshi keikaku. Maruyama: a ‘fighting’ community In 1963, in Maruyama, a quiet residential quarter on a mountain-side district in Kobe City, some residents organized under the name of ‘machizukuri’ to take action against the invasion of dump trucks for residential development in order to defend the living environment of their own community. Their active leaders organized the residents and developed a series of innovative programs for socialization and mutual study. Under a strong leadership, the residents established a headquarters that housed full-time paid workers, mobilizing the residents for various campaigns. This movement soon became famous as the ‘fighting Maruyama.’ They principally targeted the municipal office, and persistently demanded various public services the community was in need of. These demands escalated from road traffic measures to all kinds of local environmental improvements. After many difficult negotiations with the local government, they succeeded in obtaining many of these demands (Hirohara 1989). Traditionally and still today, demands from the residents in Japan are generally treated with petitions to the municipal assembly and administration or with hidden channels via local bosses to the assembly members and/or to the city officials. Contrary to such individual or closed methods, Maruyama fought openly and collectively against the city authority by organizing the residents and by obtaining their strong support, which is the unique characteristic of Maruyama’s machizukuri. The machi in Maruyama was the Maruyama itself, which, once a mere place

Toshi keikaku vs machizukuri 45 name, has now become a really well organized society and a politically powerful body. It can be said that Maruyama is the first case where a strong viewpoint for, and an actual mechanism for the small area appeared in Japan. The ‘zukuri’ in Maruyama was for the residents to acquire various public services that they demanded from the municipal authority through organizing and mobilizing themselves. Perhaps this case may be considered as the first successful case of the type of community organization that the CSW originally attempted but in fact failed to create. We should not overlook the fact, however, that the Maruyama approach was for the leaders in the headquarters in the first place, to decide at the direction and to ask the residents to participate accordingly. To be accurate, this is ‘mobilization’ rather than ‘participation,’ which implies that Maruyama was more or less a ‘community version of the labor union movement,’ which was at its strongest at that time. Mano: the fountainhead of the present machizukuri Almost at the same time, and also in Kobe, in the very crowded urban area of Mano district on the coast, the local population started a machizukuri movement in order to protect their children from the air pollution caused by the local factories. The residents gradually expanded their protection activities to the entire environment of the community. First they fought against the city authority just like Maruyama. Then, during the latter half of the 1970s, they began to work together with the local government in making environmental improvements, such as the construction of public housing and the improvement of narrow streets. They have succeeded in continuously improving the area until today, but the essential actions taken in Maruyama mostly ended in the latter half of 1970s (Hirohara 2002). The machi in Mano was, like Maruyama, the local community itself that had much political ability and power. In contrast with Maruyama, however, which had little concern about a physical plan, Mano made efforts to push a physical plan because it was a district with the mixed uses of factories and houses, causing much pollution. The physical planning orientation of Mano can be also explained by the fact that the machizukuri movement in Mano was assisted by planning consultants. It makes a sharp contrast with Maruyama, where the leadership was in the hands of amateur citizen leaders. The people of Mano tried hard to organize themselves and to obtain results from the city authority in the field of housing and city planning (toshi keikaku) administration. The results were clearly demonstrated as late as in 1995, when the area was severely damaged by the Kobe earthquake. The ‘zukuri’ in Mano was remarkable. Mano, in contrast to Sakae-Higashi, did not hurry the creation of the physical plan. The participation sought in Mano was a genuine participation and not mobilization like in Maruyama. In Mano, the people worked hard to organize themselves and for promoting study by the residents; they steadily made small demands that were closely related to their


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everyday life. This incremental approach, when reflected in a physical plan, indicated that their community should gradually be improved through rehabilitation rather than through large-scale clearance and redevelopment. This is exactly the same as the dominant paradigm of the current machizukuri. In terms of both the ‘small area’ and ‘participation,’ Mano can be considered as one of the fountainheads of the stream of the present machizukuri. The machizukuri of Maruyama and Mano was a process where the local residents, extremely conscious of the problems of their own community, trained themselves with the power to be able to argue equally with the bureaucrats at the municipal office. The officials who were called into the negotiation process by the residents had a lot of valuable experiences that produced the knowledge to deal with citizens. In the latter half of the 1960s, both the community and the municipality shifted from ‘confrontation’ to ‘partnership.’ All these experiences provided the basis for the machizukuri administration of Kobe City after 1980.

Toshi keikaku as the ‘old system’ The toshi keikaku system Why did city planning (toshi keikaku), as the old system, become the object of criticisms over the years? First, let us look briefly at its history. The Japanese planning system started in 1888 with the enactment of the Tokyo Urban Area Improvement law.3 It was a national program toward the modernization of the imperial capital of Tokyo through the improvement of public facilities such as roads and parks. It was a construction program only for the City of Tokyo but the central government took the full responsibility. It was also defined as the improvement program for urban infrastructure rather than for the environment. The centralization of planning powers and the provision of urban infrastructure are the essential characteristics of the Urban Improvement law, which were later brought into the City Planning law and were continually obvious many years after, still remaining today. In this sense, the Tokyo Urban Area Improvement may be seen as the root of all the problems against which machizukuri began to fight a century later. In 1919, the City Planning law (toshi keikaku ho, the ‘Old Law’) expanded city planning (toshi keikaku) to cities other than Tokyo. At the same time, the Urban Buildings law (shigaichi kenchikubutsu ho) was also enacted as the sister law of the Old Law; both together provided the statutory system for controlling the physical structure and space of the Japanese cities. Half a century later, the Old Law was drastically amended into the City Planning law of 1968 (‘the New Law’), which is the current legislation for city planning.4 Next, let us examine both the object and the method of city planning (toshi keikaku) during the period of the Old Law and the period until 1980. We will compare city planning (toshi keikaku) and machizukuri, whose main object is the small area and whose main method is public participation.

Toshi keikaku vs machizukuri 47 ‘Large area’ as the object At the time of the enactment of the old City Planning law in 1919, Tokyo and other major Japanese cities were rapidly expanding into surrounding areas due to the industrialization and urbanization after World War I. These urban areas exceeded the administrative jurisdiction of the municipalities and kept growing. The Old Law treated these growing metropolitan areas as a whole and as a unit for planning and control, calling them a ‘whole city’ (ittai no toshi). The City Planning Area, which is the unit for city planning (toshi keikaku), was designated to include all the municipalities in which the ‘whole city’ expanded. As a result, the statutory planning area covered a huge agglomeration of urban areas regardless of the existing municipal boundaries. Thus the city planning (toshi keikaku) by municipalities was denied and the planning powers went into the hands of those who controlled the City Planning Area, namely the national bureaucrat planners.5 It was true that the land use controls of the Old Law had the concept of ‘district’ such as ‘Aesthetic District’ or ‘Scenic District.’ Such districts, however, were not widely used as they were just an option to reinforce the zones provided by the basic zoning system. Those districts were parts of the ‘whole city’ but were not considered as units for any positive planning actions. This means that the ‘small area’ viewpoint did not yet exist in the Old Law system. After the war, the ‘Building Agreement’ (kenchiku kyotei) was introduced as a land use control technique. This system, which is still used today, enables stricter building restrictions than the ordinary ones. It is based upon a mutual, voluntary agreement of the land-owners to raise the building standard of their own area. Its area is clearly delineated according to the property lines of the participating land-owners, but is not delineated according to any positive planning needs. The Building Agreement did not develop into such a strong land use control tool as the American covenant. The 1968 New Law, based on the top–down principle of the Old Law, prescribed clearly the City Planning Standards.6 Those standards require that city planning (toshi keikaku) should be in accordance with various national and regional plans of the central government and that the planning of the municipality should be in accordance with that of the prefecture. These show that in every aspect of city planning (toshi keikaku), the large area’s viewpoint had a priority over the small area’s viewpoint. This principle proved to be extremely efficient, especially during the rapid economic growth period in the 1960s and 1970s for the construction of large area infrastructure projects such as the high-speed rail Shinkansen and the expressways. In short, the toshi keikaku during this period had little concern about the ‘small area’ such as the improvement and conservation of the environment for people’s daily life. This lack of concern was shared by the central and local governments, private enterprises, and even residents themselves.


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‘Bureaucrats’ control’ as the method The characteristic goals of city planning (toshi keikaku) are closely related with its method. This becomes clear when we look at the statutory requirements for who has the right to make the City Planning Decisions (City Planning DecisionMaker). In reality, the Old Law and the 1968 New Law were both completely based on the bureaucrat’s control. Before the war, the planning process went like this. After a city planning proposal goes through consultation with the prefectural City Planning Committee, it comes to the cabinet for an approval and then is authorized as the City Planning Decision by the Home Minister. The prefectural committee was composed mostly of bureaucrats with only a few assembly members and business representatives. It had a strong secretariat with many professional planners who were basically central government bureaucrats. The City Planning Committees, in fact, were a prefectural branch of the Home Ministry and were an important vehicle through which the Ministry’s bureaucrats administered the city planning activities of the entire nation. Generally, the legal grounds for the bureaucrats’ control was explained as follows “toshi keikaku is based on a special legal system where the legislature has entrusted planning powers inclusively to the administration” (Oshio 1970: 38). The ‘special legal system’ was the ‘delegated functions’ system whereby central government delegated certain tasks to prefectural governors and municipalities, who then were responsible to the delegating ministry to carry out the task, not responsible to their own electors (see Sorensen 2002: 157, 215). With this system, the Home Ministry had exclusively all the planning powers and was hardly controlled by anyone else. Even the national parliament did not possess any direct control, neither the prefectural governors, nor the municipalities, nor citizens had any opportunity to join in the planning process. After the war, city planning was transferred from the Home Ministry to every prefecture. With the introduction of the New Law in 1968, the decision-making powers of city planning (toshi keikaku) were divided between the prefectural governors and the municipalities, who became the City Planning DecisionMakers (toshi keikaku kettei kenja). Yet the prefectural governor is required to act as the agent of the central government, not as the elected representative of his/her own prefecture. In addition, when a municipality was going to make final decisions, it still needed to get the prior approval of the governor of the prefecture where the municipality is located. This was the mechanism by which the central government bureaucrat controlled the city planning administration of the nation. The main object of city planning (toshi keikaku) was based upon the principle of the large area, which gave higher priority to regional infrastructure such as highways over environment or housing. Major planning decisions were done by the governor; the municipality only played a small part in their own city planning.

Toshi keikaku vs machizukuri 49 Prescription and reality of ‘participation’ Let us now look at the legal prescription of participation in the toshi keikaku process. In the Old Law, participation was quite absent both in the prescription and in the reality. With the New Law, participation is introduced for the first time in the planning process. First, the Decision-Makers can hold a public hearing in the process of making any city planning proposals ‘if they think it is necessary to do so.’ Second, they have to submit the proposals to the general public two weeks before making any decisions. During this period every resident who has any opinion about the proposals can submit a written statement and then its points are to be reported to the City Planning Council, which will discuss the proposals before the final decisions are made by the governor or municipality. How does it work in reality? It should be noted that it is entirely up to the prefectural or municipal authority and not to the citizen, who judges ‘if it is necessary to hold a public hearing.’ Moreover, the members of the above council are, as in the case of the prewar City Planning Committee, limited mostly to bureaucrats, local assembly members, and business leaders. Landowners and ordinary citizens hardly have a chance to participate in this council. Habitually, the original proposals made by the bureaucrats are approved without any real substantial arguments. This sort of participation in the planning process is in fact an alibi and only a formality. Why is citizen participation kept so far away? In bureaucratic circles there was, and still is, a strong non-written rule that when a planning proposal is to be made public, it is better to not be too specific until the time of decision comes because it will take too much time to hear all the interventions from the stakeholders. In addition to that, there is a fear that if the City Planning Decision is completely decentralized to the municipality, local politics will lead to ‘irrational’ decisions because the individual land-owners and politicians will come to dominate the decisions against the long-term overall public interest. Thus the bureaucrat-controlled city planning (toshi keikaku), that is much centralized and hidden to the public, is promoted to run very ‘efficiently.’ Nature of participation, 1960s–1980 So far, in a way, the bureaucrat created the character of city planning in Japan. During the Old Law period, the bureaucrats made planning decisions. During the New Law period, they were again leading decisions with the help of the formal City Planning Council. The ‘highest’ form of participation during the New Law period was that the bureaucrats, after producing the ‘best’ plan, according to their priorities, showed it and explained it to the people in order to receive their understanding and cooperation. To repeat what Arnstein says, at the maximum there was a nominal form of participation (tokenism), but it was neither a form of partnership nor citizen power at all (Arnstein 1969).

50 Shun-ichi J. Watanabe This style of ‘participation’ went well with the logic of the ‘large area,’ which was very convenient and efficient in order to build regional infrastructure like the expressway and high-speed railway (shinkansen) networks, especially during the rapid growth period in the 1960s and 1970s. During that period, as we may now understand, the majority of citizens believed in economic progress as the national and public interest, and entrusted the major decision-making powers into the hands of the bureaucrats. During the same period the discussion for a drastic amendment of the Old Law into the New Law began. The sporadic practice of machizukuri also started with principles of ‘participation’ and the small area. The government at that time, however, had very little experience with public participation and so feared its practice would end up with an inefficient planning administration. Moreover, the small area was not a suitable viewpoint in an age of large-scale development and mass production. Therefore these principles were not seriously taken into consideration in the constitution of the New Law. In a sense, the New Law was born in the national parliament while machizukuri had been born homeless in the street, both being unrelated to each other. Briefly, the relationship between the citizen’s demands, shown in machizukuri, and the public services offered by toshi keikaku typically had three forms. The first was that the citizen’s demands were not met or were even denied by the government, in which case citizens might stand up for machizukuri in order to demand, or protest against the government. The second case was that the citizen’s demands were generally met by the government, in which case the citizens did not especially need to notice the government, but just kept an eye on it. It was typically so during the rapid economic growth, when machizukuri generally was inactive. The third was that the citizen’s demands became too sophisticated, too complicated, and too numerous for the government to afford and provide. It was at this moment that the citizen began to act not only as the consumer of such demanded services but also as their provider through the partnership with the government. The third scenario became most prevalent when the rapid economic growth period came to an end. The crucial turning point was brought in by the statutory creation of the District Planning (chiku keikaku) system in 1980. This epoch can be seen as the precious fruit of pioneering machizukuri activities since the 1950s.

Concluding remarks: some developments since 1980 and beyond The above is a brief historical discussion about the delicate relationship between city planning (toshi keikaku) and machizukuri. Roughly speaking, the Japanese city planning system that started with Tokyo Urban Area Improvement law of 1888 grew as the Old Law planning system in the first half of the twentieth century, and was firmly established in the postwar rapid economic growth period. After 1960, machizukuri started to challenge this system but was not so

Toshi keikaku vs machizukuri 51 fruitful for the first 20 years, but around 1980 it started to have a productive interaction. Before making some concluding remarks, I want now to briefly trace an evolution since 1980 in order to envisage the future perspectives for the twenty-first century. After 1980, the irrelevancy and conflict between machizukuri and city planning (toshi keikaku) had been basically overcome and a close interaction between them began. This turning point was the introduction of District Planning the same year. District Planning: introducing the ‘small area’ principle into toshi keikaku The newly established District Planning is a system where the municipality carries out detailed planning and land use controls in a comparatively small area as a unit. District Planning aims at creating and conserving a good living environment through carefully guiding and regulating the development and building actions in accordance with the District Plan of the area. The ‘machi’ in District Planning is the District Planning Area itself. For the first time the principle of ‘small area’ was legally introduced in city planning. In terms of ‘zukuri,’ District Planning requires that the District Plan be prepared through the participation of the residents. It should be noted that this is the ‘participation always’ and not the conventional style of the ‘participation if necessary.’ It can be said that on both viewpoints of participation and small area, District Planning is certainly the legalization of machizukuri. This provision, however, proved to still be insufficient because the local residents needed a workable system to organize themselves, to start discussions and to coordinate their opinions into a District Plan at the actual place of their machizukuri activities. Some advanced municipalities began various trials including the enactment of machizukuri ordinances in order to facilitate the machizukuri activities of the residents. Machizukuri ordinance: bridging machizukuri and city planning In 1981, Kobe City enacted the first machizukuri ordinance in the country. In conjunction with the ordinance, Kobe did three important ‘inventions’ to foster machizukuri. First, a machizukuri council, or a local residents’ organization was institutionalized for machizukuri. The council is by no means a branch of the municipal government and yet can be considered as representing the interests of each locality as far as the machizukuri activities are concerned. Second, the Expert Dispatch System was created in order to help the machizukuri council technically. This is a significant system as it provides the place where consultants’ professional expertise is officially introduced to machizukuri, which has often been reliant on amateur work by untrained citizens. Third, the partnership system was introduced, whereby the city accepts the council’s machizukuri


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proposals and enters a machizukuri agreement with the council for eventual execution. This facilitates people’s interests and initiatives for the policy making for their own ‘small area.’ All these inventions are a product of the Kobe’s long struggle against, and then cooperation with, the people, including those of Maruyama and Mano. In this way, the City of Kobe can be considered as one of advanced municipalities that, based upon the ‘small area’ principle, has introduced an official machizukuri system that would bridge machizukuri and toshi keikaku.7 The next year, Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward followed the example of Kobe City. Since 1990, advanced municipalities all over the country have tried to enact machizukuri ordinances in order to supplement the City Planning law and/or to facilitate machizukuri that would reflect wider interests of people than city planning (toshi keikaku) (Kobayashi 1999). City Planning Amendment law: introducing the Master Plan by participation Just as the small area principle, which was introduced into city planning by the District Planning system, the participation principle was similarly introduced by the City Planning Amendment law of 1992 (‘the 1992 law’). The 1992 law requires that all the municipalities should prepare a Master Plan through public participation (see Sorensen 2002: 300) (see also Chapter 10, this volume). Now participation is a must; wording such as ‘if necessary’ is absent. By learning and developing such new techniques as workshops and community walking, many municipalities began to make their Master Plans through public participation, which had been quite unfamiliar to the government as well as to the people. Now both the Master Plan and citizen participation that had been absent in the Japanese planning system for so long finally started. Out of this context, one remarkable citizen activity emerged. Citizens in some localities who were not satisfied with participation that the municipality provided began to make Master Plans by themselves and submitted their proposals to the people and authority. I named these phenomena the Citizen-Made Master Plan as against the Municipality-Made one. The earliest example was a plan report made by the people in the City of Komae, a suburban town in western Tokyo, which was followed by almost ten plans nationwide in the following three and a half years. Generally speaking, about 20 to 40 volunteer citizens worked together for two years until they could publish a plan report of 14 to 150 pages. Compared with the Municipality-Made Master Plan, the Citizen-Made Master Plans have less technical jargon and more illustrations and are easy to read and understand for ordinary citizens. (Komae no Machi wo Kangaeru Kai 1994; Watanabe 1998, 1999; Watanabe and Ota 2001.) In terms of ‘machi,’ it is noted that the people who made Master Plans expanded their interests and scope from the small area to the municipality as a whole, and yet their basic viewpoint is based upon their community and family

Toshi keikaku vs machizukuri 53 life. In terms of ‘zukuri,’ the important point is that these people, instead of limiting themselves to everyday machizukuri activities, participated in the process of making the plan which would give direction to individual machizukuri activities. This can be considered as the expansion of the machizukuri activities from the mere ‘making’ to ‘planning what to make.’ NPO law: challenging the government-market-NPO relationship It was the earthquake of Kobe in 1995 that gave a decisive impact to this flow of voluntarism and participation. After the earthquake, a large number of young volunteers from all over Japan rushed to Kobe and volunteered to help. It was a big surprise for the city as well as for the country. Taking this opportunity, the Non-Profit Organization law was enacted in 1998. The aim of this law was to legally enable NPOs to incorporate themselves. As a result, the voluntary or NPO sector was given a firm legal foundation on equal terms as the government sector and the market sector. Many NPOs for various activities, not necessarily limited to machizukuri, sprang up all over Japan (Sawamura 2003). The recent rising concern about NPOs seems to reflect the change of the Japanese society from the traditional one to the civil society, where the logic of the NPO sector gets powers as compared with the government and market sectors. It surely reflects a kind of despair about the government and market sectors in the recent years and, at the same time, hopes for the NPO sector. So now the machizukuri activity, which people did just because they wanted and enjoyed it, should be considered in the context of the government–market–NPO sector relationship. If we look back into our profession’s history, we will clearly find that Western modern urban planning, as the government intervention into the market, emerged as a result of the ‘failure of the market.’ An equally clear fact is that our profession stemmed from such works as Ebenezer Howard’s Garden City or Daniel H. Burnham’s City Beautiful, which are now considered as the voluntary works of the NPO sector. Since then, such ‘planning by NPO’ has created, brought up, guided, and even checked the ‘planning by the government’ and ‘planning by the market’ in the Western countries. The issues that people are now struggling with through machizukuri processes in Japan, where the cultural and political tradition of the civil society has been weaker than in the West, can be seen as efforts toward establishing the civil society in the field of the urban environment.

Notes 1 Some people intentionally use other words including ‘Machisodate,’ which literally means ‘bringing up the community’ because, they say, the word ‘machizukuri’ is construction-oriented and too narrow to cover the ever expanding reality of machizukuri. But I disagree with this position. The first reason is that I think ‘machizukuri’ has already been widely accepted by people as meaning not only hard works but also soft works. The second reason is that we planners have had a long history of coining new

54 Shun-ichi J. Watanabe


3 4 5

6 7

words without a clear and meaningful definition, which should not be repeated as for machizukuri. Generally speaking, there are three cases of writing the word of ‘machizukuri’ in Japanese as far as the ‘Machi’ portion of the word is concerned. The first is to use the Chinese character of ‘town ( ),’ which is more concerned about the non-physical aspect of machizukuri. The second is to use the letter of ‘street ( ),’ which emphasizes the physical aspect of machizukuri. The third is to use the Japanese letters (hiragana) for machi, which is more widely used now in order to include both physical and non-physical aspects. In those days, there was no word for planning; the nearest one was ‘Shiku Kaisei,’ which can literally translated as ‘Urban Area Improvement.’ The Urban Buildings law was also drastically amended into the Building Standard law in 1950. This system is inherited in the New Law, where the City Planning Area boundaries are often different from those of individual municipalities. In terms of the contemporary statistics, the City Planning Area collectively covers about one-quarter of the country’s land area, and about 90 percent of the country’s population. (In another way, threequarters of the land and 10 percent of the population are left outside toshi keikaku.) The City Planning Area covers at least part of: all the cities, about 60 percent of the towns and 20 percent of the villages; one City Planning Area consists of 1.6 municipalities on the average. Article 13 of the New Law. Looked at from the machizukuri viewpoint, however, Kobe’s toshi keikaku has some serious problems according to Hirohara (Hirohara 1996).

References Arnstein, Sherry R. (1969). A Ladder of Citizen Participation. Journal of the American Planning Association. 35(4): 216–224. Hattori, Chiyuki. (1974). Toshi saikaihatsu ni kansuru kenkyu: Nagoya-shi SakaeHigashi chiku toshi saikaihatsu (Study of Urban Redevelopment: A Case Study of the Urban Redevelopment Project of the Sakae-Higashi District in Nagoya City). Ph.D. dissertation, University of Kyoto. Hirohara, Moriaki. (1989). Senshinteki machizukuri undo to chonaikai: Kobe-shi Maruyama, Mano, Fujisawa-shi Tsujido no hikaku kosatsu (Advanced Machizukuri Movements and Chonaikai: Comparative Analysis of Kobe-Maruyama, Kobe-Mano and Fujisawa-Tsujido). In Nobuhiko Iwasaki et al. (eds) Chonaikai no kenkyu (Study on Chonaikai). 324–361. Tokyo: Ochanomizu Shobo. —— (1996). Shinsai Kobe-shi toshi keikaku no kensho: seicho-gata toshi keikaku to inner-city saisei no kadai (Critical Analysis of the City Planning of the PostEarthquake Kobe: Problems of the Growth-Oriented City Planning and the Inner-City Revitalization). Tokyo: Jichitai Shuppansha. —— (2002). Machizukuri no rekishi to paradigm tenkan. (History of Machizukuri and Paradigm Shift). In Katsutaka Shiraishi, Kiichiro Tomino, and Moriaki Hirohara. Gendai no machizukuri to chiiki shakai no henkaku (Contemporary Machizukuri and Community Reform). 12–51. Kyoto: Gakugei Shuppansha. Kobayashi, Shigetaka. (ed.) (1999). Chiho bunken jidai no machizukuri jorei (Machizukuri Ordinances in the Era of Decentralization). Kyoto: Gakugei Shuppansha. Komae no Machi wo Kangaeru Kai. (1994). Sumu hito no kyomei suru machi (Community Where People Live in Harmony). Privately printed.

Toshi keikaku vs machizukuri 55 Kunitachi Shishi Hensan Iinkai. (ed.) (1990). Kunitachi Shishi (History of the City of Kunitachi) Vol. 2. 224–284. Tokyo: City of Kunitachi. Masuda, Shiro. (1952). Toshi jichi no hitotsu no mondaiten (A Crucial Issue in Urban Autonomy). Toshi Mondai. 43(2): 49–59. Minohara, Kei. (ed.) Toshi kaikaku no chosen: Atarashii kokyosei wo motomete (The Challenge of City Planning: In Search for a New ‘Public’). Kyoto: Gakugei Shuppansha. Nihon Chiiki Fukushi Gakkai Chiiki Fukushishi Kenkyukai. (1993). Dai toshi ni okeru chiiki fukushi no tenkai ni kansuru rekishiteki kenkyu (Historical Study of the Development of Local Welfare in Large Cities). In Nihon Chiiki Fukushi Gakkai Chiiki Fukushishi Kenkyukai (Study group for the history of local welfare of the Japan Association for local welfare) (ed.) Chiiki Fukushishi Josetsu: Chiiki Fukushi no Tenkai to Keisei (Introduction to the History of Local Welfare: The Development and Formation of Local Welfare). 96–165. Tokyo: Chuo Hoki Shuppan. Oshio, Yoichiro. (1970). Shintei toshi keikaku ho no yoten (Essence of the City Planning Law, revised version). Tokyo: Jutaku Shiposha. Sato, Shigeru. (ed.) (1999). Machizukuri no kagaku (Science of Machizukuri). Tokyo: Kashima Shuppankai. Sawamura, Akira. (2003). Machizukuri NPO no riron to kadai (Theory and Problems of the Machizukuri NPOs). Hiroshima: Keishuisha. Sorensen, André. (2002). The Making of Urban Japan: Cities and Planning from Edo to the 21st Century. London: Routledge. Tamura, Akira. (1987). Machizukuri no hasso (The Concept of machizukuri). Tokyo: Iwanami Shoten. Watanabe, Shun-ichi J. (1993). ‘Toshi keikaku’ no tanjo: Kokusai hikaku kara mita nihon kindai toshi keikaku (The Birth of ‘City Planning’: Japan’s Modern Urban Planning in International Comparison). Tokyo: Kashiwa Shobo. —— (1998). Citizen-Made Master Plans as a Tool for Participatory Planning. Paper presented at the International Symposium on City Planning 1998, Kangnung, Korea. —— (ed.) (1999). Shimin sanka no machizukuri: Master plan zukuri no genba kara (Machizukuri by Citizen Participation: Reports from the Field of Master-Plan Making). Kyoto: Gakugei Shuppansha. —— (2006). Machizukuri in Japan: A Historical Perspective in Participatory Community-Building Initiatives. In Carola Hein and Philippe Pelletier (eds) Cities, Autonomy and Decentralization in Japan. 233–254. London: Routledge. Watanabe, Shun-ichi J. and Ota, Moriyuki. (eds) (2001). Shimin-ban machizukuri plan jissen guide (Practical Guide to Citizen-Made Machizukuri Plan). Kyoto: Gakugei Shuppansha. Watanabe, Shun-ichi J., Sugisaki, Kazuhisa, Ito, Wakana, and Koizumi, Hideki. (1997). Yogo ‘machizukuri’ ni kansuru bunkenteki kenkyu 1945–1959 (Bibliographical Survey on the Word ‘machizukuri’ 1945–1959). Papers on City Planning. 32: 43–48.


Changing governance of shared spaces Machizukuri as institutional innovation André Sorensen

Introduction This chapter makes three starting assumptions. First is that a core goal of many machizukuri processes is the attempt by groups of people to change the rules of how places are managed in efforts to make their life spaces more livable. In this view, machizukuri is about gaining a greater role and voice for civil society actors in processes of managing shared spaces. Second is that there have in fact been significant changes in Japanese conceptions of how urban change should be managed during the 60 years since the end of World War II, and third is that understanding those processes of change will help us to understand the contemporary issues and challenges of machizukuri practice. The goal of the chapter is therefore to trace the evolution of Japanese institutions of urban place management during the postwar period, and in particular to examine why and how changes to ideas about the legitimate roles of state, market, and society in managing urban change have occurred. As Watanabe makes clear in Chapter 2, the roots of machizukuri can be traced to civic movements for place management during the rapid economic growth period of the 1950s and 1960s, yet the widespread practice of machizukuri is only encountered during the 1990s. It took a long time for civil society groups to gain the degree of input into decisions affecting change in local living environments now accorded to machizukuri processes, and in significant ways their roles are still limited (for examples see Chapters 10, 11, and 12 in this volume). During the rapid growth period the Japanese city planning system was highly centralized, with the power to create laws, initiate and approve plans, and decide budgets located in central government ministries, particularly the Ministry of Construction. Local governments were very junior partners of the central ministries, most plans were kept secret until finalized, and input by citizens and residents into the process or content of space management was almost nil. This was clearly a challenging context in which to pose demands for greater participation and voice in plan making and to propose that different goals and values be embodied in plans. As they attempt to gain a stronger voice in processes of urban governance, machizukuri activists since the 1990s have been forced to grapple not only with the existing city planning system, but also with the vast

Changing governance of shared spaces 57 edifice of the construction state described by Feldhoff in Chapter 4, the beneficiaries of which have clear vested interests in maintaining the status quo, and preventing challenges to existing governance processes. From the construction state perspective, the most obvious reason that it has been difficult for civil society groups to gain voice is simply that powerful political and economic actors had huge incentives to pursue other priorities, and democratic processes did not provide much leverage to demand change. This is probably correct, as far as it goes, but is also unsatisfying, as it makes it hard to explain significant changes over time that have been achieved by much weaker actors at the neighborhood scale. Machizukuri groups today enjoy much greater legitimacy and ability to influence local governance processes than they did 50 years ago. It is more revealing to examine the particular ways in which established institutional arrangements of space management have continued to shape contemporary urban governance institutions, and how at particular junctures these have been challenged and reformed. The main questions addressed by this chapter are: how have the legitimate institutions for the governance of place at the neighborhood scale changed over the past half century; why it has been so difficult to establish the new, inclusive, and participatory governance processes referred to as machizukuri; how have established institutions shaped those attempts; and how can we understand changes in the processes and participants in urban governance? The first section briefly introduces the historical institutionalist approach to the study of governance processes; the second section outlines the prewar institutions of urban governance; the third section traces the evolution of institutions of place governance and the development of machizukuri through three major crisis periods in the postwar period, and a fourth concluding section examines the resulting understanding of how institutions of place governance have changed, and how those changes were structured by prior institutional frameworks.

Historical institutionalism There are various ways of defining institutions, and indeed historical institutionalism has been criticized for its lack of a consistent and widely shared definition of what institutions are (Peters 1999: 65). As Immergut (1998) argues, however, since the central purpose of most institutionalist research is to understand how institutions shape political outcomes, the relevant institutions and their specification must vary depending on the object of study. Thelen and Steinmo (1992) include formal government structures and legal frameworks, as well as more amorphous social structures such as class as key institutions, and cite Peter A. Hall’s definition of institutions as: “the formal rules, compliance procedures, and standard operating practices that structure the relationships between individuals in various units of the polity and economy” (Hall 1986: 19, cited in Thelen and Steinmo 1992: 2). For the purposes of this chapter, it makes sense to follow a relatively broad definition of institutions as including not only formal government structures and legal systems and the formal rules and standard operating


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practices that structure relationships between actors, but also the shared ideas and understandings of the legitimate roles of state, market, and society in managing processes of urban change. Perhaps the best known contribution of historical institutionalism is the concept of ‘path dependency,’ or the idea that policy choices made when institutions are established tend to have persistent impacts, constraining and shaping later institutional change. This has been described as a consequence both of the tendency for increasing returns to scale to occur both in markets and in political processes (Thelen 1999: 385; Pierson 2004), and positive feedback effects in which policies create a constituency that strongly supports their continuance and will work to ensure it, such as has been the case with public health care or pension benefits in many countries (Esping-Andersen 1990; Skocpol 1992; Thelen 1999). And indeed, as has also been the case with the construction state in Japan. Pierson significantly extends the concept of positive feedback effects in recent work, showing that such effects are particularly prevalent in political processes (Pierson 2004). He argues that collective action processes in politics are particularly subject to positive feedback effects because of the high start-up costs of establishing new institutions, increasing returns to scale where institutions once established gain advantages in performance that prevent other arrangements from becoming established, and adaptive expectations where actors will constantly adjust their behavior based on their expectations of how others will act. This will tend to diminish the likelihood of new institutions becoming established where existing institutions already perform similar functions. A further important mechanism reinforcing path dependency effects stressed by sociological institutionalists is that institutions are understood to embody shared understandings of the way the world works. As Thelen puts it, “specific institutions may come and go, but emergent institutional forms will be ‘isomorphic’ with (i.e. compatible with, resembling, and similar in logic to) existing ones” (Thelen 1999: 386). Even when policy makers attempt to reform institutions, the range of possibilities which they can conceive is constrained by their understanding of existing arrangements and of ‘how things work’ (see Chapter 11, this volume). As Thelen and Steinmo argue: institutions are not just another variable, and the institutionalist claim is more than just that “institutions matter too.” By shaping not just actors’ strategies (as in rational choice), but their goals as well, and by mediating their relations of cooperation and conflict, institutions structure political situations and leave their own imprint on political outcomes. (Thelen and Steinmo 1992: 9) So institutions shape both the formal rules structuring governance processes, and also the goals and imaginaries of the various actors involved. The historical institutionalist perspective is particularly appropriate for the study of urban governance because the legal frameworks and planning procedures that govern urban space and maintain the multi-layered infrastructures that

Changing governance of shared spaces 59 permit urban functioning are shaped by both the institutional legacies of the past as well as by current expectations and understandings. Planning governance processes necessarily involve multiple sets of competing interests, as human settlements are shared spaces, shaped both by individual as well as collective decisions. The complexity of built fabric and ownership patterns ensure that any changes must be negotiated with multiple existing actors, and have impacts on many more. Path dependence is ensured not only because existing infrastructure and built form present immense ‘sunk costs’ that constrain later choices, but also because the institutional arrangements governing the financing, maintenance, and renewal of urban infrastructure tend to be resistant to change. At least as important, property ownership rights create a vast constituency with strong reasons to try to prevent changes that counter their perceived self-interest. Existing institutions and compromises structure both the expectations and the understanding of legitimate policy process and outcomes. It has been argued that by stressing path dependency and the persistence of institutional structures, historical institutionalism will not be a useful tool for understanding change (Peters 1999). On the contrary, an understanding of institutions helps to situate change in a meaningful context. As Thelen (1999: 399) argues, understanding moments of significant political change requires an understanding of the basis of earlier stability. The challenges of understanding issues of change within institutional frameworks has been a major recent issue for historical institutionalists, and cannot be thoroughly reviewed here (see Peters 1999; Thelen 1999, 2003; Pierson 2004). The concept of ‘critical junctures and developmental pathways’ is useful shorthand (Collier and Collier 1991; Thelen 1999). Thelen explains that “critical junctures are the crucial founding moments of institutional formation that send countries along broadly different developmental paths,” whereas ‘developmental pathways’ is a somewhat less rigid formulation of path dependence, in that “institutions continue to evolve in response to changing environmental conditions and ongoing political maneuvering but in ways that are constrained by past trajectories” (Thelen 1999: 387). The concept does not deny the possibility of change, but asserts that prior institutional development will have impacts both on what change is possible, and on the values and goals of those negotiating the changes. As Pierson puts it “there are brief moments in which opportunities for major institutional reforms appear, followed by long stretches of institutional stability. Junctures are ‘critical’ because they place institutional arrangements on paths or trajectories, which are then very difficult to alter” (Pierson 2004: 135). Thelen identifies two typical processes of institutional change, including ‘layering,’ and ‘institutional conversion.’ Layering “involves the partial renegotiation of some elements of a given set of institutions while leaving others in place” (2003: 225). Existing institutions may stay largely intact, while new, parallel institutions are created to add to existing ones, or replace parts of them. Institutional conversion refers to cases where “existing institutions are redirected to new purposes, driving changes in the role they perform and/or the functions they serve” (Thelen 2003: 226). As shown below, both of these processes can be identified in the case of machizukuri. In a more recent work, Streeck and Thelen

60 André Sorensen (2005) describe other patterns of change, including ‘displacement,’ ‘drift,’ and ‘exhaustion’ but these are of less relevance here. For planners and others whose concern is the attempt to make cities more livable, a key question must be how institutional change, adaptation, and innovation can occur and what the constraints inhibiting change are. New challenges and demands often require new governance arrangements and institutions, as existing institutions are often unable to carry out new functions, and can even inhibit the establishment of new institutions that can. Understanding institutions, and the contexts in which institutional innovation is possible, thus becomes critical (see Healey 1997; Gonzalez and Healey 2005).

Prewar institutions of place governance There is not space here to go deeply into the history of Japan’s modernization during the Meiji period (1868–1912), but almost all the most significant Japanese governance institutions were established during this transition from feudalism and modernization, so some discussion of this critical juncture is necessary. The Meiji Restoration of 1868 was the product of an insurrection of mostly lower-ranking samurai from the south and west of Japan against the ruling Tokugawa Shogunate, in the belief that the shogun was no longer able to defend Japan against western military power. A new unified nation state was created under a restored Imperial House, with the primary leaders of the revolution installed as an oligarchic cabinet under a young Emperor. New national institutions of all sorts were established, borrowing a variety of arrangements from diverse Western examples, including a Prussian style military organization and constitution, French police, legal, and education systems, English naval organization, railway and ship-building technologies, American agricultural settlement strategies for Hokkaido, a new national postal and telegraph system and many others (Westney 1987; Sukehiro 1998: 64). For our purposes two characteristics of the Meiji state stand out, the cabinet/ministry system, and the activist approach to governance. The central government ministries under oligarchic control established themselves as the real centers of power in the Meiji state, developing into prestigious, meritocratic, and able bureaucracies. Here the most important was the Home Ministry (Naimusho), responsible for local government, the police, censorship, social welfare, city planning, and land management, among other functions. As Steiner put it, during the Meiji period the Home Ministry: became an efficient bureaucracy, fulfilling their task with a jealous enthusiasm that prohibited the delegation of power to decide even the smallest details. It has justly been said that the establishment of the Home Ministry helps to account for the peculiarly centralized nature of Japanese government and that local government in Japan cannot be understood without reference to this bureaucracy. (Steiner 1965: 26)

Changing governance of shared spaces 61 Japan was a late developer, and its new leadership was able to observe and attempt to evaluate various trajectories of modernization in the earlier developing countries, selecting institutions from among the models and adapting them to the Japanese context (Pyle 1974; Gluck 1987). The activist state established during the Meiji period worked hard to identify methods for managing governmental, social, military, industrial, and economic development, working to develop some social institutions and organizations while actively suppressing others. Repressive measures included media censorship, restrictions on political parties and unions, and government controls on the incorporation of voluntary associations. Positive measures to establish institutions and organizations included the fostering of national ideological resources and institutions such as the idea of the nation as a family under the Emperor, and the duty of the Japanese people to work selflessly in support of national greatness (Gluck 1987; Eisenstadt 1996). One aspect of these efforts was the establishment of new national systems of local governance and social mobilization. Local governments had little independence during the prewar period, functioning primarily as branch offices of the Home Ministry. Prefectural governors were appointed from among high-ranking Home Ministry bureaucrats, while municipal governments had few powers and less money, and were designed to carry out national priorities at the local level (Yazaki 1963; Steiner 1965). City planning scarcely existed until the passage of the national 1919 City Planning law. That law established a thoroughly top–down city planning system in which virtually every plan required approval by the Home Ministry, and most planning was carried out by City Planning Committees that were established for each urban area by the national government with delegates from affected municipalities, prefectures, and Home Ministry staff (Sorensen 2002: 122). The purpose of city planning was the efficient provision of basic infrastructure such as major roads, transport, and water supply to facilitate growth, and the administrative coordination of plans across fragmented municipal jurisdictions. Little consideration was given to detailed planning or investment in residential areas, or the regulation of private investment apart from the creation of a building standards law. It was assumed that city planning was a central government responsibility, to be carried out by the central bureaucracy, on behalf of the public good. The first half of the twentieth century saw a vast expansion of the role of the state in Japanese society, and as Johnson argues in the case of industrial policy and economic coordination, many governance institutions established during the prewar period continued to play a central role in the postwar period, surviving democratization processes during the occupation (Johnson 1982). Between 1907 and 1920 the national bureaucracy expanded rapidly from 52,500 officers to 308,200 (Yazaki 1968: 425), reflecting the growing ambition and breadth of government programs. The state was doing more, and the preferred method was to create new institutions of coordination and cooperation between state, market, and civil society actors (Garon 2003). The creation of deliberate institutions of social mobilization at the village

62 André Sorensen scale begins in the early twentieth century with the Local Improvement Movement (1900–1918) initiated by the Home Ministry as one effort intended to mobilize the patriotic spirit of the Japanese people in support of national development (Pyle 1973; Garon 1997). Focusing on rural areas where the majority of the population lived, the campaign enlisted existing and newly created local organizations of army reservist clubs, young men’s and women’s clubs, women’s associations, agricultural producer co-ops, and other local organizations into national hierarchical networks with their peaks embedded in the national ministries. Gluck argues that it was precisely because Japanese communities still had such a rich tradition of voluntary association that the government was able to create national hierarchical organizations so easily (Gluck 1987: 198). These institutions were then used to disseminate wide-ranging ‘moral suasion campaigns’ in support of patriotism, diligence and thrift, good hygiene and nutrition, religious orthodoxy, and national savings campaigns, achieving high levels of participation across the country (Pyle 1973; Garon 1998). While the Local Improvement Movement was rural in focus, urban Neighborhood Associations (NAs) also emerged during the first decade of the twentieth century. Neighborhood and village self-help groups had existed everywhere during the feudal period, but their formal status had ended with the establishment of the Home Ministry’s local government system in the late nineteenth century. Local government services were so limited, however, that local people continued to bear most responsibility for managing the shared neighborhood spaces of local streets, shrines, and back alleys that contained communal wells, waste management facilities, etc. (Smith 1978). Although most NAs organized spontaneously to provide such services, one of the early organizational templates was provided by the Home Ministry in 1900 when Tokyo Prefecture passed a bylaw requiring all neighborhoods to establish a sanitation committee to prevent the spread of disease by ensuring that water and wastewater was safely dealt with, and carrying out vaccination campaigns and semi-annual spraying of insecticides (Dore 1958: 271; Hastings 1995). This model was soon extended to most other cities. The basic institutional structures adopted by many NAs from the sanitation committee model included universal voluntary household membership, representation of households by the eldest male, consensus decision-making, routine occupation of leadership positions by those with status and influence in the neighborhood, and networking into vertical hierarchies. City-wide neighborhood boundaries were established following those of the sanitation committees. Committees were organized in nested hierarchies from the neighborhood to district, ward, and prefecture, with delegates from each level sent to participate in joint meetings with the next higher level and responsible to ensure compliance of their sub-group, and report back news and instructions from above. Such vertically nested hierarchies are still pervasive throughout Japanese society, including such diverse groups as the various business federations, Shinto shrine associations, local voluntary welfare commissioners (minseiiin), agricultural co-operatives, housewives associations, traffic safety groups, and many, many others (see Nakane 1970).

Changing governance of shared spaces 63 As formally organized NAs began to spread throughout Tokyo, especially in the wake of the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923, they often absorbed most existing neighborhood level groups, such as the sanitation committee, the shrine association, neighborhood watch/fire patrol, etc. (Dore 1958; Bestor 1989). This model was gradually established during the 1920s and 1930s, until in 1938 a Tokyo City bylaw gave NAs official form and status, and in September 1940 the Home Ministry made them compulsory throughout the country, giving them the added duties of ration distribution, civil defense, and monitoring of dissent, creating an effective apparatus for coercion and mobilization that was exploited to the full during the war (Braibanti 1948; Dore 1958: 272; Steiner 1965: 219). This finally established a standard model for NAs throughout Japan during the prewar and wartime period as the legitimate form of neighborhood self-governance, organization of collective activities, self-provision of basic public goods and services, and dissemination of government information and directives. They also gained a monopoly on representation of neighborhood concerns to local government. Monthly meetings were mandatory for each level of organization, in cascading sequence from the highest organization early in the month, to the smallest sub-group last, to facilitate the transmission of information and demands downwards (Braibanti 1948: 145). This system also made demands in the opposite direction decidedly uphill and much slower, as in a four-level hierarchy with the only communication in sequential monthly meetings, a directive from the top will reach all the lowest level units in the same month, but communication upwards will take three months, if it is transmitted at all. NAs have proven to be an extraordinarily enduring institution, retaining almost complete coverage of settled areas throughout the country, and high participation rates (see Chapter 11, this volume). One explanation for the persistence of NAs is that some such organization was necessary to supply a range of functions essential to urban life, such as the neighborhood watch, waste management, sanitation campaigns, and maintenance of communal spaces and activities such as the local festival. This purely functional explanation is probably correct, but fails to capture the policy feedback effect of the creation of a large constituency that benefited from and perpetuated the system. The group that gained status through this system was enormous, as NAs were organized in virtually every settled area in the country. While arrangements varied greatly in different regions, most neighborhood associations had sub-groups (han or rinpohan) whose representatives formed the governing board of the NA. NAs themselves were grouped into Joint Neighborhood Associations (JNAs) composed of the heads of each NA, that were often further grouped into municipal leagues (rengokai). All along the way individuals gain status and contacts with their peers and betters, and participate in the perks of increased status and authority, particularly as NAs were often closely linked with the support groups (koenkai) of conservative politicians (Lam 1999: 33). And of course, advance knowledge of urban policies and projects can be an extremely lucrative and tradable commodity. While the degree of prestige gained by such involvement has no doubt


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declined during the last 50 years, there is also no doubt that in many neighborhoods the associations were dominated by local elites and ‘bosses,’ who used the associations to further their own status and interests (Dore 1958: 218; Steiner 1965: 220). Neighborhood associations also played a key role in securing compliance with a variety of requests for cooperation from above. Such requests are doubly hard to resist because of the nature of the nested hierarchy, in which the status of NA representatives in higher-level groupings is dependent upon compliance from their group. Members know that if they refuse to cooperate their representative will lose face. In the case of a project for street widening for example, the first step will be to gather the neighborhood representatives, explain to them the importance of the issue, and solicit their assistance in explaining the issue to their members and gaining consent. In many cases local governments established permanent liaison committees to facilitate such contacts, providing information in advance about future plans and projects, and gaining support for them at the local level. Private development companies similarly consult with and secure the agreement of NA leadership before going public with development plans. As most development permissions by local government are as-of-right, NAs have little negotiating power, and will usually be happy to accept a small donation to the local festival, or some small local amenity as part of the development plan in return for their endorsement of the project. After such advance consultations are made, however, NAs find it hard to object to developments, even if much of their membership does. Perhaps the most striking feature of NAs has been their resilience in the face of enormous disruption throughout the twentieth century, including being made compulsory by the state during the war, being abolished by the postwar occupation, the massive urbanization and suburbanization of the rapid growth period, and the environmental crisis it produced. Although Hashimoto points in Chapter 11 to their weakening during the 1990s, and there is no doubt a modest decline in participation, they are still a pervasive force in the politics of neighborhood self-management even as newer institutions of machizukuri have emerged. As Thelen argues, it is essential to develop “an analysis both of the mechanisms of reproduction that sustained these institutions and of the mechanisms behind their functional and distributional transformation over time” (2003: 224, emphasis in original). Here, of course, the institution of interest is that of participatory governance of neighborhood space, an activity long given institutional form by NAs, and gradually transformed by machizukuri ideas and processes during the last three decades. Machizukuri is fundamentally a way of re-imagining and reconfiguring such processes, so the goal here is to understand how institutions and practices of place management have changed, and the institutional legacies of NAs in contemporary practice and thinking.

Changing governance of shared spaces 65

Changing conceptions of state and civil society roles in place management During the postwar period there have been significant structural transformations of state/society relations in the practice of urban management. The focus here is on changes to five main institutions: the central government culture of governance; the division of power between central and local government in urban governance; the official City Planning system (toshi keikaku), the established civil society actors in urban governance processes; and newly emerging civil society roles in managing space. Changes in these areas are traced from the prewar and wartime system through three major periods of transformation of ideas about urban governance in Japan (termed ‘crisis periods’ below): that of the postwar occupation 1945 to 1952, during which the American-led occupation attempted radical reforms of governance processes; the environmental crisis of the late 1960s and early 1970s, that prompted massive organizing and protest against national development policies and a major political realignment at the local government level; and that of the end of bubble economy from 1985 to 1990 and the beginning of the ensuing ‘lost decade’ that exposed the weaknesses of the central government’s approach to place management and ultimately destroyed the legitimacy of the central government bureaucracy as an efficient, neutral and enlightened actor well positioned to define the public good. In each of these crisis periods the legitimacy of existing governance arrangements was challenged, significant change occurred in some actors’ conceptions of the appropriate roles of state and society in the governance of space and place, and an opening was created to change both the governance processes of space management (including the actors involved, legal frameworks, and procedural requirements), as well as the goals of space management, in terms of what values and results were aspired to. As explained in more detail below, this is a simplification of the actual process of change, which was more complex and messier, taking place in many incremental steps, as well as during larger transformative changes. The three main crisis periods create four main intervals, the prewar period, the period of ‘rapid growth’ from 1952 to 1973, the period of ‘steady growth’ from 1973 to 1990, and the period of ‘zero growth’ since then. These are summarized in Figure 3.1. The first major period of transformation of conceptions of the legitimate roles of state and society in managing places was that during the postwar occupation. Although it has often been noted that Japanese democracy was imposed from outside and not won from within, Dower (1999) shows convincingly that many Japanese embraced the need for change and informed their hopes for the future with a critical understanding of the profound failures of the old system, that had not only lost the war, but had also killed millions and caused immeasurable suffering both abroad and at home, and had impoverished the nation during 15 very long years of increasingly total mobilization of national resources. Whereas before and during the war the state had kept a tight control over all forms of

Top–down, bureaucracy centered (military and civilian)

Neighborhood Associations

City Planning Systems

Established civil society institutions of neighborhood governance

Crisis period 1 – Post-war democratization Contributing to reconstruction, economic growth, social cohesion, environmental movements

Neighborhood Associations

Top–down, bureaucracy centered (civilian)

Most power in central government ministries

Development State, Iron Triangle

‘Rapid Growth’ 1952–1973

Figure 3.1 The postwar evolution of institutions of place governance.

Contributing to war effort, surveillance, social cohesion

All power in central government ministries

Central/local division of powers

Civil society role in urban governance


Central State Governance System

Wartime 1931–1945

Oppositional, alternative projects and ideas emerging, paradigmatic models of local organizing evolving in Mano, Taishido, etc.

Neighborhood Associations, Machizukuri

Mandated to local governments, infrastructure oriented, District Plans, Machizukuri Ordinances

Significant responsibilities delegated to prefectural governments

Construction State, more political influence by LDP, big infrastructure projects

‘Steady Growth’ 1973–1990

Crisis period 3 – Collapse of the Bubble Economy, Lost Decade Crisis period 2 – Citizens’ Environmental Movements

Machizukuri, voluntarism, engagement in ‘Master Plans,’ NPO development, and lobbying

Neighborhood Associations, Machizukuri, NPOs

Gradually more consultative, Master Plans

Significant powers delegated to municipal governments

Lost decade, massive public works, corruption

‘Zero Growth’ 1990–2005

Changing governance of shared spaces 67 association, incorporating virtually all organizations into top–down, state sanctioned networks such as the Imperial Rule Assistance Association (IRAA), and had virtually eliminated civil society and democracy, the occupation reestablished the democratic system, introduced a new constitution that based sovereignty in the people instead of the Emperor, and encouraged free association and a free press. In principle, at least, the process of setting the overall goals and values of the state had been transformed, and the freedom of association and the media was quickly exploited in a flourishing of unions, parties, advocacy groups, and democratic media of all sorts. Governance practice changed more gradually. The central government ministries retained their dominant role in the formation and implementation of policy, particularly as the occupation chose to work through the bureaucracy at the same time that it removed most other competing centers of political power in the military and the Imperial Household, attempted to dissolve the large industrial combines (zaibatsu), and weakened the political parties through purges of the wartime leadership. The power of the central ministry bureaucracies derived from the fact that they wrote most government policy and legislation, which was usually approved with few changes by the elected legislatures. Japanese laws have also tended to be drafted in extremely vague terms, which leaves the maximum flexibility in interpretation of regulations to the ministries. This was the essential basis of the power of bureaucratic ‘administrative guidance’ (gyosei shido) as most corporations and other organizations dared not disregard ministry directives as their discretionary powers were so broad. As Iokibe suggests: Respect for the private was fully recognized in principle in Japanese society after the end of World War II, but that did not mean that the tradition of authoritarian rule led by the bureaucracy had disappeared. The power of the bureaucracy to issue permissions and certifications, handle matters at its own discretion, and exercise broad monopolies on information continues to prevail. The bureaucracy still holds many of the privileges of a semiindependent kingdom that are beyond the reach of democratic controls. Many officials in the bureaucracy are convinced that their institutions represent the sole legitimate agencies that possess the qualifications and the ability to formulate state policy for the public good. (Iokibe 1999: 91) This is an astounding but not uncommon analysis, and helps to explain the unusual role played by the central government ministries in Japanese governance. Even though it was an important goal of the occupation to establish more local autonomy, and elections for prefectural governorships were established, both prefectural and municipal governments remained in practice tightly constrained by the central government. Allinson (1997: 72) argues that the former bureaucrats from the old Home Ministry who staffed the new (Local Autonomy) agency succeeded in preserving their dominance of local affairs through controls


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over local finances, through the system of delegated functions, and through the national personnel system that allowed central government to appoint central ministry officers to key positions in local government. Each of these three avenues allowed central government to keep a tight rein on local government activity during the postwar period, and have been keenly resented by local governments as sharp limits on their autonomy (Steiner 1965; Shindo 1984). Central government bureaucrats consistently and effectively resisted pressure to devolve responsibility for city planning in particular to either prefectural or municipal governments, even though occupation recommendations clearly indicated that city planning should be a local government responsibility, and revisions to the planning law drafted to enable such a shift of powers were not passed (Ishida 2006). The highly centralized city planning system of the prewar period remained in place throughout the rapid growth period (Sorensen 2002). At the same time, there clearly were transformative changes to civil society, as the occupation authorities guaranteed freedom of association and the media, encouraged union organizing, and granted universal suffrage. These reforms all contributed to a rapid expansion of political activities and debates during the occupation and beyond (see Barshay 2003; Garon 2003). Efforts to dismantle the multiple nested hierarchies that linked the state with grassroots organizations were, however, less successful. Neighborhood associations were a particular focus of the occupation authorities, who abolished their legal status, and attempted to force them to disband. As Garon puts it: Occupation authorities also strove to sever the historic ties between the Japanese state and popular associations, believing that these cozy relationships stifled the growth of democracy. The wartime IRAA was dissolved, as were its patriotic associations. The Americans, above all, sought to eliminate the officially created associations in each locale: the hamlet, block and neighborhood associations, plus local chapters of the national youth and women’s federations. Such organizations, complained the occupiers, compelled all residents to join, and they became the bailiwick of bosses. Residential organizations, moreover, supplanted truly voluntary associations. (Garon 2003: 56) Although the occupation’s prohibition of NAs expired in October 1952, the government didn’t re-establish the legal system of NAs as administrative units, choosing to neither encourage nor prohibit them in the face of considerable objections to the revival of this aspect of the former totalitarian system, and complaints that it would only strengthen the hand of ‘local bosses’ (Steiner 1965: 228). Even so, most NAs continued to function during the occupation, sometimes with different names, but usually with the old leadership and functions intact (Dore 1958: 274). Ties to local government have since remained informal but close: NAs never regained the legal status of the wartime period, but continued to perform many routine administrative tasks for local government, often for a small fee, and cooperate with local government initiatives.

Changing governance of shared spaces 69 The government was consistently supportive of neighborhood associations, however, many of which, particularly in rural areas and older urban areas, tended to be bastions of conservatism (Nakamura 1968). The main function of NAs today is to organize collective voluntary activities and services such as running local shrines and festivals, managing common assets such as community halls, carrying out local clean-ups and pesticide campaigns, distribution of government notices and information via the circulating notice board (kairanban) and organizing local voluntary welfare services (Bestor 1989). Although admirable in their success in fostering strong neighborhood identity in urban areas, and clearly successful in the state’s initial goal of promoting neighborhood social solidarity to counter the feared anomie and placelessness of modern industrial urbanism, there are problems with the institutional legacy of NAs. The first is that despite their formal independence from government, NAs tended to function primarily as a conduit of requests and demands from government down to the local communities, without being able to act as advocates for local people, or to formulate policies in opposition to those of the state. Throughout the postwar period governments have successfully used neighborhood associations and other community groups as a means of co-opting local communities, and diffusing such protests as did arise (see, e.g. Broadbent 1998; Sorensen 2006). The second problem is that decision-making procedures and selection of leadership are often opaque, with most decisions and leadership selections made by a small group in advance of general meetings, and merely approved at the association meeting. Consensus based decision-making procedures and the priority given to the preservation of group ‘harmony’ mean that it is difficult for opposition to leadership policies to be successful (see Steiner 1965: 211; Reich 1983b). Furthermore, the basic membership unit of neighborhood associations is the household, which sends one representative, usually the eldest male in a traditionally patriarchal society like Japan. As a result leadership positions and decision-making in neighborhood associations has almost everywhere been dominated by rather narrow groups of older middle-class men (see Dore 1958; Bestor 1989). The rapid growth period The economic and political aspects of the rapid growth period in Japan (1952 to 1972) are well known, and need not be examined in great deal here (see Harris 1982; Johnson 1982; Woo-Cumings 1999). This is the period in which the concept of the ‘iron triangle’ of collusion between national bureaucracy, Liberal Democratic Party, and big business most fully explains the Japanese political economy, though many argue that it is still a relevant interpretive framework today. The single overriding policy goal of the bureaucracy in the rapid growth period was the pursuit of economic growth, and the remarkable success of that project was for long an important source of its legitimacy. The spatial issues of rapid growth were primarily the responsibility of the Ministry of Construction

70 André Sorensen (MOC), and included a focus of state resources on economic infrastructure, such as railways, ports, airports, water and electrical supply and transmission, serviced industrial land, and mass housing for workers. As city planning was carried out directly by the national bureaucracy, both through its own network of local offices as well as through the City Planning Committees with municipal, prefectural, and national representatives, and all plans had to be approved at the center, it was possible to coordinate the vast investments in producer infrastructure required to keep the rapid growth system moving. In such planning the Japanese developmental state excelled (see Harris 1982; Mosk 2001). The city planning and land development control systems were legally weak, with few powers to regulate land development or land use, ensure provision of basic infrastructure, or adequate protection against environmental degradation. Instead, they focused primarily on the supply of major infrastructure to aid economic growth, while consistently denying local governments the legal powers or financial capacity to adequately plan, regulate, or provide basic infrastructure for residential areas (Sorensen 1999, 2002). One result was the proliferation of urban sprawl and the development of extensive urban areas without basic public goods such as local parks, sidewalks, or sewer connections, while local governments have been forced to spend enormous sums attempting to retroactively build such facilities after urban areas are mostly built up (see Hebbert 1994; Sorensen 2001). Another result of the rapid growth of heavy and chemical industries with weak land use controls, weak to non-existent pollution controls, and scant investment in social overhead capital was the environmental disaster of the 1960s, discussed below. From a contemporary point of view, if we accept the value and synergies of healthy, well designed cities, such an approach is perplexing, as it seems like a lose–lose proposition to deny cities and local governments the legal and policy tools necessary to build healthy cities during the period of rapid growth when such policies were most necessary, and most likely to have an impact. The reasons seem to have been a combination of: the narrow focus on economic growth and the close links between state and capital developed in its pursuit that rendered all other priorities secondary; the perceived need to retain central power over spatial development to ensure that large-scale infrastructure could be developed efficiently without obstruction at the local level (expressed as a fear of local democracy as beholden to particularistic, selfish interests rather than the national interest); and an expectation that all should pull together in the national interest, even at considerable personal or local cost (see, e.g. Tada 1978; Samuels 1983; Eccleston 1989; Broadbent 1998; Sorensen 2005). It is important to understand the key role of neighborhood associations in such development processes. In NAs the state had an ideal partner in its economic development project. NAs were well established in all settled areas of the country, had at least nominal membership of virtually all households, were under the leadership of local elites and bosses who had most to gain from economic growth in their area, and who were best positioned to benefit from advance knowledge of public and private investment plans. In Japan, where both

Changing governance of shared spaces 71 urban and rural areas are extremely densely settled, land ownership is fragmented, and land markets sticky, a critical phase of almost every development project is the negotiation with existing land-owners to buy or lease land. Expropriation was in most cases impossible for private industry, and was fraught with difficulties even for the state as famously shown in the Narita Airport debacle (Apter and Sawa 1984). Project planning by both public and private bodies thus routinely came to include prior consultations with the leadership of NAs to ensure their support, and to enlist their help in persuading all other local landowners to cooperate. Allinson provides a fascinating case study of the role of such local persuasion in the expansion of Toyota’s plants near Nagoya during the 1950s and 1960s (Allinson 1975), and Broadbent (1998) examines in detail the ways in which the state used local associations to co-opt, divert, and neutralize such opposition as did arise. The key role of NAs was to ensure that local land was available for industrial expansion and infrastructure building, and local opposition to environmental change remained muted (Allinson 1975; Broadbent 1998). There can be little doubt that the leadership of NAs earned considerable rewards for their hard work during the rapid growth period. A consistent priority of the central government was to maintain its powers to shape the development of civil society. Those powers were never again as complete as they had been during the war years, but were still considerable, and were justified by the assumption that, as Iokibe argues, the central bureaucracy saw itself as the only body that could legitimately define the public good. One important reason that no organizations such as Greenpeace, the Sierra Club, or Oxfam developed in Japan even though similar numbers of environmentalists were active in the US and Japan in the early 1970s was that until the passage of the new Non-Profit Organizations (NPO) law in 1998 it was extremely difficult for private voluntary groups to gain legal status as organizations. Individual ministries retained the discretionary power to grant status to voluntary organizations within their area of authority, without which it was impossible to even set up a group bank account, let alone rent offices or retain staff (Utsunomiya and Hase 2000; Pekkanen 2003). The broad powers enjoyed by the various ministries to regulate non-profit organizations allowed the bureaucracy to overshadow those independent groups that did emerge through administrative controls, the discretionary payment of subsidies and through retirement placements of ex-bureaucrats in their executives (Yamamoto 1999; Pekkanen 2003). This approach also is perplexing if it is assumed that civil society actors can usefully contribute to a diverse range of societal goals at little cost to the state. It makes more sense if the assumption is that the society as a whole has limited resources, all national resources without exception must be devoted to the developmental project, and only the central bureaucracy can legitimately define national priorities, a conception of the role of the central state, and the threats posed by civil society, that has been remarkably persistent (Yamamoto 1999). Even though civil society roles in urban governance were limited at this time, two quite different movements became famous as alternative models of citizen participation in place making: Mishima-Numazu in Shizuoka prefecture just

72 André Sorensen west of Tokyo, and Maruyama on the urban fringe of Kobe. In the former a proposed petrochemical complex was successfully opposed in 1963–1964 by a broad movement including educators and the leadership of most local NAs and other civic groups, who had informed themselves about the terrible asthma epidemic near another such complex in Yokkaichi (Krauss and Simcock 1980; Lewis 1980). The latter was a more grassroots organization that grew in an area of newly developing suburb where there was a poor water supply, and a lack of sewers, roads, and social services, (Okuda 1989, and Chapter 2, this volume). Where established NAs and other community organizations took the lead in organizing opposition they could succeed in challenging the priorities of the developmental state (Krauss and Simcock 1980). In other cases, where local elites did not get involved, or where the population affected was marginal, it was harder, but intense organizing and local solidarity could still have an impact, as in Maruyama. Environmental crisis The second, and possibly most important period of transformation of shared understandings of legitimate governance and policy structures for urban space came with the environmental crisis of the 1960s. There is no need here to describe the environmental crisis in great detail, as it is amply documented elsewhere (see Huddle et al. 1975; McKean 1981; Barret and Therivel 1991; Ui 1992; Tsuru 1999; George 2001). The single-issue focus on economic growth, the concentration of heavy and chemical industry at very high densities, intermixed with and adjacent to high density housing areas, and virtually complete lack of pollution regulation and enforcement, all combined to produce an environmental disaster that killed hundreds, produced crippling birth defects, mass outbreaks of chronic illnesses, and tragedy for hundreds of thousands. Here the important result was a profound change in the attitudes of many Japanese people towards the Japanese state, and a rethinking of ideas about the appropriate roles and acceptable behavior of state, market, and society in urban governance processes. The pollution disaster encouraged huge numbers of Japanese to challenge the legitimacy of a central government that had actively worked to discredit research that linked pollution and disease, and had treated pollution victims as mere complainers, while supporting polluters’ efforts to evade responsibility (Reich 1983a; Upham 1987). Whereas before it had been difficult to challenge the goals of the state, and pollution victims and protest groups had been shunned, the environmental crisis, and especially the victory in court of the victims’ groups in the ‘big four’ pollution cases established the legitimacy of protest, and of grassroots organizing for different policy priorities. During the late 1960s and the first half of the 1970s there was an enormous increase in the number of citizen movements against pollution and environmental degradation, in 1971 alone local governments received 75,000 pollution related complaints, there were as many as 10,000 local disputes in 1973 (Krauss and Simcock 1980), and up to six million people participated in

Changing governance of shared spaces 73 environmental movements at their peak in the early 1970s (McKean 1981: 7). The rapid spread of environmental activism makes clear that the attitudes of many Japanese about their role in environmental management had changed radically. It was now seen as perfectly legitimate for citizens to publicly disagree with the government’s domestic policies, and to vigorously challenge them when necessary. As Iijima put it, “Pollution, occupational hazards, and consumer health problems caused by flawed or poisonous products have been more effective in inducing citizen-based mass movements than any other type of social disaster since the beginning of Japan’s period of modernization” (Iijima 1992: 154). The environmental crisis, and the wave of activism it provoked produced a major turn in central government policy. Faced with the prospect of losing their majority in parliament, the LDP developed an urban policy, paid greater attention to local environments and local public goods, passed a new City Planning law in 1968 that introduced citizen participation, development controls, urban growth boundaries to prevent sprawl, and delegated city planning to municipalities (Richardson and Flanagan 1984: 259; Sorensen 2002: 212). They also passed a comprehensive set of pollution laws in 1970 that gave Japan the most stringent pollution legislation in the developed world (Upham 1987; Barret and Therivel 1991). Although the LDP’s electoral crisis did prompt a greater responsiveness and better environmental policies by the government in its efforts to retain its majority (see Muramatsu and Krauss 1987; Calder 1988), Japanese planning remained highly centralized, and local government still faced huge difficulties in either planning for a better environment, or engaging citizens meaningfully in local governance processes. The new City Planning law of 1968 included public participation in the form of public hearings (kocho-kai) and public display of plans (juran), but those were really just measures to inform the public of plans that had earlier remained largely secret, with no requirement that citizen comments on plans should be listened to. The pollution disaster is also revealing of the nature of NAs as a political and social institution. Although neighborhood associations would seem to provide an ideal base for organizing anti-pollution movements, in fact in the majority of cases neighborhood associations blocked efforts to protest pollution problems. As McKean explained this paradox: For the most part, attempts to use the formal institutions or networks which monopolized communal activity in Japan . . . failed. Political parties had no mass base. Agricultural cooperatives, neighborhood associations, candidate support organizations, and similar groups that ordinarily served as intermediaries between citizens and political institutions were unresponsive or even hostile to the pollution issue. Only in the rare situation where pollution threatened all members of a preexisting group equally . . . did these organizations perform the function of political intermediary. (McKean 1981: 225)

74 André Sorensen McKean has written elsewhere that in cases where NAs did take the lead because of the perceived threat to their community as in Mishima-Numazu, they were effective at using traditional vertical linkages with politicians and the state (McKean 1976: 64). In most cases where active environmental movements developed, however, they created separate organizations after failing to convince their local NA to take on the issue. It is significant that NAs were often bypassed as an obstacle to neighborhood scale political mobilization. Large numbers learned to question the legitimacy not only of state planning, but also of NAs as legitimate representatives and intermediaries with the state on their behalf. During the late 1950s and through the 1960s a new model of separate, special-purpose, grassroots citizens’ organization was created, disseminated throughout the country, and gained legitimacy as a means of making demands on state and market actors. For the first time, these citizens movements were voluntary organizations composed primarily of ordinary citizens, rather than local elites, intellectuals, union leaders, students, and political activists (McKean 1976: 61). In part in response to the fact that the environmental movements were actively cultivated by the Socialist and Communist parties, as well as the LDP, each of which sought to absorb this new political energy into its own ranks, the new organizational model explicitly rejected the nested vertical hierarchy as too easy a target for co-optation if the leadership was bought out. Instead a non-hierarchical organizational model emerged based on membership by individuals (not households), non-affiliation with political parties, outside traditional organizations such as NAs with their close links to local government, with open discussion of issues and policies, and decisionmaking based on majority votes at formal meetings (McKean 1976: 68; Avenell 2006). This new organizational form then created a template of an alternative institutional framework that was subsequently adopted by widely different movements. The steady growth period, 1973–1990 The 1970s were marked by a slowing of economic growth after the oil price shock of 1973, the decline of the citizens’ environmental movements, that had virtually disappeared as a political force by 1980, considerable success of antipollution legislation with marked improvements in air quality in particular, and a rebound of the political fortunes of the LDP, that gained a greatly strengthened majority by the early 1980s. The LDP then largely abandoned its policies on social welfare and environmental issues, and in the face of large deficits in the late 1970s embarked on a period of welfare cutbacks, privatization and deregulation during the early 1980s. The party also strengthened its pork-barrel electoral machine by greatly increasing its spending on public works in rural and remote parts of the country, and by pushing forward with a number of infrastructure megaprojects, such as new high-speed railway lines, bridges and highways (Calder 1988; Fukui and Fukai 1996; McCormack 1996). The New City Planning law of 1968 had in theory delegated significant plan-

Changing governance of shared spaces 75 ning responsibilities to prefectural governments, and responsibility for local zoning and land development projects to local governments. It was not a really meaningful decentralization, however, as central government continued to have sole authority to revise planning law, and retained ultimate legal responsibility for planning, merely delegating authority to prefectural governors and municipal mayors to carry out city planning functions under the supervision of the central ministry bureaucracy (Ishida 2006). This meant in practice a rather limited ability of local governments to achieve the better urban environments and facilities that many hoped for (Sorensen 2001, 2003). In the 1980s, the increased electoral strength of the LDP allowed it to actively roll back many of the gains of the 1970s, and in planning this was realized through deregulation of the already weak planning laws (Hebbert and Nakai 1988; Hayakawa and Hirayama 1991; Otake 1993; Oizumi 2002). Particularly notable was the focus of the central government on local government ‘development manuals’ (kaihatsu shido yoko) that specified a variety of contributions to local infrastructure as a condition of development permits (a very weak form of ‘development impact fees’). The development permit system had been designed explicitly to allow such demands when it was introduced in 1968, and many local governments had developed such guidelines, in attempts to improve urban development standards. The conservative government in the 1980s saw such requirements as an obstacle to urban development, and ordered local governments to stop using their development manuals (Hebbert and Nakai 1988; Ishida 2006: 42). In the early 1970s the opposition parties rode the wave of environmental activism and dissatisfaction with LDP policies to electoral success at the local level, and at the peak in the mid-1970s almost 40 percent of the Japanese population was living in cities with progressive executives (kakushin translates as reform, and in practice meant not LDP). However, although the progressives were able to elect mayors and governors because of direct elections for those offices, they were unable to elect many municipal or prefectural assembly members because conservative politicians had strong local support bases (jiban) within their own districts. As Junnosuke Masumi explains the situation, “Kakushin parties in local assemblies are usually in the extreme minority and local administration machineries are conservative by nature. The kakushin leaders thus appeared to have parachuted alone into enemy strongholds” (Masumi 1988: 298). One positive consequence was that many of those mayors, lacking support in the council, and having promised better public facilities, were very supportive of participation methods that involved local citizens directly, as that gave their initiatives greater legitimacy in the face of hostile city assemblies and intransigent developers (Masumi 1988; Muramatsu 1997: 46). The huge mobilization of environmental activism of the 1960s prompted much speculation and debate about whether this represented a shift towards a more democratic politics in Japan, particularly on the left (see Matsushita 1978; Sakuta 1978; Takabatake 1978). The success of the socialist and communist parties in local elections, particularly for the offices of mayor and governor, and the innovative policy approaches of many such local executives, also generated


André Sorensen

a large research literature on local politics, citizen movements, and local governance in Japan (see Muramatsu 1975; White and Munger 1976; Steiner et al. 1980; McKean 1981; Samuels 1983). But by the end of the 1970s that wave of environmental movements had largely disappeared, hopes for grassroots activism and democracy had faded, and Western scholarly research on Japanese citizens’ movements and local government declined, and was largely dormant for almost two decades (see Krauss 2000). One interpretation of the decline of the environmental movements is that even though they had some positive impacts, they were merely a temporary disruption prompted by the dire environmental conditions of the 1960s, and their decline in the 1970s amid the reconsolidation of power by conservatives meant the end of an era. But a significant amount of recent research suggests that rather than giving up, many environmental activists merely changed their efforts from very public opposition movements, to a greater focus on achieving actual results on the ground in the neighborhoods where they lived. They got deeply involved at the local level organizing childcare (see Chapter 5, this volume), developing participatory planning processes such as in Mano and elsewhere (Ben-Ari 1991; Evans 2002; Chapter 2, this volume), achieved considerable success in historical preservation initiatives (Hohn 1997; Koide 1999; Sorensen 2002: 320), and created the self-managed consumer co-operatives such as the ‘Life Clubs’ (seikatsu kurabu) that counted up to 100,000 members in the Tokyo area by 1982, the Kobe co-op (over one million members by 1995), and Green Co-op (Lam 1999; Bouissou 2000: 338). Steffensen (1996: 148) argues, citing Shoji Kokichi, that ideas about local community and participatory planning became a powerful force during the 1970s, as the conflict oriented opposition (tatakau) movements of the rapid growth period gave way to the community-building (tsukuru) movements of the stable growth period. While neighborhood associations continued, therefore, a variety of other participatory governance processes for management of local neighborhood spaces also gained in numbers, effectiveness, and legitimacy during the 1970s and 1980s, and many of them adopted the new organizing principles of individual membership, majority votes, etc. pioneered by the environmental movements. The role of civil society in shaping planning ideas and practice grew dramatically in the 1970s and 1980s. Particularly important was the ability to rapidly disseminate innovative practices and concepts to other groups in other parts of the country. In this the role of planning consultants, university researchers, and activists was key. Mano provides a good example, as from as early as 1970 the anti-pollution movement in Mano started to attract the attention of outsiders, and a ‘machizukuri school’ (machizukuri gakko) consisting of occasional lectures and workshops by academics and planners on issues related to the local movement, and provided specialist knowledge in support of the residents (Hein 2001; Evans 2002: 450). Many of those attending these workshops became long-term supporters (yushi), who published research on Mano, and helped make the Mano case famous, establishing it as the paradigmatic model of citizen participation in planning (Evans 2002). When Kobe passed the first machizukuri ordinance in

Changing governance of shared spaces 77 1980 to establish formal government support for such local participatory planning processes, it based its ordinance in no small way on the Mano approach, and one provision of the ordinance was to allow the city to provide small subsidies to pay for consultants to provide technical support to local machizukuri councils (Hirohara 1989; Konno 2001). That model was later adopted in many other machizukuri ordinances, and the number of planning consultants working on machizukuri has grown steadily over the last 25 years. The contribution of planning consultants, including large numbers of planning and related academics who work for nominal fees, was been twofold: first is the provision of technical skills and knowledge of the complex Japanese planning-related legal systems, and second is the rapid dissemination of ideas and techniques through publications and by working on a variety of machizukuri processes in different places. This contributed greatly to generating planning capacity outside of central government, in civil society and local government. Civil society was slowly gaining a role in urban management, albeit mostly at the very local scale of the neighborhood, and sometimes at the scale of municipal government in cases where progressive mayors had been elected on a program of environmental improvement. The collapse of the bubble, and the Hanshin earthquake The third major crisis period and transformation in ideas about the legitimate governance of shared spaces begins with the bursting of the bubble economy in 1990–1992, and reaches a crescendo in 1995 as a result of the feeble state response to the Great Hanshin Earthquake that hit Kobe and Osaka. The processes and impacts of the bubble economy have been thoroughly studied, so suffice it to say here that along with most of the rest of the developed countries, Japan experienced a boom of real estate development during the second half of the 1980s, that resulted in feverish speculation in land and property investments, and enormous inflation of land and housing prices (see Noguchi 1992a; Wood 1992; Oizumi 1994; Renard 1996; Fukuoka 1997). The Japanese financial system, land policies, inheritance taxes, and development control systems were particularly favorable to real estate speculation, and the Japanese bubble was bigger, and its bursting much more damaging than most other countries, resulting in continuously declining land prices for 15 years, more than a decade of minimal economic growth, and the near collapse of the Japanese financial and insurance industries under the weight of bad loans and a wave of bankruptcies, particularly among property development companies (see Haley and Yamamura 1992; Noguchi 1992b; Yamamura 1992; Woodall 1996). Also important was that bankruptcies and loss of asset values exposed massive corruption, bribery, and bid-rigging in the construction industry, particularly for public works projects, that have been revealed in a steady stream of scandals (see Fukui and Fukai 1996; McCormack 1996; Woodall 1996; McGill 1998; Kase 1999). While most Japanese had long accepted as unfortunate but inevitable that politicians were corrupt, it was a huge shock to discover

78 André Sorensen that the central government bureaucracy also was deeply involved in corrupt practices. The ‘Zenecon’ scandal of 1993 involving many of the largest general contracting companies, the tainted blood scandal revealed in 1996 in which the Ministry of Health and Welfare covered up its role in the infection of thousands of hemophiliacs with HIV, the massive embezzlement, secret slush funds, and botched cover-ups in the Ministry of Finance that dragged on through the 1990s, all discredited the central bureaucracy’s claim to be the country’s primary guardian and protector of the public interest (Pempel 1998; Yoshida 1999; Kingston 2004). Finally, while in times of steady economic growth some degree of corruption might be accepted as a regrettable but affordable price to pay for a system that delivered extraordinary economic prosperity, even that source of government legitimacy was stripped away in the 1990s with almost zero economic growth during the decade. A particularly severe blow to public confidence in the government came with the Kobe earthquake in 1995. The government’s rescue effort was slow and confused, with several days lost before an adequate response finally materialized, and the collapse of supposedly earthquake-proof structures such as the Hanshin elevated expressway revealed poor construction methods and faulty inspections in a country that had prided itself on its earthquake engineering (Sassa 1995; Pempel 1998: 141). All these events conspired to undermine the legitimacy of Japan’s highly centralized government and planning structure, and lend support to those calling for an ‘era of local rights’: meaning decentralization, stronger checks on the central state such as access to information laws, greater powers and financial resources for prefectural and municipal governments, a greater role for civil society in governance, and an easier incorporation and fundraising regime for civil society organizations (Steffensen 1996; Kobayashi 1999; Yamamoto 1999). Equally, the huge wave of volunteers who went to help out after the earthquake, and the success of neighborhoods such as Mano in using their existing machizukuri network to help themselves during and after the disaster, reinforced the growing belief that civil society was ready to play a larger role in urban governance processes. The zero-growth period The era since the collapse of the bubble has seen significant changes to systems of place management, and the roles of different actors in them. Although scandal and internal divisions within the LDP forced the party out of power during part of 1993–1994 for the first time since 1955, since then the LDP has again been in power in coalitions with smaller parties. Pressure to change has been considerable, however, as massive spending on public works projects failed to revive the economy, plunged central and local governments dangerously into debt, and merely served to expand opportunities for corruption and bid-rigging, the steady exposure of which has continued to fuel criticism of the existing system. One important outcome of the uncertain political situation during the later 1990s was the passage of two major laws that seem certain to have long-term

Changing governance of shared spaces 79 effects on governance and civil society development in Japan: the Non-Profit Organizations (NPO) law of 1998, and the series of access to information ordinances and laws first at the local level, then at national government level. The NPO law – a product of civil society and political party campaigns, not a ministry/LDP initiative as usual – makes it much easier for non-profit organizations to incorporate, with the vast majority of organizations that applied for status being approved during the last eight years (Pekkanen 2000; Tamura 2003). Of about 16,000 NPOs registered under the new NPO Law of 1998 by March 2004, approximately one-quarter describe themselves as being involved in machizukuri of one sort or another. The Information Disclosure law (Johokokaiho), also directly a product of citizen organizing and lobbying, was finally passed in 1999 after many years of work (see Maclachlan 2000; Hasegawa 2004). Although containing some important loopholes as enacted, the new law affirms the right of citizen access to public information, a radical change in a country where bureaucrats have long believed that all government information belonged to the government, not the public. These two laws are important both because they were created by citizen initiative, and because they promise to greatly strengthen civil society roles in governance. A major revision of the City Planning law was carried out and passed in 1992, in the wake of the collapse of the bubble, while concerns about the contributions of land policy and planning to the bubble were still high. For our purposes the most important result was the creation of the Master Plan system, in which municipal governments must create a new basic urban policy, that reflects the opinions of citizens, and to which later plans and policies must conform (see Watanabe 1999; Sorensen 2002: 300; Ishida 2006: 43). It is important to note that these are not a kind of detailed comprehensive plan, but are more a statement of basic values and a strategic vision for future development of a whole municipal area, something earlier zoning plans did not allow. Although it has taken longer for many municipalities to create their master plans than initially imagined, and many are still in process at the time of writing, the requirement that plans reflect citizen opinions helped to promote a dramatic spread of participatory planning processes throughout Japan, not just in the most advanced cities where local political pressures had already put participation on the agenda. As shown in Chapter 10 this volume, the results of such participation are sometimes quite unexpected, and can create opportunities for broader debates that go beyond the Master Plan processes. Potentially the most important recent change has been the ending of the agency delegated functions system with the passage of the Omnibus Act for the Decentralization of Powers in June 1999 that changed city planning from a delegated function controlled ultimately by central ministry bureaucrats to a local government function (Ishida 2006: 44). City planning has finally become a local duty (jichi jimu), rather than a function delegated by central government to local executives (kikan inin jimu). This process of decentralization is ongoing, but it is already having some impacts, as local ordinances can now go beyond the limits of national law and still be legally binding. The spread of machizukuri is one

80 André Sorensen indication of the increasing role of civil society actors in planning. The new NPO law has also permitted the emergence of intermediary organizations (such as Tokyo LANPO and CS Kobe among many others) created to support those directly involved in machizukuri with professional services and expertise. Certainly the most powerful indicator that things have changed is the huge expansion in numbers and diversity of machizukuri processes designed to engage citizens in the governance of living environments, of which those presented in this volume are but a glimpse. In the spread of machizukuri processes and the rapid growth of NPOs we can finally see the emergence of special purpose civil society organizations that are fully autonomous of state hierarchies as fully legitimate actors in urban policy and planning and the management of shared spaces. They do not necessarily have great power or resources, but they are free of the former nested hierarchies, can set their own membership and decision-making policies, and can aggregate interests over whole urban areas, instead of being trapped in the jurisdictional cage of the neighborhood, where minority opinions are so easily squelched, and the opportunity to tackle larger issues is limited.

Discussion and conclusions By approaching the analysis of machizukuri from the point of view of how the legitimate institutions for the governance of place at the neighborhood scale have changed over the past half century, we gain significant insights into why it has been so difficult to establish the new, inclusive, and participatory place governance processes referred to as machizukuri, and how established institutions have shaped those attempts. This chapter looked at the development of machizukuri as part of a long-term process of change in the way living spaces at the scale of the neighborhood and municipality are managed. In Japan, as in many other countries, the initial response to urban environmental problems brought on by industrialization and urbanization in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was to create state-led systems of urban planning and management of urban infrastructure, land use, and regulation of private development. More than in most other developed countries, Japan also actively worked to create voluntary organizations of citizen self-management at the neighborhood scale, incorporating existing grassroots organizations into vertical hierarchical organizations endorsed by government, that functioned during the war as a part of the apparatus of the state. The goal in encouraging these organizations was partly to relieve the government of a range of responsibilities at the neighborhood scale that local people could provide on a voluntary basis, partly to inculcate ideas of patriotism, good behavior and local service to the goals of the nation, and partly to ensure organized associational life as a prophylactic simultaneously of disorganized anomie and of radical associations sponsored by the left. Neighborhood associations became a universally disseminated institution of neighborhood self-governance, with extremely high levels of participation, that continues until the present in settled areas throughout Japan.

Changing governance of shared spaces 81 An historical institutionalist perspective helps in understanding a number of puzzling aspects of machizukuri development in postwar Japan. First, the prior existence of NAs as an established and universally disseminated system of neighborhood self-management was clearly a significant factor in the very slow spread of machizukuri ideas over the last 50 years. NAs through their long existence as the dominant institution of self-governance at the neighborhood scale constrained other approaches by occupying much of the political and conceptual space for neighborhood self-government in Japan. NAs have had a powerful role in shaping the taken-for-granted assumptions about who is a member of the group, how leaders are chosen, how decisions should be made, the scale and geographical boundaries of ‘neighborhood,’ the structure of neighborhood/state relations and the rules of participation in managing shared spaces. NAs generate a capacity for collective action, but structure it in particular ways. Several characteristics of NAs contributed to their strength and persistence, and also made them less able to take on new and emerging issues. The first is their location in a nested hierarchy designed initially to allow NAs to function as an effective means to secure citizen cooperation with state policies. Membership in higher bodies such as joint neighborhood associations and municipal leagues of NAs made NAs much more vulnerable to co-optation by public and private actors, and make it hard for activists to use NAs to fight, for example, against either public or private development plans, even when most members of the NA were opposed to the development. Second is household membership, which resulted in participation predominantly by elderly male household heads, while blocking participation, and particularly leadership, by most female and younger household members. Third, routine practices of internal decision-making by consensus among board members followed by consent at larger general meetings rather than open discussion and majority voting in meetings makes it easier for small leadership groups to dominate NAs. Fourth, membership based exclusively in the clearly defined geographical areas and scale of the neighborhood simultaneously worked to give priority to the concerns and issues relevant to that scale, but also made it much more difficult to aggregate interests at other scales or to create communities of interest on other topics of concern only at larger scales. Most larger, city-wide groups consisted of representatives from NAs, who were beholden to the neighborhood perspective. As the NAs were the legitimate form of neighborhood selfgovernance and conduct of relations with other NAs and with local governments, the institution structured both the issues that could be engaged, and the approaches that could be adopted. The rapid development of machizukuri in the 1990s has been based in part on the legitimation of new communities of interest and civil society actors from much larger geographical areas, the formation and communication among which has been greatly aided by the Internet. As a result, most NAs have played a very small part in the development of machizukuri ideas. For many local activists, NAs are seen as simply useless, or irrelevant to their efforts, particularly where there are conflicts over development projects. NAs demonstrate strong effects of path dependence, and positive feedback effects, in their persistence over time and continuity of basic organizing principles.


André Sorensen

But there have clearly been changes. The huge numbers of people involved in machizukuri today makes clear its significance, so understanding the processes of change in ideas about legitimate institutions for managing shared spaces is important. This chapter has identified two complementary processes that have combined to produce change: first, repeated periods of crisis that undermined the legitimacy of existing institutions, and second, the development of alternative institutions that gained visibility and legitimacy during and between those periods of crisis. The institutions that matter in our analysis are the formal city planning apparatus, the NAs, and new models of participatory planning grouped under the umbrella term machizukuri. We have identified three main periods of crisis that have affected institutions of place governance during the postwar period: the occupation, the environmental crisis, and the bubble collapse/ Hanshin earthquake period. Each of the crisis periods examined here shared three characteristics: a broad recognition of the failure of the old system resulting in a loss of legitimacy of existing place governance institutions; the adoption and/or experimentation with alternative organizational models; and the elaboration of alternative goals. The first crisis changed the city planning system only marginally, but the creation of democratically elected governments at all levels was clearly critical in the longer run by opening government to the pressures of changing public opinion, while the guarantee of freedom of association was also clearly a necessary prerequisite for later machizukuri development. The occupation also attempted to abolish NAs, but failed, even though the formal link to local government was severed. The second crisis encouraged the widespread acceptance of a devastating critique of established government approaches to growth and place management, as well as encouraging the legitimation of demands for less pollution, and encouraging the development of a new model of association at the local level. That model deliberately avoided the neighborhood-based nested hierarchy, household membership, and consensus decision making of NAs, popularizing instead open memberships, majority decision-making, and a non-hierarchical leadership structure. The third crisis exposed the massive corruption of the government, rendered laughable the argument that central control was necessary to prevent local malfeasance, and legitimated a number of new demands that had formerly been seen as merely selfish, including demands for better living environments, the protection of historic districts and traditional landscapes, and the prevention of unwanted development. The second element that was necessary for institutional change to occur was the existence of alternative institutional models that could be brought forward during periods of crisis. As shown by Watanabe (Chapter 2, this volume), a wide range of experiments in local participatory planning were established, bore fruit, and became known throughout Japan. These experiments became more ambitious and more sophisticated over time, and as greater planning powers were ceded to local governments. The legitimation of new practices is greatly helped by the existence of experimental models and practices that can be pointed to as successful alternatives to existing practice when the opportunity arises. This

Changing governance of shared spaces 83 suggests that a key role of civil society is to attempt diverse experiments on a small scale and then to widely disseminate knowledge of successful experiments. It also indicates the value of some degree of local autonomy in place governance, otherwise the diversity and sophistication of such experiments will be constrained by the one-size-fits-all approach of central government. Institutional changes in local place governance through the spread of machizukuri appears to have occurred primarily by what Thelen (2003) describes as ‘layering,’ with new practices and institutions simply added to and competing with existing institutions without replacing them. In some cases, however, machizukuri processes have resulted in ‘conversion’ of NAs to the new goals of more active place management. In these cases, machizukuri has been organized by NAs as part of their own activities, usually by setting up a new sub-committee (see Tominaga 2001; Chapter 6, this volume). The main advantage of working within the established institution is being able to access existing political resources and legitimacy, while the main disadvantage is that the organizational structure of NAs often makes it difficult to deal with situations of significant conflict or to adopt new approaches, both of which are common to many machizukuri processes. As a result, most machizukuri processes developed outside the framework of the local NA. The most important insights gained by looking at machizukuri from a historical institutionalist perspective derives from the fact that its development is a characteristically ‘big and slow-moving’ sociopolitical process (Pierson 2004). It has taken the last half-century of activity to create and gain legitimacy for the ideas and institutions of machizukuri that exist today. Individual case studies of particular processes thus can help us to understand the state of practice, but fail to capture the longer-term changes that are really significant. Three issues stand out in this examination of machizukuri over time: first is that changes to other institutions at multiple scales have been necessary for machizukuri to become viable. Efforts to carve out governance space for machizukuri processes has depended both on establishing the legitimacy of new institutions outside NAs, and the devolution of planning powers from a central government that has generally failed to support machizukuri, and local governments that have been more willing to support it. Second, it appears from the analysis here that while there are powerful developmental pathways that help to lock in existing institutional arrangements and serve to constrain the possibilities for institutional innovation, as seen in the remarkable persistence of NAs through various upheavals during the twentieth century, it has nevertheless been possible for institutions to change, and new institutions to develop. The most important changes have resulted from the cumulative impacts of many small steps over time. A major cumulative impact has been the increasing legitimacy of special purpose voluntary organizations for managing local environments, working outside the former NA model and unbounded from neighborhood geographies, and with inclusive membership policies and decision-making practices. This process of change through the cumulative impacts of many small-scale processes, dispersed geographically and

84 André Sorensen in time highlights both the importance of a diversity of machizukuri processes, goals and actors, and the value of a long-term view of political change occurring over time rather than a snapshot of a particular moment. Third, the significant challenges to existing governance institutions examined here occurred in bursts, in moments of disjuncture when existing arrangements were being questioned, and were seen to have failed in some way and so to have lost legitimacy. Such failure and loss of legitimacy is essential both to the ability of innovating actors to conceive of new arrangements, and also for them to convince others of their legitimacy. These ‘crisis periods’ as we have referred to them here, were not full-blown critical junctures, but were of more limited scope, allowing some innovation and some change, without a thorough restructuring of existing institutional frameworks. Critically, the loss of legitimacy of existing institutions allowed the emergence and spread of other imaginaries, based on existing and known experiments, and employing new organizational models. All of these changes suggest grounds for optimism that Japanese structures of local governance are able to change and adapt to new challenges and circumstances with considerable dynamism. They give no indication whether those innovations in local governance will be sufficient to deal with current challenges, or whether the powerful institutions of national governance and the construction state can be reformed, or will yield sufficient political space for yet further innovation at the local level.

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Japan’s construction lobby and the privatization of highwayrelated public corporations Thomas Feldhoff

Introduction There are many subjects currently debated in the ongoing discussion about Japan’s approaches to structural reform. Nevertheless, the notorious ‘construction state’ still remains a basic puzzle of the Japanese political economy. According to Broadbent (2002: 43), a construction state (doken kokka) can be defined as a government which puts much more public investment into the construction of public works than can be realistically justified by public need. The Japanese construction state is a phenomenon rooted in the prewar years. However, it became outstanding from other industrialized countries especially in the past two decades, as the level of public construction investment has grown excessively (DeWit and Steinmo 2002: 172). At its heart, a system of collusion between politicians, bureaucrats, and businessmen can be identified that evolved under Liberal Democratic Party’s (LDP) long-term one-party rule in postwar Japan. These actors are linked by an extensive network of formal and informal ties and are bound in a so-called ‘iron triangle’ of benefit and influence (Woodall 1996; McCormack 2002; Feldhoff 2005). In the aftermath of the collapse of the bubble economy, Japan’s public works became a major focus of structural collusion. The system of vested interests in construction activities encouraged bribery and bid-rigging and lobbyists spread a net that embraced Japan at all levels of government. This system led to massive government spending on public works often to the benefit of private interests rather than the general public and a construction industry highly dependent on public funding (Miyai 2000; Igarashi 2001; Igarashi and Ogawa 2002). As a result of this system, the central and local governments have incurred cumulative debts totaling about ¥700 trillion, and construction works have largely destroyed the natural environment. These are the main reasons why the construction state and its impact on public infrastructure and regional development policies have become subject to severe public criticism since the early 1990s (McCormack 2002; Miyairi 2003). This is the background for this chapter, which concentrates on the following aspects. After a brief introduction to Japan’s public works and construction industry sector, the focus is on the composition and the mechanism of the

92 Thomas Feldhoff construction state. The analysis of construction-lobbying activities addresses the causes and consequences of its long-standing stability. I ultimately try to explain ‘why’ it exists and ‘why’ it persists, even though reforms were carried out, by looking at the networks of relationships between central actors and at the recent trends in Japanese regional development. Because public works projects have a widely varying impact on regional development, not only their spatial effects, but also their economic, ecological, and social consequences have to be analyzed with regard to the concept of sustainability. As a case study, the road construction sector which has become a major symbol of the ‘construction state’ system will be considered. Though public works spending has decreased over recent years, interestingly enough, abundant funds are available to build new expressways. The chapter concludes with a look at what is likely to happen to Japan’s construction state from the standpoint of institutional stability and change, offering some conclusive thoughts on the long-running debate ‘who rules Japan?’ The assessments are primarily based on extensive empirical research conducted by the author in the years 2002 and 2003, including about 150 semi-structured interviews with key politicians, bureaucrats, construction company managers, NPO representatives, political scientists, and journalists.

Public works, the construction business and sustainable regional development Since the end of World War II, massive government spending on public works projects has continued in Japan. In the early decades, it could be justified as rebuilding the country, providing badly needed infrastructure, and improving social welfare to catch up with the advanced Western industrialized nations. Since the 1950s, comprehensive plans for the development of the country were implemented, and based on these plans defining the ‘public good,’ great efforts were made to improve the transport and communication infrastructure and the infrastructure for natural disaster prevention. Especially since the history of disastrous earthquakes, typhoons, and floods has shown that the entire Japanese archipelago is in permanent danger (Flüchter 2003). Thus, through the decades of Japan’s postwar high growth, infrastructure development made a major contribution to economic growth, social welfare improvement, and regional development. As a result, the construction and public works sector became Japan’s largest industry. A look at the construction investment figures reveals that Japan’s public sector investment grew rapidly in the early 1980s, and peaked at ¥35 trillion in 1995 (Figure 4.1). Throughout the 1990s, in particular, the government spent vast sums of public money on economic stimulus packages, which in Keynesian tradition were intended to prop up the ailing economy. As a matter of fact, much of this money was devoted to public works in Japan’s low income and depopulating peripheral areas. From the standpoint of social and regional policies, the government justified the public investment as a contribution to a more equitable distribution of wealth among people and regions. Consequentially, the level of public investment per capita in

Japan’s construction lobby 93 600,000

90 85

Construction establishments (right scale)



70 65 400,000

60 55 50


45 Private sector investment (left scale)

40 35


30 25

Construction establishments

Construction investment (trillion yen)


20 15


Public sector investment (left scale)

10 5 0

2002 2003


















Figure 4.1 Japan’s construction investment and construction establishments, 1970–2003. Figures for 2002–2003 are forecasts (source: data provided by the Construction Division, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport).

remote rural areas by far surpassed that for metropolitan areas (Iio 2001; Kajita 2001). Since 1998, due to economic and fiscal restraints, public construction investment has been continuing to decline. By international comparison, however, the level of investment is still far higher than anywhere else in the OECD (Figure 4.2). In 2003, construction investments contributed about 10.8 percent to Japan’s gross domestic product compared to 8.3 percent in the United States and only 5.0 percent in Germany. Correspondingly, the Japanese construction business constitutes a vast public employment system, which is composed of about 570,000 companies that directly employ about 6.2 million people or 10 percent of the total working population. According to the figures in Table 4.1, that is not much less than during the construction boom years in the early 1990s. It is especially in remote rural areas in Hokkaido, north-eastern and south-western Japan that construction employment ratios of more than 20 percent of the total employment are the norm. Over the past decade, the so-called ‘wasteful public works’ (muda na kokyo jigyo) have become subject to mounting public criticism that public works

94 Thomas Feldhoff


Construction investment (left scale)


Percentage of GDP from construction (right scale)

700 600 500 400




Great Britain






United States




Percentage GDP from construction

Construction investment (billion euro)


Figure 4.2 International comparison of construction investments, 2003 (source: Nikkenren 2005: 37).

appear to be little more than a costly large-scale advancement and employment program for the construction business. Very comfortably equipped, but almost unused local airports, oversized roads and tunnels in the middle of nowhere, and anachronistic land reclamation projects are just a few examples which illustrate the unprecedented waste of public money (Feldhoff 2002b, 2003). This type of infrastructure development compensating declining private investment in building infrastructure and declining rural areas through fiscal redistribution has become a focus of domestic critics including local protest movements (Bowen 2003; Miyairi 2003). Many argue that it would be more effective to shift the focus of projects towards urban areas and modern technologies in order to bolster Japan’s international competitiveness (DeWit and Steinmo 2002: 172). Analyzing Japan’s infrastructure and regional development policies from the

Japan’s construction lobby 95 Table 4.1 Recent trends in Japan’s construction industry, 1992 and 2002 Fiscal 1992

Fiscal 2002

Per cent change 1992–2002

Construction employees (million) 6.19 6.18 –0.2 Construction establishments 522,450 571,388 9.4 Foreign construction companies in Japan 81 81 0.0 Construction investment (nominal, trillion ¥) 83.97 56.52 –32.6 Private sector 51.64 31.57 –38.9 Public sector 32.33 24.95 –22.8 Ration of construction investment to GDP (%) 17.4 11.3 –6.1 Total number of company bankruptcies – Construction companies

14,167 2,845

19,458 5,863

37.3 106.1

Source: Author’s compilation based on data provided by the Construction Division, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. Note The number of foreign construction companies in Japan includes foreign Japanese legal entities in which foreign companies hold the majority equity stake.

standpoint of sustainability might prove useful in gaining further insight into the ‘construction state’ mechanism. Encouraged by the report “Our Common Future” of the World Commission on Environment and Development (1987), sustainability has made its way onto international and national policy-making agendas. This concept has become the central principle governing the interplay of nature, society, and economy to resolve the impasse between economic development and the environment. Thus sustainability needs to be understood not only in its traditional sense as limiting the consumption of resources, but also in a more comprehensive sense as lasting conservation of nature as a productive force (Wood 1998). Because society and economy are regarded as subsystems of nature, sustainability has to be extended to signify the lasting functioning of all three spheres and their interactions as well – “to ensure that it meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (World Commission on Environment and Development 1987: 43). Japan’s construction state influences spatial structures when it builds bridges, dams, tunnels, or airports and covers shorelines and hillsides with concrete: projects that are more directly visible in Japan’s rural areas than in the cities. As already pointed out, such public works projects are part of comprehensive development and construction plans that are characterized by very high levels of central government control. Since the early 1950s, these plans have adopted the concept of balanced regional development, aiming to supply badly needed hard infrastructure in the rural communities. However, the intended economic growth in the structurally weak regions failed to occur and public works have not scored any real success at lessening the regional disparities. On the contrary, the most obvious outcomes of regional planning were the unprecedented concentration of wealth and power in the metropolitan areas in the Pacific Coast Industrial Belt

96 Thomas Feldhoff and the ‘unipolar concentration’ on Tokyo (Tokyo ikkyoku shuchu). Furthermore, public works have aggravated the regional economies’ dependence on construction to an irrationally high level. Therefore, a large number of government-financed projects, some of them absurdly expensive, are still under construction or under planning in the remote regional areas. From the standpoint of sustainability, there are three main problems with construction state policies. First, the fiscal crisis of the local and national governments in Japan has become a major issue of concern (Figure 4.3). The unrestrained debt-financed allocation of public funds for public works projects to stimulate the economic cycle has incurred massive public debts, inviting an enormous misallocation of resources. As a result, Japan’s fiscal condition is now among the worst of all major industrialized countries, with government debts standing at 158 percent of gross domestic product at the end of fiscal 2002. The mounting burden of public debt threatens to become a nightmare for future generations facing challenges such as rapid aging and low growth prospects (Igarashi 1999; DeWit and Steinmo 2002: 175). Environmental devastation is a second negative outcome of the construction state. It is the result of intense industrialization and urbanization processes induced by strong agglomeration economies, especially during the rapid growth period, and “wasteful public works” that contributed to the construction boom of the post-bubble era. The contrast between the special Japanese affinity to nature, so often apostrophized in literature and arts, and the country’s massive environ6

700 600








Budget balance as percentage of GDP (right scale)





















National debt (left scale)



Trillion yen

Annual growth rate of GDP (right scale)



Figure 4.3 Japan’s national debt and budget balance, 1990–2005 (source: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung May 4, 2004).

Japan’s construction lobby 97 mental problems still remains a phenomenon. As Sakaiya notes, the relationship between humanity and nature in Japan is one of “symbolism and abstraction through simplification and abbreviation” (1995: 186). By giving up the notion that humanity and nature are somehow separate, Japanese justify human intervention in nature and landscape. As a result, public works spending has increasingly brought about the destruction of regional natural assets without serving a strong public need (Guo and McCormack 2001; McCormack 2001). Third, it is worth noting that in recent years, referendums against large-scale public works projects have become a new trend on the landscape of local politics in Japan (Jain 2000). Such referendums symbolize the growing opposition of potentially affected local residents to Japan’s public works policy. Moreover, there are also signs of growing indignation among urban citizens at the waste of taxpayers’ money on projects in rural areas that have only little benefit to themselves and do not serve the future infrastructure needs in socially necessary sectors such as welfare, care for the aged, education and housing (Kabashima 2000; McCormack 2002: 20). It seems clear that in the current era of low economic growth and high unemployment, construction-lobbying activities are still central to Japan’s political economy. Though criticism of public works funding has increased sharply and all political parties have called for reduced public investment, money is, even today, spent often to the benefit of the construction lobby. This raises a crucial question: why does the construction state continue, and why has opposition been unable to reform the system?

The composition and the mechanism of the construction state As many have argued, the postwar Japanese economy was based on a two-tiered system consisting of a highly inefficient sector of industries protected from foreign competition, and a sector of internationally competitive companies yielding high growth rates (Calder 1988; Woodall 1996; Pempel 1998). Although the construction industry is among the most inefficient sectors in Japan sheltered from competition by extensive government regulations, it plays a pivotal role in the political economy of the country. The rationality of policy decisions appertaining to the construction business is affected by certain interest coalitions and robust power politics involving three groups of actors (Figure 4.4): • •

Leading politicians mainly from the LDP having been in power almost uninterruptedly since 1955. Ministerial bureaucrats from the construction-related ministries and agencies, especially the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF). Representatives of the construction and real estate businesses including construction consultants and business associations.


Thomas Feldhoff Particularism efe Pr

Office of the Prime Minister Tokyo


Marunouchi Otemachi


Mass media


I the nter bu med sin ia To es tion to su lera ses, be Le tw bm tio l ga it a n o obby een la nd i f r ti fic bus ng f the ille b or ial i e ga ly s p ur l hig s co ubl eau El cam h b llu ic w cra ec or cy ids sio tio paig ne nd for n (d ks p and er co ang roje ing ona n t cts str o) su ion uc pp s ti o or (‘ki ng t ck ba ck s ’)

Politics The construction ‘tribe’ (kensetsu zoku) of (largely LDP) politicians

cts oje pr rks wo l ion lat blic ra cto gis pu f le s in e ele h n o nie a ot s tio t p ms dia om cts ician c for je me lit o g re nd r tin s pr e po m rs o k n e iv na fro r tio supp wo por t latio ing care t ti a s c Ini t of ubli sup legi otec tical en of p s of ing pr oli ict ass and ts’ p atm n tre atio distr P ets cra c al au dg nti A l l o re bu ure he ng b t gt r in ppor Su

Organized crime (Yakuza)


Construction business Construction and real estate companies, consultants, business associations

Economic inefficiency Jurisdiction

Governmental contracting Pro-business legislation and regulation Prevention from foreign competition Insider information from retired ministerial officials

Construction ministries and agencies MLIT, MAFF

Lucrative retirement posts for bureaucrats (amakudan) Obedience to administrative guidance (gyosei shido) Cooperation on the formulation of policies within administrative advisory councils (shingikai)

Structural corruption Science

Figure 4.4 The working of the ‘iron triangle’ of vested interests in Japan’s ‘construction state’ (source: Flüchter 2000; Feldhoff 2005: 121).

The massive investments in regional development projects based on the institutional arrangements of these actors and subordinated to the central bureaucratic will of Tokyo have suffocated local creativity throughout Japan, ‘sapping democracy and feeding dependency, alienation, indifference and corruption’ (Guo and McCormack 2001: 190). Responsible for the functioning of the so-called iron triangle of vested interests is, according to Woodall (1996: 8–14), Japan’s ‘clientelist state’ that encouraged particularism, structural corruption, and economic inefficiency. First, particularism refers to the consistent granting of priority to a small set of special interests at the public expense. Politicians channel distributive policy expenditures in the form of public works into their electoral districts and thereby enhance their prospects for re-election. The so-called ‘construction tribe politicians’ (kensetsu zoku giin) actively mediate between the construction industry and the bureaucracy to broker public works deals. Because distributive policy benefits serve the material needs of these special interest groups, they in return contribute massive amounts of legal and illegal political campaign donations and electioneering support. The distributional effects of these measures, which are largely in favor of remote rural areas, are expected to influence the flow of lobbying expenditures.

Japan’s construction lobby 99 Second, based on this massive system of ‘kick backs,’ structural corruption evolved, also involving the bureaucracy. Ministerial officials use their dominance over policy-making to implement pro-business legislation and regulation, using regulatory mechanisms for income maintenance, social policy purposes, and ordering industry (Carlile and Tilton 1998: 200–201). Because the government ministries and agencies are closely tied to the sectors they oversee, they mainly act as their protectors despite any consequent economic irrationality (Pempel and Muramatsu 1995: 72). In particular, they work with constructiontribe politicians in allocating contracts by bid-rigging (dango) to protect friendly contractors. Dango refers to a system of cartel-like agreements reached by illegal consultation among bidders in construction commissions (Kajita 2001: 150). In exchange for profitable public works as well as internal ministry information on upcoming projects, these contractors provide the bureaucrats with key management retirement posts (amakudari). Between the politicians and the bureaucrats, the latter expect help in passing their legislation, expanding or at least securing their budgets, protecting from too far-reaching reforms, and supporting for individual political careers. Finally, a third characteristic of the construction state is economic inefficiency. The systemic undermining of competition, and the cost of ‘kick backs’ to politicians and bureaucrats is factored into the bids, resulting in overspending for public works. Construction costs are, thus, much higher in Japan than elsewhere and, in the dual economy of the country, construction is among the most uncompetitive industries. Furthermore, debt-ridden public corporations are engaged in public infrastructure development under ministerial control. These public corporations are well known for their inefficient management, wasteful construction investments, and toleration of dubious dealings among bidders for contracts. As illustrated in Figure 4.4, the interplay between the central actors is based primarily on certain formal and informal elements in Japan’s political economy, on mutual interests and on money politics (Broadbent 1998; Bouissou 1999; Vogel 1999; Fukui and Fukai 2000; McCormack 2001, 2002). Politicians who have an extensive network of relationships and additionally are professional experts in the field of construction-related policies, regularly act as intercessors between the companies and the bureaucracy (Woodall 1996: 112–114). As such they effectively serve as an internal lobby representing the special interests of the construction business within the party and the factions (habatsu), the parliaments and the commissions. At the same time the politicians are dependent on the expertise of the ministries, whose experts have considerable influence on the formulation of policies within national administrative advisory councils (shingikai). The ministries’ control and decision-making function and their influence on the local authorities are based not least on the strong financial position of the central government. When it is time for construction contracts or permits to be granted, businessmen, for their part, hope that the bureaucrats will be accommodating. There are at least three ways in which governments transfer resources with a lack of


Thomas Feldhoff

transparency and political accountability: governmental contracting, regulation, and restrictions on international trade. In the case of the highly protected Japanese construction industry, all three types of transfers are systemically integrated into the institutionalized bid-rigging (dango) system. As a result, Japan’s infrastructure and regional development policies are being dictated by particular interests rather than by objective political guidelines. In return for their concessions, the bureaucrats expect acquiescence in informal administrative guidance (gyosei shido) and lucrative positions, either directly in the big construction companies or in related semi-public bodies after their retirement from public service (Feldhoff 2002a: 37). This practice is literally called ‘descent from heaven’ (amakudari) and one of the most important elements in the formation of enduring policy networks in Japan (Woodall 1996: 68–75). For many decades, the iron triangle was considered the symbol of the country’s economic prosperity. However, with the establishment of illegal practices and abuse, the system of mutual give and take connections turned Japan’s democracy into crisis. As Bowen (2003: 3) points out, “Japan’s democracy . . . suffers from personalism, graft, cronyism, favoritism, bribery, money politics, factionalism and collusion.” The structures described here culminated in a series of major construction industry and money politics scandals in Japan from 1988 to the present. The resulting severe public criticism gave support to those wishing to initiate a structural reformation of Japan’s political system. In fact, administrative and political reforms were carried out under a coalition of nonLDP political opposition parties from 1993. But the government soon fell and was replaced by a new LDP-led coalition continuing and even expanding public works spending.

Institutional stability and change of the construction state Some scholars argued that Japan is already in the midst of a fundamental shift in the character of its political economy (Pempel 1998). And many Japan specialists already believe that the iron triangle is passé (Bowen 2003: 59). However, what does the enthusiastic government spending on public works throughout the 1990s reveal about the stability of the construction state? And why could this system continue to work well even though reforms had taken place? The answer is that even today, although the government is keeping up appearances of structural reform and public works spending is decreasing substantially, the iron triangle as a basic description and an explanation of the construction state still makes sense. Of course, the political process is, in reality, much more complex than a superficial glance at the model of the iron triangle would indicate. Politics, business, and bureaucracy do not form any constant blocks, and instead, their relationships are characterized by changing coalitions, depending on the area of policy, and by internal struggles – that is, factionalism within the parties, sectionalism within the bureaucracy, and growing competition within the construction industry.

Japan’s construction lobby 101 In addition, the iron triangle has come to be more responsive to a growing variety of actors playing outside its inner circle. That is especially the mass media, researchers who are independent from the government, reform-minded politicians in the prefectural and municipal governments as well as local protest movements. Referendums (jumin tohyo) show that actors outside the iron triangle have emerged as some of the most vocal proponents of reform (Jain 2000). Although referendums are still without institutional enforceability, government and authorities cannot afford to disregard them completely. Clearly, however, public works projects have become the subject of increasing political debate, with a growing awareness among the public of the problems of the construction state. However, that an iron triangle and structural corruption in Japan’s public works sector continue to persist is not debatable according to many Japanese specialists (Igarashi and Ogawa 2001, 2002; Miyairi 2003). Decision-making processes are to some extent pluralistic, but adhere to a relatively rigid pattern of interaction based on long-term relationships of informal mutual obligation. As the actors are deeply embedded in this densely integrated and hierarchical network of relationships and have vested interests in the status quo, the collective economic irrationality continues to persist (Granovetter 1985; Broadbent 2000: 9). The pervasive nature of this ‘network state model’ is not least due to the fact that the interest intermediation in public works policy through the iron triangle not only exists at the national level, but in the shape of ‘medium-iron triangles’ at the regional and ‘mini-iron-triangles’ at the local level as well. The same considerations apply to the widespread bid-rigging (dango) practice, which according to Miyairi Koichi, Professor of Economics at Aichi University and leading expert in public works, still seems to be the preferred instrument for the awarding of public building contracts (personal interview, April 2003). Under these circumstances, what are the main factors supporting the continued existence of the construction state? 1


As the amount of construction investment continues to decline, a shakeout of the construction industry sector is overdue. However, unprofitable and uncompetitive firms are still being supported by government regulation. Furthermore, the bureaucracy promotes the development of new business opportunities for the construction industry through supportive legislation, for example in the urban renewal business and the environmental renewal business. The banks, crippled by bad loans, are still propping up ‘zombie’ companies that should go under. According to Noble (2001: 28), the desire to avoid bankruptcies risks destabilizes the whole financial sector. The necessity of public works projects is in many cases not critically evaluated; due to the fiscal restraints just the time of realization is prolonged. Since 1999, the LDP-led coalition government has pursued an official policy of reviewing public works, but this has mainly been a face-saving exercise. McCormack (2002: 17) calculates that less than 0.5 percent of the 8,000 projects examined have been cancelled as a result. In particular,

102 Thomas Feldhoff




ministerial officials have attempted to create institutions that dampen citizens’ resistance to public works and allow citizens’ participation in policymaking. The government tightened up the requirements for environmental impact assessment studies and introduced a new public works evaluation system. Recently, it also started measures on public involvement (e.g. MLIT “Guidelines on Public Involvement Procedures in the Planning Phase of Public Works Projects under MLIT Jurisdiction,” “Information Disclosure Act”), but a true consultation mechanism empowering citizens to substantively influence all the processes from proposal formulation and planning to the implementation of public works projects is still lacking – and, of course, is an ideal very difficult to attain. This is particularly due to the fact that administrative reforms failed to weaken the power of the bureaucracy in policy-making and the centralism of the state administration. The bureaucrats successfully obstructed any radical change of their exclusive dominance in public works matters intended by the reorganization of the central government in 2001, the reform of public corporations and administrative deliberation councils, and the plans for decentralization and deregulation. In particular, the highly centralized nature of the public finance system including the Fiscal Investment and Loan Program (FILP), specific tax revenues and special accounts earmarked for construction purposes have remained virtually unchallenged. Likewise, the Fifth Comprehensive National Development Plan released in 1998 is remaining in force and advocates generous public infrastructure investment as a national strategy. Actually, the public finance and planning system constitutes the main basis for the strong power of the central government in the absence of public scrutiny or accountability (McCormack 2002: 18). At the same time that administrative reforms failed, political reforms in the fields of the electoral system and the regulation of political donations were unsuccessful in weakening systemic corruption and the strong regionalism built into Japan’s political system. The LDP, although facing a steady decline in voter support and voter identification, still controls the government as the parties in opposition to the LDP ruling coalition are programmatically weak parties with more or less weak leadership (Bowen 2003: 10). Although the two major opposition parties (Democratic Party of Japan and Liberal Party) combined into one shortly before the general election of 9 November 2003, the scandal-ridden LDP still retained power, and in the Fall of 2005 won an even larger majority. Much of the success resulted from Koizumi’s calls for reform, presenting the LDP as a re-created political force. Yet, according to McCormack (2005: 15), 30 percent of LDP candidates were second or third generation politicians, and over one-sixth of them were former bureaucrats. Finally, several informal institutions of Japan’s political economy circumventing constraints of formal ones still continue to persist. That is especially true for ‘old boys’ networks based on university cliques, informal pre-nego-

Japan’s construction lobby 103 tiations among decision makers, family ties based on traditional marriage and adoption policies, the high proportion of hereditary politicians in national, prefectural and municipal parliaments, and unwritten rules of political payback (Feldhoff 2002a, 2002b). In the light of these assessments indicating a relative stability of the construction state mechanism, it seems fair to conclude that sustainability will remain an unattainable ideal in Japanese regional development. A closer look at the road construction sector reveals that, in fact, local and national construction lobbyism is still an important factor in Japanese policy-making.

The road construction sector and the privatization of public corporations After the end of World War II, the Japanese government initiated the reconstruction of the transportation system including a massive road construction program. Automobiles gathered a steadily growing popularity as the economy recovered and the standard of living improved. The long-term trend of passenger transportation shows a substantial growth of total volume as well as the advent of motorization and the subsequent changes in the different modes of transportation in favor of road traffic (Figure 4.5). Thus, road construction and improvements were a high priority in the government’s infrastructure development plans. From 1954 to 2002, a total of 12 national five-year road improvement programs (doro 1,200 1,100 Passenger kilometers (billion)

1,000 900

Air Sea Road* Rail

800 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0

1950 1955 1960 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2001 Fiscal year * excluding light motor vehicles

Figure 4.5 Traffic volume by type of transport, 1950–2001 (sources: Japan Transport Economics Research Center 1997: 3–4; Kansai Kuko Chosakai 2003: 432–433).

104 Thomas Feldhoff seibi gokanen keikaku) have been carried out (Kokudokotsusho Dorokyoku 2002: 20). The amount of investment increased steadily reflecting the demand for higher mobility and better roads. For many years, nearly one-quarter of the total public infrastructure investment has been allocated to road construction (Table 4.2). Funds for road works from national and local tax revenues generally fall into two categories (Miyoshi 2001; Feldhoff 2003): general account funds which are raised without any specification about their use, and funds allocated almost exclusively to road works providing a stable financial base. These earmarked funds are raised by the national government through the levying of the gasoline tax, liquid propane gas tax, and motor vehicle tonnage tax. Moreover, local funds are raised from transfer taxes collected by the central government and transferred to the local governments and special local taxes collected by the local governments to be used for road improvement (Table 4.3). A special account for road improvement (doro seibi tokubetsu kaikei) receives funds from both general account and earmarked funds as required by the road administration bodies in the annual budget process. According to its source of funding and the organization responsible for its implementation, road works are classified into two categories. Whereas general road (ippan doro) works are undertaken by central and local governments and mainly financed by special national and local tax revenues, expressways (kosoku doro) are financed by loans procured by public corporations and repaid by toll revenues (Table 4.4). The four national highway-related public corporations are the Japan Highway Public Corporation, the Metropolitan Expressway Public Corporation, the Hanshin Expressway Public Corporation, and the Honshu Shikoku Bridge Authority. Under the Road law, they function as road administrators who have been granted a wide range of authority concerning the construction and operation of roads under the supervision of the Minister of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport. In 2002, they were allocated a total budget of more than ¥7 trillion, and were employing about 12,000 people in a nationwide branch network (Somusho Gyoseikanrikyoku 2002). However, by implementing road construction projects based on excessively optimistic toll revenue forecasts, they have accumulated massive debts. In addition, these corporations are well known for dubious dealings involving bureaucrats and politicians, and they symbolize the working of the construction state by serving the interests of the highway construction lobby (Ishii 2002: 40–43; Feldhoff 2003, 2005: 170–176). Wasteful road construction plans for unnecessary, unprofitable roads are financed by the current national toll-pooling system and subsidies provided from national and local investments and loans. Investment inefficiency and a lack of transparency in business operations are criticized. As retired ministerial officials are in leading positions, these corporations are under strict control of the responsible ministry. Moreover, so-called ‘family companies’ were set up as places for retired public corporations’ executives and for preferential treatment in contracting. In the past, many cases of bid-rigging among these family companies were proved by investigations of Japan’s Fair Trade Commission.

1.5979 2.9550 5.8290 7.1874 10.7328 15.2745 12.7686 12.4415 10.9455

75.2985 152.3616 245.5466 324.2896 438.8158 489.7497 513.0061 500.2165 496.2000

Gross Domestic Product (B) 2.12 1.94 2.37 2.22 2.46 3.12 2.49 2.49 2.21

(A/B) %

Source: Ministry of Transport Roads Bureau (Kokudokotsusho Dorokyoku) 2002: 17.

1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1995 2000 2001 2002

Total road investment (A) 0.5866 0.9568 1.9108 1.8260 2.0873 2.5865 2.6697 2.7182 2.4846

National government’s road investment (C) 1.3309 2.6711 6.3551 6.2076 7.2550 9.1715 9.3580 9.3625 8.3512

National government’s public works expenditure (D)

Table 4.2 Change of road investment, public works expenditure, and gross domestic product (GDP), 1970–2002

44.1 35.8 30.1 29.4 28.8 28.2 28.5 29.0 29.8

(C/D) %


Thomas Feldhoff

Table 4.3 National and local tax revenues earmarked for road investment, 2002 Tax

National Gasoline tax tax Motor vehicle LPG tax Motor vehicle tonnage tax

Since Current tax rate

Tax revenues 2002 (billion yen)

1954 1966 1971

2,844.2 14.0 447.3

48,6¥/l 17,5¥/kg 6.300¥/0,5t/year

Total national tax revenue Local tax

Local road transfer tax Motor vehicle LPG transfer tax Motor vehicle tonnage transfer tax Diesel fuel transaction tax Motor vehicle purchase tax

3,305.5 1955 1966 1971 1956 1968

5,2¥/l 302.3 17,5¥/kg 14.0 6.300¥/0,5t/year 279.8 32,1¥/l 1,185.1 5% of purchase cost 465.7

Total local tax revenue


Grand total


Source: Kokudokotsusho Dorokyoku 2002: 33.

Table 4.4 Road classification, roads in operation and planned total length, 2002 Classification I


Arterial high-standard highways – (April 2002) – National expressways – Honshu-Shikoku expressways – National highways – Urban expressways General Roads (April 2000) – National highways – Prefectural roads – Municipal roads

Actual length in operation (km)

Planned total length (km)



6,959 164 387 791 1,159,723

10,607 177 2,298 819 –

53,777 128,182 977,764

– – –

Sources: Author’s compilation based on Kokudokotsusho Dorokyoku 2002: 7; Yano Tsuneta Kinenkai 2002: 414. Note The length of high-standard arterial roads in operation includes 507 km of general national roads and highways that run parallel to major national land development highways.

At the same time, the public corporations have been a hotbed of political corruption. Since the late 1960s, transportation companies have started to build up business cooperative associations to benefit from the public corporations’ toll fee discount program offering reduced tolls for frequent users based on the accumulated number of annual kilometers. The cooperative associations, in return, offered illegal behind-the-scenes political contributions to politicians and jobs

Japan’s construction lobby 107 for retired public corporations’ executives (The Weekly Post 2003). It is not too much saying that against this background, inside officials tried to block attempts to reform such system. In 2003, the former president of the Japan Highway Public Corporation, Fujii Haruho, even expelled reform-minded officials from influential positions. Fujii, the so-called ‘godfather’ of road construction, was a former Ministry of Construction career-bureaucrat, and until his dismissal by Prime Minister Koizumi in October 2003, he fiercely opposed any reform approaches. Because of these problems, the road sector has become a major symbol of Koizumi’s ‘structural reforms without sanctuaries.’ The Prime Minister announced cuts to road construction, the introduction of competitive principles to bidding procedures, and the privatization of the four highway-related public corporations. In June 2002, Koizumi had installed a third-party “Committee to promote the Privatization of the Four Highway-related Public Corporations” (hereafter referred to as the “Privatization Committee”). Among other aspects like organizational modalities, tax issues and a review of the toll fees and the toll-pooling system, there were two essential questions to be answered (Feldhoff 2003: 141–142): 1


How to deal with the accumulated debts that have mounted to more than ¥40 trillion? Will the privatized corporations have to repay debts with toll revenue on their own or should the government inject public money for their repayment? How to deal with future road construction costs to complete the planned national system, which is currently estimated at about ¥21 trillion? Will ongoing and planned road construction projects be frozen, partially suspended or fully completed?

Obviously, both issues were extremely political questions and fiercely contested among reformists and anti-reformists, even within the government’s committee. On the occasion of the enactment of the privatization legislation in June 2004, the prime minister in his E-mail Magazine stated: “The privatization of the highway public corporations is undoubtedly a groundbreaking reform. It will enable the privatized highway corporations to harness fully the knowledge and ingenuity of the private sector, based on independent management decisions” (Koizumi 2004). However, the construction lobby, especially LDP politicians known as the ‘road tribe’ (doro zoku) and their supporters in local politics organized in the nationwide Parliamentarians’ Highway Construction Promotion Association (kosoku doro kensetsu suishin giin renmei), had successfully opposed attempts to freeze further highway construction. Contrary to recommendations worked out by the Privatization Committee, the government-drafted bills to privatize the highway corporations in the 2005 fiscal year to allow them to receive government funds for the construction of new expressways even after their privatization. Assets and liabilities of the roadrelated public corporations are to be handed over to a new government body to


Thomas Feldhoff

be set up in the form of an independent administrative institution (dokuritsu gyosei hojin). Simultaneously, five regionally based private companies will take responsibility for the operation of existing roads and the construction of new roads. Regarding the extent of future expressway construction, the National Expressways Law stipulates that expressways totaling about 9,342 kilometers in length have to be built. So far about 7,200 kilometers have been completed. In response to demands from ‘road tribe’ politicians from the central and local governments, the final legislation advocates the completion of the whole national expressway network and is likely to incur further debts. Efforts to reform the system are provoking conflict at all scales. For example, the residents of Tokushima city, in Tokushima prefecture, are divided on the construction of the new Naruto-Tokushima-Komatsushima Expressway. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport estimates the total investment costs including the construction of a bridge crossing the Yoshino river estuary at ¥310 billion. Members of the Tokushima Natural Observation Society (Tokushima shizen kansatsu no kai), a local citizen movement group opposing several public works projects currently under planning in Tokushima, are dissatisfied with the cost-benefit-calculations estimating an annual ¥7.2 billion loss in operation in 2025 (Nihon Doro Kodan 2002). Rieko Iguchi, a movement leader, also expects irreversible damages for the natural environment, especially for the marine life sustained by a highly sensitive coastal ecosystem. She argues that further modifications of the environment would cause many indigenous species of flora and fauna to disappear (personal interview, April 2003). Although Tokushima residents successfully blocked the realization of a proposed dam construction across the Yoshino River in the year 2000 (Jain 2000), they failed to block the construction of the new expressway. Local leaders including the LDP-backed prefecture governor and the mayor of Tokushima city as well as the local businesses are hoping for a regional economic revitalization to be induced by the project. The highway is seen as part of the city’s and the prefecture’s overall economic redevelopment strategy seeking modern industrial and recreational facilities. As a consequence, Tokushima’s residents opposing the project were highly visible but substantively marginalized in the policy process though citizen participation was offered by local elites. The city’s bureaucrats and local politicians dominated policy-making based on traditional ties to the central government and to the local construction industry intensively lobbying to bring the large-scale government-funded project to their communities. In the end, the anti-construction camp was left standing frustrated. Although the public outcry against environmental destruction and wastage of taxpayer’s money has undermined the legitimacy of the iron triangle, the vested interests of powerful political, bureaucratic, and economic players in costly road infrastructure investment are clearly still powerful. Thus, the prime minister’s attack on the power structure of the road construction lobby largely failed. The formally privatized road-related corporations will guarantee that publicly financed road construction continues in the future. Under these circumstances, the Tokushima case raises questions about the nature of citizen participation in

Japan’s construction lobby 109 public works planning. Bothwell (2003: 147) properly concludes that “an authoritarian government, no matter how caring, will have great difficulty in allowing NPOs to expand citizen participation in policy formulation. The authoritarian culture will backstop the government in this.” Accordingly, their power currently seems to lie rather in their symbolism than in their true significance in the policymaking process and the power elite is in great doubt as to their democratic legitimation. “If citizens are to increase their roles in policy development, . . . NPOs must identify key issues on which the government is vulnerable and press for citizen input into the policy process” (Bothwell 2003: 147).

Conclusions This chapter has tried to demonstrate that conflicts among pro- and anticonstruction camps occur not only in the field of road construction, but in all areas of public works. Deep concerns were raised in Japan especially around construction of the Nagara Dam in Mie prefecture, the planned dam construction across the Yoshino River in Tokushima prefecture, and the land reclamation in Isahaya Bay in Nagasaki prefecture and lakes Nakaumi and Shinji in the San-in region (see Chapter 9, this volume). As much of the impact of Japan’s recent public infrastructure and regional development policies is negative with regard to economic, environmental, and social concerns, structural reforms of the entire system are overdue. Public works are, of course, still necessary in many infrastructure areas, but Japan can no longer afford to waste taxpayers’ money on unnecessary public works projects that benefit special interests. According to Guo and McCormack (2001: 190) the common problem of late twentieth-century Japan is “how to evolve beyond the ‘develop at all costs,’ debt-financed, environmentally-careless imposition of monolithic metropolitan standards and patterns throughout the archipelago, into an ecologically-sensitive, regionally-differentiated, ‘post-modern’ civilization.” Declining voting rates, the growth in non-aligned voters, and a growing number of local referendums are reflections of the citizen’s steadily declining faith in Japan’s democracy (Igarashi and Ogawa 2002). Thus, many Japanese critics feel that breaking up the iron triangle is unavoidable. They call first and foremost for fiscal decentralization, cutting public spending, and restructuring the internationally uncompetitive industries (Feldhoff 2002a: 40). In fact, the reforms carried out since 1994 seem to have intensified the tensions and conflicts between the three elite groups. There is still evidence, however, that the symbiotic links between the actors in construction policies have remained relatively stable despite these reforms. The participating actors have vested interests in the stability of the system. Because politicians want to stay in power, the ministries want to avoid cutbacks in their budgets, and the companies need a steady flow of construction work, all three actors have no real interest in radical changes. Since the end of April 2001, a reform-minded government under Prime Minister Koizumi has been in office. In view of the ailing economy, institutional


Thomas Feldhoff

changes appertaining to public works planning and spending were thought to be a prerequisite to the political, economic and ecological stability of the Japanese system as a whole. What Koizumi touted as structural reform in the construction industry, such as cuts in public investment and the privatization of public corporations, were an attack on the power structure of the old regime. However, they met with determined resistance, and could not overcome the construction state mechanism. That shows us that even a reform-minded prime minister cannot easily overcome clientelist structures adopted by the main actors “to manipulate the institutional rules of the game for maximum benefit” (Woodall 1996: 145). Some critics argue that despite Koizumi’s reform achievements fundamental changes in Japan’s political economy have not occurred (Bowen 2003; McCormack 2005). McCormack (2005: 22) criticizes that “calls for ‘reform’ have been a constant of Japanese politics for the past two decades, but their outcomes have always been manipulated, frustrated or denied.” In particular, the highly centralized nature of the public finance system including investment programs, specific tax revenues, and special accounts earmarked for construction purposes have remained virtually unchallenged (Feldhoff 2005: 376–384). Thus, the iron triangle has not yet in fact disappeared in a particularly problematic area like the construction business and construction interest group lobbying is still intense and effective.

References Bothwell, Robert O. (2003). The Challenges of Growing the NPO and Voluntary Sector in Japan. In Stephen P. Osborne (ed.), The Voluntary and Non-Profit Sector in Japan. The Challenge of Change. 121–49. London and New York: Routledge Curzon. Bouissou, Jean-Marie. (1999). Organizing One’s Support Base under the SNTV: The Case of Japanese Koenkai. In Bernard Grofman, Sung-Chull Lee, Edwin A. Winckler, and Brian Woodall (eds), Elections in Japan, Korea and Taiwan under the SingleTransferable Vote. The Comparative Study of an Embedded Institution. 87–120. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press. Bowen, Roger W. (2003). Japan’s Dysfunctional Democracy. The Liberal Democratic Party and Structural Corruption. Armonk; New York and London: M.E. Sharpe. Broadbent, Jeffrey. (1998) Environmental Politics in Japan – Networks of Power and Protest. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. —— (2000). The Japanese Network State in U.S. Comparison: Does Embeddedness Yield Resources and Influence? Stanford: Institute for International Studies. —— (2002) Comment: The Institutional Roots of the Japanese Construction State. Asien. 84: 43–46. Calder, Kent E. (1988). Crisis and Compensation: Public Policy and Political Stability in Japan, 1949–1986. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Carlile, Lonny E. and Tilton, Mark C. (1998). Is Japan Really Changing? In Lonny E. Carlile and Mark C. Tilton (eds), Is Japan Really Changing its Ways? Regulatory Reform and the Japanese Economy. 197–218. Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press. DeWit, Andrew and Steinmo, Sven. (2002). The Political Economy of Taxes and Redistribution in Japan. Social Science Japan Journal. 5(2): 159–178.

Japan’s construction lobby 111 Feldhoff, Thomas. (2002a). Japan’s Construction Lobby Activities – Systemic Stability and Sustainable Regional Development. Asien. 84: 34–42. —— (2002b). Japan’s Regional Airports: Conflicting National, Regional and Local Interests. Journal of Transport Geography. 10(3): 165–175. —— (2003). Straßenbau in Japan: Infrastrukturpolitische Notwendigkeit oder verteilungspolitisch motivierter Irrweg? Internationales Verkehrswesen. 55(4): 137–142. —— (2005). Bau-Lobbyismus in Japan. Institutionelle Grundlagen – Akteursnetzwerke – Raumwirksamkeit. Dortmund: Dortmunder Vertrieb für Bau- und Planungsliteratur. Flüchter, Winfried. (2000). Tokyo: Relocation of Capital Functions as a Strategy Against Centralism and Centralisation – with Special Reference to Central Actors. Paper presented at the EAJS Conference, Urban and Environmental Studies Section, Lahti (Finland), August 2000. —— (2003). Tokyo Before the Next Earthquake: Agglomeration-related Risks, Town Planning and Disaster Prevention. Town Planning Review. 74(2): 213–238. Fukui, Haruhiro and Fukai, Shigeko N. (2000). The Informal Politics of Japanese Diet Elections: Cases and Interpretations. In L. Dittmer, H. Fukui, and P.N.S. Lee (eds), Informal Politics in East Asia. 23–41. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Granovetter, Mark. (1985). Economic Action and Social Structure: The Problem of Embeddedness. American Journal of Sociology. 91(3): 481–510. Guo, Nanyan and McCormack, Gavan. (2001). Coming to Terms with Nature: Development Dilemmas on the Ogasawara Islands. Japan Forum. 13(2): 177–193. Igarashi, Takayoshi. (1999). Public Works at a Crossroads. Social Science Japan. Dec. 1999: 3–5. —— (2001). Konkai sanin-sen saidai no soten ga kokyo jigyo sakugen da (Curtailment of Public Works Projects is the most Important Point at Issue in this Summer’s House of Councillors’ Election). The Weekly Economist (Shukan ekonomisuto). 30 January 2001, 42–45. Igarashi, Takayoshi and Ogawa, Akio. (2001). Zukai – Kokyo jigyo no shikumi (Illustrations. The Mechanism of Japan’s Public Works System). Tokyo: Toyo Keizai. —— (2002). Zukai – Kokyo jigyo no ura mo omote mo wakaru (Illustrations. Understanding the Hidden and Visible Aspects of Japan’s Public Works System), Tokyo: Toyo Keizai. Iio, Jun. (2001). Kokyo jigyo ni okeru toshi to chiho no kozu (Public Works in Respect of Urban-Rural Relations in Japan). Municipal Problems (Toshi mondai). 92(12): 27–37. Ishii, Koki. (2002). Dare mo shiranai Nihonkoku urachobo (Japan’s Illicit Budgets that Hardly Anybody Knows). Tokyo: Michi-shuppan. Jain, Purnendra. (2000). Jumin Tohyo and the Tokushima Anti-Dam Movement in Japan – The People Have Spoken. Asian Survey. 40(4): 551–570. Japan Transport Economics Research Center. (1997). Transportation Outlook in Japan. Tokyo: Japan Transport Economics Research Center. Johnson, Chalmers. (1995). Japan: Who Governs? The Rise of the Developmental State. New York and London: W.W. Norton. Kabashima, Ikuo. (2000). The LDP’s “Kingdom of the Regions” and the Revolt of the Cities. Japan Echo. Oct. 2000: 22–28. Kajita, Shin. (2001). Public Investment as a Social Policy in Remote Rural Areas in Japan. Geographical Review of Japan. 74 (Ser. B)(2): 147–158. Kansai Kuko Chosakai (2003). Eapoto handobukku (Airport Handbook), Tokyo. Koizumi, Junichiro. (2004). Privatization of the Highway Public Corporations. Koizumi


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Cabinet E-mail Magazine No. 142. Online Posting. Available e-mail: [email protected] (3 June 2004). Kokudokotsusho Dorokyoku (2001). Doro pokettobukku (Road Handbook). Tokyo. Ministry of Transport —— (2002). Doro-pokettobukku (Road Handbook). Tokyo. McCormack, Gavan. (2001). The Emptiness of Japanese Affluence, Revised Edition. Armonk and London: M.E. Sharpe. —— (2002). Breaking the Iron Triangle. New Left Review. 13: 5–23. —— (2005). Koizumi’s Coup. New Left Review. 35: 5–16. Miyai, Yumiko. (2000). Public works projects burying nation in debt. Daily Yomiuri Online. (accessed 2 November 2002). Miyairi, Koichi. (2003). Isahaya-wan kantaku jigyo no shomondai to seikangyo yuchaku kozo (The Isahaya Bay Land Reclamation Project and the Structural Collusion of Politics, Bureaucracy, and Business). Unpublished manuscript. Miyoshi, Hiroaki. (2001) Doro tokutei zaigen seido no hokosei (Study of the Direction of the System for Earmarking Funds for Road Improvement), International Public Policy Studies (Kokusai kokyo seisaku kenkyu). 6, 1: 45–62. Nihon Doro Kodan (2002). Nenpo Heisei 14-nen. Jigyo no gaiyo to doro tokei (Annual Report 2002. Outline of Projects and Road Statistics). Tokyo: Nihon Doro Kodan. Nikkenren (2005). Kensetsu gyo handobukku 2005 (Construction Handbook 2005). Tokyo: Tanaka Insatsu. Noble, Gregory. (2001). Political Leadership and Economic Policy in the Koizumi Cabinet. Social Science Japan. Dec. 2001: 24–28. Pempel, T.J. (1998). Regime Shift: Comparative Dynamics of the Japanese Political Economy. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press. Pempel, T.J. and Muramatsu, Michio. (1995). The Japanese Bureaucracy and Economic Development: Structuring a Proactive Civil Service. In Hyung-Ki Kim, Michio Muiamatsu, T.J. Pempel, and Kozo Yamamura (eds), The Japanese Civil Service and Economic Development. 19–76. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Sakaiya, Taichi. (1995). What is Japan? Contradictions and Transformations. Tokyo, New York and London: Kodansha International. Somusho Gyoseikanrikyoku (2002). Tokushu hojin soran Heisei 14 nenban (Japan’s Special Public Corporations Overview 2002). Tokyo. The Weekly Post. (2003). Inside News From Japan: Discussion of Privatization of Japan Highway Public Corporation Gets Ugly. The Weekly Post. 28 July – 3 August 2003. Online. (accessed 31 July 2003). Vogel, Steven K. (1999). Can Japan Disengage? Winners and Losers in Japan’s Political Economy, and the Ties That Bind Them. Social Science Japan Journal. 2(1): 3–21. Wood, Gerald. (1998). Sustainability – A New Paradigm in German Geography? Paper presented at the 8th Japanese-German Geographical Conference, Tokyo (Japan), March 1998. Woodall, Brian. (1996). Japan Under Construction – Corruption, Politics, and Public Works. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. World Commission on Environment and Development (1987). Our Common Future. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Yano Tsuneta Kinenkai (2002). Nihon kokusei zue 2002/03 nenban (Japan in Dates and Figures 2002/03).

Part II

The practice of machizukuri ‘community making’


The concept of machi-sodate and urban planning The case of Tokyu Tama Den’en Toshi Yorifusa Ishida

Introduction From its beginnings in the 1960s until today the word machizukuri1 has taken on a variety of meanings and new concepts are constantly being added. In 2001, Professor Yasuhiro Endo (1940– ) introduced the idea of machisodate to Japanese planning in a book entitled Machi-sodate wo hagukumu, taiwa to kyodo no dezain (Cultivating Urban Husbandry:2 Design of Dialogue and Collaboration) (Endo 2001) for which he received an Ishikawa Memorial Award of the City Planning Institute of Japan in 2002. He pointed out that the word and concept of machizukuri became popular in the 1980s and 1990s after being used first in 1964 by a citizens’ movement in the Sakae-higashi district of Nagoya city which proposed cooperative rebuilding projects as well as a master plan for the area where a land readjustment project had been enforced (Endo 2001: 11).3 Since then, the word machizukuri has developed to mean a citizens’ movement with the aim to realize a lively community environment and services to improve daily life in the neighborhood. However, on the other hand, the word was often used ambiguously or even contradictorily. Contrasting machi-sodate, his new concept, with machizukuri, Professor Endo emphasized the importance of creating a social network in the process of community development. In this article, I will use the concept of machi-sodate, although the term is neither yet popularized nor widely recognized academically, to review my family’s 38 years’ life in the Aobadai area4 of Tokyu Den’en Toshi, the biggest residential development by a private sector developer in Japan, and examine citizens’ movements in which we have been participating for many years. In fact, Yuko Ishida (1932–2001) developed an idea somewhat similar to Endo’s concept when she used the phrase of ‘machi ga sodatsu’ (community is growing up) in her essay in 1997 (Yuko Ishida 1997). In the essay, she outlined long-range citizens’ movements which had not only asked the City of Yokohama and the developer Tokyu Corporation to improve daily living conditions in Aobadai area based on citizens’ ideas, but also established by themselves many voluntary institutions to satisfy their own urgent needs, some of which they are still managing. The review of our participation in the community will provide the background for the discussion of the following facts that appear essential for any


Yorifusa Ishida

successful machizukuri movement: first, citizens’ movements have to be longlasting and to be based upon good human relations and, second, infrastructures which are essential for good built environment but could not be easily provided by machizukuri or machi-sodate movements, should be provided by urban planning.

The Tokyu Den’en Toshi project In 1953, Keita Goto (1882–1959), the then head of Tokyo Kyuko Railway Company Ltd5 (present name Tokyu Corporation, hereafter Tokyu), started a new and grand development project in the southern part of Tama-kyuryo (hilly terrain along the right bank of Tama-gawa river). The area, however, was assumed to be a part of Tokyo’s green belt in the Capital Region Plan (Shutoken seibi keikaku) of 1958. After killing off Tokyo’s green belt the project, with other big projects in Tama-kyuryo such as Tama New Town and Kohoku New Town both by Japan Housing Corporation (Nihon jutaku kodan, JHC), took the first step toward realization.6 The development project of Tokyu Den’en Toshi or Tama Den’en Toshi (the formal name given by the company means Tokyu Garden City) celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 2003. Notwithstanding its name, Tokyu Den’en Toshi is not a garden city but a huge garden suburb or series of garden suburbs developed along one of Tokyo’s commuter railway lines, the Den’en Toshi line (see Watanabe 1980). Originally the project was called Tama-gawa Seinan Shin-toshi Project (new towns project in south-western area of Tama-gawa River), which covered the northern part of Yokohama city and Kawasaki city and had four new towns, each of which was planned to have 70,000 inhabitants and be connected to Tokyo with a commuter railway line and a toll road called ‘Tokyu Turnpike.’ However, the plan for the toll road was abandoned and consequently one of the four new town areas which depended most on the planned toll road was excluded from the project.7 Tokyu planned to develop the projected areas by means of land readjustment projects implemented by land-owners’ associations (kumiai-seko kukaku-seiri jigyo).8,9 In the 1950s, Tokyu explained the project to land-owners’ groups in the first section of Tokyu Den’en Toshi and proposed to buy about 30 percent of whole planning area paying on average between 150 to 200 yen per square meter, and although there were some troubles Tokyu’s proposal was supported by the majority of land-owners and the land acquisition process went smoothly. Tokyu, on becoming a leading land owner of the area, developed a new implementation system of land readjustment projects called the ‘blanket delegation system of implementation’ (ikkatsu-daiko seko hoshiki)) in which each land readjustment association usually resolved in the first general meeting of the association to entrust the whole implementation to Tokyu.10 The planned commuter railway line, which was named the Den’en Toshi line, became the only connection to Tokyo. The railway line, which originally

Machi-sodate and urban planning


planned to connect Mizonokuchi station of Tokyu’s Oimachi line to Nagatsuta station of the East Japan Railway Company’s Yokohama line, was extended to Chuo-rinkan station of Odakyu’s Enoshima line and areas along the extended part were included into Tokyu Den’en Toshi project. Tokyu opened the first section of its Den’en Toshi line from Mizonokuchi to Nagatsuta on April 1, 1966 and sequentially completed the whole line of 22.1 kilometers to Chuorinkan by 1984. In 1977, Tokyu’s new subway line from Shibuya to Futako-tamagawa station was opened and connected with Den’en Toshi line. In the next year the line was connected with Hanzomon subway line of the Teito Rapid Transit Authority (Teito Kosokudo Kotsu Eidan) at Shibuya station and since then residents of Tokyu Den’en Toshi could commute to Tokyo’s CBD directly without any transfer. Commuters from Aobadai can reach Shibuya, one of Tokyo’s sub-centers within 30 minutes and to Tokyo’s CBD within 50 minutes. Originally, it was planned that Tokyu Den’en Toshi would have 310,000 inhabitants, however, the population of Tokyu Den’en Toshi area increased rapidly and reached to 300,000 in 1980 and 400,000 in 1987, causing overcrowded commuting and considerable delay in provision for living conditions and facilities. Since then the total population increase of Aoba-ku has slowed down, however, it is still the second fastest growing among Yokohama’s 18 wards, after Tsuduki-ku about three-quarters of which was developed by the Kohoku New Town project. Evaluation of Tokyu Den’en Toshi project Tokyu Den’en Toshi project was awarded both of Japan’s two famous planning prizes, namely the Prize for Achievement (Gyoseki-sho) of the Architectural Institute of Japan (Nihon Kenchiku Gakkai) in 1983, and the Dr Ishikawa Memorial Prize (Ishikawa-sho) of the City Planning Institute of Japan (Nihon Toshi Keikaku Gakkai) in 2003. Although the project is surely an epoch-making one and is regarded as a splendid achievement, for its residents there may be another evaluation. The area of Tokyu Den’en Toshi, especially the first section, is one of the most pure and successful examples of the application of the Area Demarcation System (Senbiki-seido) which was introduced by the 1968 City Planning Act as the system to divide a city planning area (toshi keikaku kuiki) into the Urbanization Promotion Areas (UPA) (shigaika kuiki) and the Urbanization Control Areas (UCA) (shigaika chosei kuiki).11 Originally three garden suburb areas of Tokyu Den’en Toshi’s first section were planned to be separated from each other by three tributaries of the Tsurumi-gawa river, namely Hayabuchi-gawa, Yamoto-gawa (the main stream of Tsurumi-gawa river) and Onda-gawa.12 Areas along the river branches, mostly paddy fields, were designated as UCAs and simultaneously as Designated Farmland Area (Noyo-chi kuiki) under the Agriculture Promotion Area Act of 1969 (Noshin ho), and have been well preserved until now. On the other hand almost all of the UPAs were developed by means of the land readjustment system, so preventing unserviced urban sprawl.

118 Yorifusa Ishida In Japan, the land readjustment system was developed in the last decade of the nineteenth century and since then has been widely used as the most important tool to develop rural areas into equipped suburban residential areas. The most important feature of the land readjustment system is highlighted by the keyword genbu (literally, proportion of area reduction), which is a compulsory process of collecting some portion of land from every land-owner and leaseholder and appropriating them for land for new public facilities, roads and parks, and for reserved land (horyu-chi) which is sold to cover the project cost. The portion of genbu of land readjustment projects in Tokyu Den’en Toshi varied greatly from 21.10 percent to 48.37 percent for each land readjustment association. The genbu rate varied mainly according to the original topography of the area which resulted in differences of construction cost but not much to the ultimate differences of quality in each development area. After completion of the land readjustment projects, average ratios of land for public facilities was 21.27 percent in total and for roads, parks, and waterways were 17.18 percent, 3.57 percent and 0.52 percent respectively. Land use ratios for roads (doro-ritsu) of about two-thirds of associations were less than 18 percent which was considerably fewer for residential development; and those for parks of about two-thirds of associations ranged between 3 percent and 4 percent, which barely satisfied the standard of land readjustment project. The planning concepts and technical skills in Tokyu’s land readjustment projects were relatively good quality in those days and in the project by a private company, however, the small amount of land allocated for roads and parks made it impossible to realize a new town like Letchworth or Welwyn.13 With regard to the planning of road networks in Tokyu Den’en Toshi, which depended much on general planning policies, three problems existed. 1



Planners of Tokyu Den’en Toshi gave no definite consideration for networks of pedestrian walks and bicycle lanes, except sidewalks for trunk roads. Only a few exceptional examples were a network of pedestrian walks in Utsukushigaoka area14 and a short-lived bicycle lane along the northern part of the access road to Aobadai station. Planning distinction between intercity highways and trunk roads in the new town areas was very insufficient. Tomei Expressway and Route 246, both of which are national level highways, pass through the Tokyu Den’en Toshi area from east to west. The former had two interchanges to serve Tokyu Den’en Toshi area since the 1960s and recently opened a new interchange in the middle of Tokyu Den’en Toshi, directly connecting with Route 246.15 Route 246, which is a first rank national highway from Tokyo’s CBD to Numazu, Shizuoka prefecture and was planned to have two level crossings and junctions with the main trunk roads of Tokyu Den’en Toshi area, however, has not only a few level crossings with other trunk roads but also with small roads. Incredibly, almost all sorts of buildings, such as offices, shops, restaurants, and even apartments, are permissible along Route 246. As a result of the low ratios of land allocated to roads, widths of roads,



2nd block

3rd block

50.11 7.73% 68.72 5.67% 42.57 4.34%

Public land

40.90 6.31% 180.56 14.91% 138.95 14.18%

128.03 19.76% 275.39 22.74% 193.84 19.78%

432.26 66.70% 654.41 54.04% 604.04 61.63%

Private land

Land use after LR project Nawanobi Public (surplus of land surveyed area compared to that registered in land registers)*

Note * Nawanobi means surplus of surveyed acreages to those recorded on the cadastres.

557.00 85.96% 961.68 79.42% 768.35 81.46%

Private land

Land use before LR project

Souce: Tokyu Dentetsu Co. ltd. 1988a)


1st block

Total area

Table 5.1 Land use allocation and area reduction by land readjustment

87.74 13.54% 281.53 23.22% 182.17 18.58%

Reserved land




Genbu (area reduction)


Yorifusa Ishida especially those of trunk roads and distributor roads, are relatively narrow, which resulted in lack or insufficiency of sidewalks and planted strips.

As for parks, neighborhood parks and small parks for children are well equipped, however, parks for specialized use such as sport parks and cemeteries16 were not considered during planning and were left for private companies or the City of Yokohama.17

Building regulations after land readjustment projects Before 1971, when the full revision of the Building Standard Act (Kenchiku kijun ho) was enforced, Japan’s land use regulation system had been very weak and had only four categories in land use zoning system (yoto-chiiki seido) (Ishida 1996a). More than half of land readjustment areas in Tokyu Den’en Toshi had finished designation of temporary replotting (kari-kanchi shitei) 18 and building activities would be allowed before 1971. Even after the enforcement of the ‘new’ City Planning Act in 1969 and the revision of the Building Standard Act in 1971, when a somewhat stricter zoning system was introduced, the situation was not remarkably improved. For example, in the areas developed by the land readjustment method for detached housing that were designated as the first class exclusive residential area (dai isshu jukyo senyo chiiki) 19 which was the most restrictive zone category, three-story apartment buildings with a height of less than ten meters could be legally constructed. In the 1960s and 1970s when the District Plan System (chiku keikaku seido) was not introduced yet, only building covenants (kenchiku kyotei) by landowners could realize and preserve exclusive detached housing areas effectively. In Aoba-ku, 41 building covenants were valid in 2005,20 most of which were applied by Tokyu Corporation and other developers before selling lots.21 Outstanding examples of this type were Oguro-chiku and Izumidamuko-chiku, which covered almost all area of land readjustment projects and had several zones to control land use and building use in detail.22 Although only a few, there are building covenants enforced by new lot owners themselves after buying subdivided lots. Known examples of this type were Utsukushigaoka-chubu and Sakuradai, both of which had urgent motivations to enforce building covenants; such invasions of foreign and inappropriate land uses such as distribution plants and bulk condominiums. Numbers of building covenants in Aoba-ku are about one-quarter of all in Yokohama city which have been famous for popularization of building covenants. We can say that building covenants are popular in Tokyu Den’en Toshi, however, in 2005 building covenants cover 85.4 hectares, only 3.44 percent of the UPAs of Aoba-ku, and we have still difficulty in realizing and preserving a good built environment.23

Machi-sodate and urban planning


Citizens’ movements in Tokyu Den’en Toshi in the 1960s and 1970s In the spring of 1967, the year after the opening of the commuter line, my family moved from a rental apartment unit in Tsujido danchi (housing complex)24 built by the JHC located in the seaside area of Fujisawa city to Den’en Aobadai danchi, a danchi of 436 condominiums, also built by JHC, which was very close to Aobadai station on the Den’en Toshi line. Our danchi was the second apartment complex in Aobadai area next to Sakuradai danchi. We were soon involved in the citizens’ campaign to improve our living conditions. Living conditions of Tokyu Den’en Toshi in the 1960s Aobadai area was and is the leading center of Tokyu Den’en Toshi; therefore, Tokyu regarded the successful development of Aobadai area as a matter of importance for the project’s future. In the 1960s, however, the area was under construction and we, newcomer citizens, had to cope with inadequate living conditions (Yuko Ishida and Yorifusa Ishida 1972). Examples of this are given below. 1



Commuters had to throng to the Den’en Toshi line, which was the only commuter line to Tokyo. Tokyu operated only three train services of two cars per hour even in rush hours and moreover commuters had to transfer several times to reach Tokyo’s CBD. Conditions of infrastructures of the area in the 1960s were very poor. Many roads, including trunk roads, remained unpaved. As for utility and disposal facilities, there was a public water supply system operated by the City of Yokohama, but no public sewerage system. Den’en Aobadai danchi had to operate a small sewage disposal plant and pay a very high price for it.25 In the 1960s, the area had a very poor telephone service and we had to wait several months for a telephone to be installed in every housing unit. During that time, we had to use the payphone at the station and for an out-of-town call we had to look for a post office elsewhere (there was not yet one in our neighborhood). Tokyu planned the sites of indispensable public facilities, such as elementary schools and junior high schools. The land for these facilities was reserved in the land readjustment projects and Tokyu intended to transfer them to the local governments at a relatively low price. However, other facilities, such as day nurseries, community centers, and high schools, which citizens regarded as essential but Tokyu did not, were out of planning consideration. Therefore, it was left for the citizens’ movement to demand the supply of these facilities from the local governments or the developer Tokyu.


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Even on land for schools, two problems were left to negotiations between Tokyu and the local governments; those were the land price and the size of site. Some 18 schools, elementary and junior high, were estimated to be necessary for the area of Yokohama city in Tokyu Den’en Toshi. The City of Yokohama asked Tokyu to contribute all of these school sites. The negotiations were very tough and finally settled in 1968, two years after the first new residents, including schoolchilden, came to the Aobadai area.26 The first elementary school in the Aobadai area, which my eldest son entered, was opened in June 1966 as a branch of an older school, but it was nothing but temporary portable classrooms constructed by Tokyu and rented to the City of Yokohama. Constant delays in the construction of necessary schools and lasting portable classrooms were the constant worry of parents until the 1980s. In the case of Moegino elementary school, the Parents’ and Teachers’ Association of the school estimated the number of future pupils themselves and, with the chonaikai (neighborhood association), were successful in their request to the City of Yokohama to move up the schedule of school extension (Yuko Ishida 1984, 1997; Yorifusa Ishida 2005). Tokyu had originally planned and reserved land corresponding to the standard school site set by Monbusho (Ministry of Education), however, the City of Yokohama had a local standard, which was considerably smaller than that of Monbusho, and did not receive from Tokyu more than the local standard.27 Child raising and community raising Only few days after we moved to Den’en Aobadai danchi, we found in the mail a circular invitation to join Hoikujo wo tsukuru kai (citizens’ campaign to petition for new day nurseries). Yuko Ishida, my wife, who had been an earnest member of a similar group in our previous neighborhood, joined the Aobadai group right away and it was a start of her long-lasting machi-sodate (community raising) as well as ko-sodate (child raising) in Aobadai. Hoikujo wo tsukuru kai was founded in 1966 by a group of working women in Sakuradai danchi, the first apartment complex in Aobadai area completed together with the opening of Den’en Toshi line. The campaign initially petitioned the City of Yokohama and Tokyu to provide a day nursery in the Aobadai area. Yokohama city’s officer in charge, evading their responsibility, suggested that the group should ask the developer Tokyu to provide the nursery. The developer’s answer was that they had expected that future residents of Tokyu Den’en Toshi would be a high-income group and accordingly they had no preparation and no responsibility for day nurseries. The campaign changed its name to Hoiku no kai (citizens’ group on childcare) in 1967, and established and managed cooperatively a temporary day nursery and a gakudo-hoikujo (after-school program for the lower grades), receiving the support of farmers who kindly lent a lot or a prefabricated hut. Moreover the group, receiving voluntary support from a pediatrician and a company for baby goods, organized a group checkup of infants, that Yokohama city did not provide in the Aobadai area.

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The group gradually increased its membership and its activities evolved and diversified to include matters about care and education of their children. In 1973 the group changed its name again to Aobadai kodomo wo mamoru-kai (association for caring and fostering young in Aobadai) to fit with its widened activities.28 One of the core members of the association summarized its history, illustrating the groups’s various activities, other than their early, pressing demands (Yuko Ishida 1983). Those included an early exercising course for handicapped children named Sakuranbo kai,29 a petition for the opening of public high schools and a public library, a claim to improve the plan and management of Aobadai seishonen toshokan (after-school center for pupils) which was opened by the City of Yokohama in 1972 (Yuko Ishida 1987). As their children grew up, the activities of the group had been more and more diversified and the community of group members was also growing up and becoming more complicated. Each activity, such as the after-school nurseries and the exercising course for handicapped children, had its own name, own members, and own management group. In the management group of each activity were key persons or core members who were mostly old members of Kodomo wo mamoru kai and who were well-acquainted with each other. In this way Kodomo wo mamoru kai could integrate all of these activities and supported their communication and publicity by publishing the newsletter entitled “Aobadai kodomo wo mamoru kai nyusu” which had at its peak a circulation of 5,000 in the Aobadai area.

Citizens’ activities in the matured Tokyu Den’en Toshi Aging society and maturing of the new town The population increase rate in Aoba-ku30 from 1995 to 2000 ranked the second highest among 18 wards of Yokohama city at 8.5 percent and since then has been largely stable.31 Compared to the 1970s and 1980s, however, the population increase has slowed down greatly. The percentage of the elderly of 65 years and over in Aoba-ku, although lower than the city’s average, reached 9.7 percent in 2000 and 12.8 percent of them, or 3,374, live alone and are called dokkyo rojin (solitary older people). Aoba-ku is headed slowly but steadily towards an aged society.32 Total numbers of pupils of Aoba-ku’s elementary schools had been increasing from the 1970s to the 1980s very rapidly and was one of most important issues in those days for both the citizens’ campaign and Yokohama city. Schoolchildren increased in the 1990s as well, however, this increase gradually slowed down. In the latter half of 1990s one-fifth of Aoba-ku’s elementary schools had decreased numbers of new pupils. Tokyu Den’en Toshi is surely coming to maturity and citizens who were active in ko-sodate and machi-sodate in the 1960s and 1970s are now of advanced age or have passed away. Most of the veterans of the citzens’ campaign are worrying about issues such as nursing care and medical care during


Yorifusa Ishida

their senior life on one hand, and on the other hand now are enjoying community activities of social, cultural, and health promotion.33 Most of their children have moved to other areas and the few remaining young generations and newcomers are enjoying relatively improved living conditions. Legacy of early citizen’s campaigns Among many activities in which the Aobadai kodomo wo mamoru kai participated, two are still being operated by the citizens’ sector, those are three afterschool nurseries and an early exercise course for handicapped infants. At the beginning both were operated voluntarily by citizens and the City of Yokohama only later began to give public support to the works. Sakuranbo-kai, the name of the early exercise course for handicapped infants celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in 2003 and held an impressive memorial concert in which present attendants of the course and young people who passed the course and now are working in workshops played bells, piano, and cello with their families. In 1973 the course was started in obscurity by a few residents of Sakuradai–danchi, the first apartment complex in the Aobadai area, and a specialist in the care of the handicapped infants and mothers whose babies had disabilities. The course, supported by the citizens’ group, was steadily maintained and many handicapped infants, some of whom were introduced by the City of Yokohama, applied to the course. The course of Sakuranbo-kai is only for pre-school infants, and after finishing the course they were accepted by nursing classes (tokushu gakkyu) in public elementary and junior high schools or schools for handicapped children (yogo gakko). After graduating from the school the students, especially those rated as severely handicapped, had to face the difficulties of finding employment. In 1993, Sakuranbo-kai established a fukushi-sagyosho (welfare workshop) for their grown-up children, mostly the mentally handicapped. The workshop is named Guriin (green) and its main activity is organic farming. The present head of the workshop is the son of a core member of citizen’s campaign in the 1960s and 1970s and he himself grew up in the community and has worked both as a volunteer and as staff for Sakuranbo-kai. He says that through farming work, workers and staff are cultivating their physical and mental abilities (Shuichi Ishida 1996, 2005).34 He has learned much of the concept of workshop based on farming from advanced examples35 and has supported the policy on urban agriculture of Yokohama city (Yokohama-shi Toshi-nogyo Konwakai 1989). As well as the many people and organizations involved, local farmers volunteered and supported the workshop, letting farm land and teaching farming. The workshop opened a group home for its workers in September 2002 to support their self-help and the home was constructed and leased to the group by a local farmer based on the group’s requirements and plans of Guriin. The workshop steadily grew and has been growing up in the local community of Aobadai area. Sakuranbo kai and Guriin in the matured Tokyu Den’en Toshi are a splendid legacy of the citizen’s campaigns in the 1960s and 1970s.

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Cooperation between machizukuri and toshi-dukuri Citizen participation in planning Tokyu Den’en Toshi As mentioned, the Tokyu Den’en Toshi project, especially in Aoba-ku, nearly finished its development stage and planned land readjustment projects in the Urbanization Promotion Areas were finished. In the UPAs the development of building sites which have been left vacant, and infilling and rebuilding are gradually in progress. Accordingly, the present planning issues to be discussed in Aoba-ku might be first to evaluate the 50 years’ of achievements in Tokyu Den’en Toshi, second to find a way to preserve the few remaining natural environments and relatively good living environments, third to discuss the necessity and measures of leveling up natural and built environments and finally to find a way to cope with an increasingly aged community. The drafting of Aoba-ku’s urban master plan in 2000–2001 offered citizens a chance to discuss those planning issues. In March 2001, a planning committee for Aoba-ku’s urban master plan, members of which were mostly representatives of citizens’ organizations or groups, a few of Aoba-ku’s residents who are specialists in planning, including myself, and a few volunteer citizens who applied for recruitment, finalized a draft of Aoba-ku’s urban master plan and reported it to the head of Aoba ward (Aoba ward office 2002). In the process of planning, the Aoba ward office held citizens’ meetings four times to hear citizens’ opinions on planning issues in Aoba-ku and to get useful information for plan making by the committee. Initially the Aoba ward office had intended to recruit a few core members to join the citizens’ meeting and entrust to them the task of managing meetings and putting together participants’ diversified opinions and compiling and submitting a report to the committee. Although the ward office expected the core members to be more than a dozen, over 70 zealous citizens applied and the office could not refuse any applicant. In Aoba-ku’s case, the urban master plan for the ward area was open for citizens’ participation after the city-wide urban master plan was finalized and authorized by the City Planning Committee (toshi keikaku shingikai) of Yokohama. Such planning procedure left very little room for citizens’ discussion not only on city-wide but also on Aoba-ku’s planning issues in the committee and the citizens’ meetings as well. Against the expectations of the ward office, a majority of the core members organized a voluntary group and after zealous discussion finalized a independent citizen-based master plan entitled “Machizukuri projects: gifts for the next generation (Aoba-kumin Machizukuri kikaku; Jisedai he no okurimono)” and made the ward office release it on the website of Aoba-ku (Aoba-kumin Machizukuri Kaigi 2000). Among members of the group were a good many citizens specialized in planning or architecture. It is not an exceptional case in Aoba-ku, but rather indicative of the recent and mature trend of citizen’s participation in urban planning in Japan.


Yorifusa Ishida

Plan of trunk roads network and district plan Among the important planning issues discussed in both the committee and citizens’ voluntary group were contradictions between trunk roads and machizukuri of their roadside districts. Kanjo yongo (ringroad no. 4) and Onmoto-sen road, which, connecting Onda-cho and Motoishikawa-cho, was supposed to be a bypass for Route 246, were seriously discussed, however, no solution was arrived at. Ringroad no. 4, which was very important in Yokohama’s radial and ringroad system in the 1960s and has been realized section by section, was respected as a prerequisite condition to the development plan of Aobadai area in Tokyu Den’en Toshi project. It was troublesome, however, that the development plan of Aobadai area assigned ringroad no. 4 the role of an arterial road from Aobadai station to its service catchment area. In the 1960s and 1970s when ringroad no. 4, or Ekimae-dori (road to the station) as citizens call it, was only partly realized in the Aobadai area, the road had two traffic lanes, wide sidewalks and even bicycle lanes and there weren’t any traffic jams. The road was then extended both north and south of the Tokyu Den’en Toshi area and the service catchment area of Aobadai station has been widened very much. For example, a commuter bus from Wakabadai danchi in Asahi-ku, which is located 5.7 kilometers from Aobadai station and is a big housing development having 84.6 hectares in area, 6,405 housing units and more than 18,000 inhabitants, arrives at the station every three minutes. Moreover, four large-scale retail stores in the vicinity of the station, each having large car parking space, cause frequent traffic jams. To find a solution to the traffic jams around the Aobadai station it is essential to reconsider the entire city-wide road network plan of Yokohama. Unfortunately, however, Aoba-ku’s master plan tried to find a solution only in the district plan around the station in vain. The illegal parking of bicycles and motorcycles in the vicinity of the station entrance is one of the most serious traffic problems and it is difficult to find a solution to that problem. In the 1960s and 1970s citizen’s campaigns repeatedly asked Tokyu and Yokohama city to provide bicycle parking and Tokyu constructed some underneath the elevated railways. However, the increased supply of bicycle parking and the increase of commuters’ and shoppers’ bicycles is a typical vicious circle. Recently the City of Yokohama also planned to construct underground bicycle parking near Aobadai station, beneath a small park. A small citizens’ group, members of which were mostly veterans of machi-sodate movements in the 1960s and 1970s, opposed the plan because it would destroy the cherry trees of the park which have been there for a long time. Negotiation between the City of Yokohama and citizens’ group reached a settlement on conditions of careful transplanting and new planting. The door-to-door transit service is very important for the aged society, and in place of bicycles. Tokyu planned to introduce a demand bus service36 to the Aobadai area and operates it even now. However, a plan to expand the demand bus route was hindered by the insufficiency of the street network, especially of

Machi-sodate and urban planning


subsidiary streets. Tama Den’en Toshi area was originally very hilly terrain and even after the land readjustment projects, the Aobadai area has many steep slopes that often force aged people to go by taxi even for a very short distance.37 Water and green space corridors or the park system Talks on the concept of water and green space corridors (mizu to midori no kairo) have appeared recently on a discussion board of a website which mainly concerns birds and bird-watching in Aoba-ku and neighboring wards. Concern about the devastation of natural environments in Aoba-ku has been continuing on and off, but nevertheless in earnest. In Aoba-ku, thanks to the senbiki system of the 1968 City Planning Act which was ideally applied to the area, farmland, which lies mostly along two tributaries of the Tsurumi-gawa river, and woods in the northern part of the ward, were designated as the Urbanization Control Area of 995 hectares or 28.3 percent of the ward area and have been well preserved (Hebbert 1994; Yorifusa Ishida 1996b). In the Urbanization Promotion Area, many parks, although not enough, were created by means of the land readjustment projects. Most of the neighborhood parks, in which original scenery of the area is still somewhat preserved, were planned utilizing old irrigation reservoirs in yatsu-da (a narrow paddy field alongside a small stream in the foothills) and sato-yama (deciduous woods near the village). The concept of water and green space corridors (mizu to midori no kairo, or mizu to modori no jiku) was one of the main proposals in Aoba-ku’s urban master plan and was based on the park system concept in American and European planning. However, it was not clear in the master plan how to realize this concept. In the Tokyu Den’en Toshi project green spaces and the parks were relatively well preserved and provided, and Tokyu even had an idea to connect theses greens and parks by roads with roadside trees, however it was only a concept plan and there were no means to realize it.38 It is essential for realizing the concept of park system to preserve the present environments of the two tributaries of the Tsurumi-gawa River and farmland along them which have been somewhat protected from urban sprawl by designating them as both UCA and the Farm Land Area of the Agriculture Promotion Areas Act.39 However, it is very difficult to preserve the areas only by development control measures, especially under the recent deregulation policies of the central government. Even after the master plan was approved, matters in contradiction to the concept have been raised by both the private and public sectors. For example, nursing homes and cemeteries by private developers, both of which are permissible even in the UCAs, were constructed on deforested sites and while improving river banks into so-called shinsui gogan (river bank planned to allow greater public interaction with water), the River Maintenance Division of the prefecture office cut down many trees along the river. Forest areas remaining in the northern and western parts of Aoba-ku in both


Yorifusa Ishida

UPAs and UCAs are threatened by development or devastation. For example, the route of the On-moto-sen road or Kita-kansen road, whose discussion involved citizens, was recently confirmed to pass through Onda no yato – the last yato in the UPAs of Aoba-ku – even though there has been a long lasting citizens’ campaign named Onda no yato Fun Club. On the other hand, Kohoku New Town in Tsuduki ward, which was planned and developed by Jutaku Kodan (JHC), covered nearly the same area that Tokyu Corporation originally intended to develop as their fourth, now abandoned, new town. Although both Kohoku New Town and Tokyu Den’en Toshi were developed by means of land readjustment projects, Kohoku New Town is more carefully planned along the park system concept and utilizes the original topography and scenery of the areas. At present, citizens’ caretaker groups for the parks (koen aigo-kai), entrusted by the City of Yokohama, are working to maintain and improve those parks and networks of green footpaths. A new cooperative committee named the “Committee for discussing and promoting a fascinating water and green plan in Tsuduki ward” (Tsuduki-ku mizu to midori no miryoku-appu suishin iinkai) was established in 2004 and is discussing three subjects; first how to improve existing pedestrian networks, second how to improve Hayabuchi-gawa river area, and finally how to create a new water flow and green space network in the southern part of the ward area which is outside of the Kohoku New Town area.40 Cooperation between toshi-dukuri and machizukuri or machi-sodate In 1971, I contributed a chapter for the book entitled City Planning and Community Building (Toshi keikaku to Machizukuri) (Nishiyama 1971). Before writing the book, the editor Uzo Nishiyama (1911–1994) and contributors met to discuss the concepts of machizukuri and its relationships with city planning. We reached a common understanding of the relationship between toshi keikaku and machizukuri in those days, as ‘bureaucratic city planning versus citizens’ community building’ or ‘top–down city planning versus bottom–up community development.’ In February 1993, I discussed the relationships between urban renewal (toshi saikaihatsu) and urban preservation (machinami hozon) with Dr. Uta Hohn and in the talk I categorized three such relationships: ‘urban renewal versus urban preservation’, ‘urban renewal and urban preservation’ and ‘urban renewal with urban preservation’ (Yorifusa Ishida 1994: 37–40; Hohn 1997: 247). Later Dr. Hohn appropriately named these three relationships as conflict, juxtaposition, and cooperation respectively. The categorization of relationships between urban renewal and urban preservation may be applicable to those between toshi keikaku and machizukuri or machi-sodate. Of course, citizens’ movements, especially those in the 1960s, had a reputation for protesting against the bureaucratic and top–down characteristics of city planning and against development projects by private companies which were

Machi-sodate and urban planning


supported, or at least not interfered with, by city planning policies. However, in those days, relationships between machizukuri and city planning or the adequacy of the slogan “from opposition movements to machizukuri” were often discussed among citizens’ campaigns (Editorial board of Kukaku saikaihatsu tsushin 1980). In 1978, Motowo Ando (1934– ), one of the theoretical leaders of anti-land readjustment campaigns and machizukuri movements since the 1970s, fully discussed, from the inhabitants’ point of view, how relationships between machizukuri and city planning should be (Ando 1978). Although the discussions in those days did not refer to the categorization of the relationship between machizukuri and city planning, that is to say conflict, juxtaposition, or cooperation, they offered important information to the discussion in present day. At the beginning of the Tokyu Den’en Toshi project there were a few oppositions among land-owners, especially those who had a relatively little land and depended on farming. Those were conflicts between development projects and farming or mura-dukuri (community building in a village)41 based on farming. The conflicts were overcome by applying the seisan ryokuchi chiku system (reserved agricultural land zone) in Reserved Agricultural Land Act (Seisan ryokuchi ho) of 1974 and Assembled Farmland Zone (shugo-nochiku) system in Promotion of Housing Land Supply in Metropolitan Areas Act (Daitoshichiiki jutakuchi kyokyu sokushin ho) of 1975, both of which are measures to preserve farm land temporarily in the UPAs42 and to change possible conflicts into the juxtaposition of farm land and urban land in the land readjustment project areas. Newcomer citizens, my family included, moved to Tokyu Den’en Toshi preferring, or at least expecting, its relatively good living conditions. Accordingly newcomer citizens’ campaigns in the 1960s and 1970s were movements, recognizing Tokyu Den’en Toshi project as an existent, to improve their own living conditions. I suppose the relationships between those citizens’ campaigns and Tokyu or Yokohama city in the 1960s and 1970s were a kind of cooperation to compensate developer’s lack of planning imagination with citizens’ actual living experience. On the other hand, citizens’ campaigns to preserve yatsuda or yato, such as Akada no yato43 and Onda no yato which were the original landscapes of the area and had been hardly left undeveloped in Tokyu Den’en Toshi, were not a kind of machizukuri movement but a campaign concerning the city planning issues in the area. Accordingly, the relationship between these citizens’ campaigns and Tokyu’s development projects was inevitably one of conflict. The workshop Guriin (green) for the handicapped has recently confronted difficulties in that the workshop had to return a large area of farm land to the land-owner which were indispensable for its work of organic farming. Because of the very high inheritance tax for suburban farm land, the land-owners had to sell a considerable portion of inherited farm land to pay levied tax. There is a measure to postpone and finally exempt high inheritance taxes for agricultural land, however, it is not applicable for farm land not cultivated by the owner himself. The workshop Guriin is unable to continue the organic farming, and the head of the workshop has been trying to find a way to escape such insecurity.

130 Yorifusa Ishida His present idea is to incorporate their activities into a plan of Yokohama’s new nature park in Niiharu–machi, Midori-ku the neighboring ward to Aoba-ku and he applied to the members of a committee to discuss Niiharu nature park plan. The activity of workshop Guriin, even if supported by the urban agricultural policy of Yokohama city, is a legacy of the machizukuri or machi-sodate movements in the 1960s and 1970s. However, the new way, which the head of workshop is now looking for, is not a matter for machi-sodate but for the city-wide urban planning, or at least a subject to be solved in a cooperative relationship between Yokohama’s city-wide urban planning and a citizens’ machizukuri movement. In 2004 the workshop Guriin, receiving much community support, both moral and financial, tried to get the official authorization from the City of Yokohama as a social welfare corporation (shakai fukushi hojin). However, because of the severe reduction of the national subsidies for welfare, they have not yet succeeded in that attempt.

Conclusions Recalling my family’s 38 years in the Aobadai area, I reconfirm that we have been living, growing up, joining citizens’ movements and aging, while our community has been growing up, as Yuko Ishida said “machi ga sodatsu naka de” in her essay (Yuko Ishida 1997). Furthermore, we have been supported by the community in which we have been members. It is not much to say that in our 38 years in Tokyu Den’en Toshi, we have been living up to the machi-sodate concept, placing special emphasis on its characteristics such as the growth of the citizens and the community, from child-rearing onwards. In this chapter, however, reconsidering our experience from not only residents’ points of view but also analytic viewpoints, I think that we should not attach too much importance to machizukuri or machi-sodate in evaluating achievements in realizing relatively good living conditions and built environments in Tokyu Den’en Toshi, because the infrastructures and main community facilities of the area, both of which are key factors for built environments, have been carefully planned and developed by the Tokyu Corporation and the City of Yokohama to some extent. It might be appropriate to say that the living conditions and built environments in Tokyu Den’en Toshi have been achieved by virtue of cooperative relationship among citizens’ machi-sodate movements, Tokyu’s careful planning of the development project and the administrative efforts of Yokohama city, even if all of participants have not recognized their relationship as ‘cooperative.’ Of course there were many conflicts between participants in the growing up process of Tokyu Den’en Toshi and many of those issues were concerned with the master plan of Tokyu Den’en Toshi such as the development and preservation of natural environments of the area which were decided without citizens’ participation, Because of changing citizens’ attitudes and demands for living conditions and changing natural and built environments, many new planning issues in both

Machi-sodate and urban planning


of machizukuri (community building) and toshi-dukuri (urban planning) will arise hereafter and coping with such issues, even those of machizukuri, we will have to be concerned with the reconsideration of the structural plan of Tokyu Den’en Toshi. The planning of Aoba-ku’s urban master plan in 2000–2001 was the first chance for such reconsideration, even though it was not successful. We should find ways to a new relationship between urban planning with full citizen participation (toshi dukuri keikaku) by municipalities, and citizens and municipality cooperated machi-sodate planning (Yorifusa Ishida 2001, 2003).

Notes 1 The word machizukuri formally should be written as machidukuri. Because the idiom machidukuri is composed of two words machi (town or community) and tsukuri the nominal of a verb tsukuru (to build or develop) and naturally resulted in machitsukuri. By the sequential voicing rule of Japanese, however, the first sound of the following word that is tsu should be pronounced for a voiced sound. This rule is called rendaku. As the voiced sound of tsu is du, machi-tsukuri should be written and pronounced as machidukuri. However, the inaccurate romanization that is machizukuri, has been used so often in English books and articles on Japanese planning, that I am using this popularized romanization in this chapter. 2 Professor Endo said in his book that he was inspired by a book by Roberta B. Gratz and Norman Mintz, Cities Back from the Edge: New Life for Downtown (Gratz and Mintz 1998), especially by the phrase ‘urban husbandry’ in the book to conceptualize his machi-sodate (Endo 2001: 12–13). 3 Shun’ichi Watanabe (1938– ) said that the word machizukuri first appeared in Japanese magazines in 1952 when Siro Masuda (1908–1997), a famous historian and professor of Hitotsubashi University, used the word in his article published in Toshi-mondai (Watanabe et al. 1997). 4 The words ‘Aobadai area’ in this chapter are used ambiguously; for example to indicate at once the service catchment area of Aobadai station, the central part of the third block of Tokyu Tama Den’en Toshi project and our family’s sphere of daily activities and communication, that is waga machi (the community to which we belong). 5 Tokyo Kyuko Dentetsu Co. Ltd. was founded in 1918 as Den’en Toshi (garden city) Co. Ltd. by Eiichi Shibusawa (1840–1931) to operate a suburban railway in the south western suburb of Tokyo city and to develop garden suburbs along the railway line, which, including Den’en-chofu, are now the most famous and high class residential areas in Tokyo. 6 As for the historical documents of Tokyu Den’en Toshi edited and published by the developer, see Tokyo Kyuko Dentetsu Co. Ltd. 1988a and 1988b, and Tokyu Corporation 2005. For an evaluation of development projects by the private sector in the high economic growth periods including Tokyu Den’en Toshi project see Ishida 2004: 234–240. 7 The planned fourth new town area was later included in the area of Kohoku New Town developed by JHC and the new town is now served by a Yokohama municipal subway line from Azamino station of Den’en Toshi line running through the new town area to Shinyokohama station of Tokaido bullet train and then to Yokohama’s CBD. 8 The Japanese land readjustment system (kukaku seiri seido) is said to follow the Lex Adickes (German land readjustment system enforced in 1902) however, is rather a peculiar and intricate system (Ishida et al. 1987; Hein and Ishida 1998). As for the land readjustment system, see City Planning Bureau, the City of Nagoya 1982; Iwai 1984: 239–253; Ishida 1986b; Minerbi et al. 1986 and Sorensen 2002: 122–124.


Yorifusa Ishida

9 In land readjustment project areas in the first section of Tokyu Den’en Toshi, only two projects, which were located in Aoba ward, were implemented by Toshiseibi Kodan (successor of JHC). 10 Tokyu’s land readjustment system was somewhat similar to senko baishu kukakuseiri (partial acquisition land readjustment) or Kodan seko kukaku-seiri implemented by Japan Housing Corporation (JHC), although JHC’s system was authorized by the Japan Housing Corporation Act of 1955 and Tokyu’s system was voluntary. 11 As for urban sprawl and control measures in Japan, see Hebbert 1994 and Ishida 1996b. Hebbert explained Japanese urban sprawl and planning measures to control urban sprawl in detail, and referred to my survey on the case of UCAs along Tsurumigawa river in Aoba-ku. 12 Hayabuchi-gawa river in Tokyu Den’en Toshi area is nothing but a stream of headwaters and the first and second blocks of the project were connected up now. Hayabuchi-gawa in the Kohoku New Town area and rice fields along it, however, still divide the new town area into two blocks. 13 In 1953, Keita Goto, the then head of Tokyo Kyuko Dentetsu Co. Ltd., referred to Letchworth and Welwyn in his speech to land owners in project areas at the first meeting to announce the Tokyu Den’en Toshi project. 14 The case of Utsukushigaoka area near Tama Plaza station is the area of an apartment complex by JHC and an area of detached houses having relatively large lots of 500 square meters or more and with a pedestrian network and cul-du-sac type drive ways. 15 The Yokohama Aoba interchange, although realized very recently, was included in the early stage of Tokyu Den’en Toshi plan, however, on another site, several hundred meters east of the realized location. 16 In 1964, a cemetery of 3.1 hectares was planned by a land owners’ group in the Onda 2nd Land Readjustment Association but in vain (Tokyu 1988a: 128–129). 17 In the 1960s there was only one swimming pool in the Aobadai area which was constructed by the City of Yokohama and was an open air and short course one. Later, in response to citizen’s demands, many private swimming pools have been opened, including some by Tokyu. Tokyu and land-owners established a company to develop a big sports complex named Kenzan Sports Garden of 8.5 hectares, which has a nine hole golf course, space for golf practice, tennis courts, and a club house. 18 Kanchi shobun, which is usually translated as replotting disposition, is a legal procedure to transfer land ownership and other rights and interests that existed on land parcels before the land readjustment project to kanchi (substitute plot) which is given in exchange. Although kanchi shobun is legally done many years after in the final stage of land readjustment project, land use, old or new, should be permitted immediately after kanchi keikaku (replotting plan) is approved and specification of kari kanchi (temporary substitute plot) enables necessary land use (City Planning Bureau, the City of Nagoya 1982: 42–45, 52–54). 19 The zoning system and name of zone categories are changed a little in 1992 and the severest residential zone is now called dai isshu teiso jukyo senyo chiiki (1st class exclusive low rise residential area). 20 Usually, covenants run for ten years and need a renewal procedure every time. Accordingly, owners living in the area where Tokyu set covenant have to work for renewal of the covenant by themselves. The covenant in my community for example concluded in December 1972 and has been renewed three times since and we improved its contents remarkably. 21 Most of building covenants were prepared by Tokyu, concluded by a few land-owners and were approved by the City of Yokohama. Plots were sold on condition that new land-owners should agree to the building covenant. Before ichinin-kyotei system (literally single land-owner’s covenant) was provided by the revision of the Building Standard Act in 1976, developers used many tactics to prepare a few favorable land-owners. 22 In the cases of two land readjustment associations, Tokyu and leaders of land-owners,

Machi-sodate and urban planning







29 30

31 32


discussed the relationship between land uses and size and shape of blocks, and decided to use building covenants as a measure to control land uses, including agricultural land use, in detail (Tokyu 1988a: 277–283, 363–366). Building covenant of Oguro-chiku (43.9 hectares) was approved by the City of Yokohama in September 1978 while replotting disposition was finalized in March 1978 and Izumidamukochiku (46.4 hectares) in September 1984 and in September 1983 respectively. The building covenant of Izumidamuko-chiku was still effective in 2003, however, that of Oguro-chiku was repealed. The data was provided by the section of Yokohama city office responsible for the building covenants and the total area covered by building covenants in the data do not include land used for roads. In Aoba-ku, four district plans (chiku keikaku) areas, which have nearly same role as building covenants and in fact some of which succeeded covenants, are valid in 2005 and cover 159.6 hectares. Covenants and district plans, both of which enforce severe and precise land use control, covers 9.7 percent of the UPAs in total. Danchi originally is an abbreviation of planners’ idiom ichidan no tochi (an area of land) and usually those for single land use. Other than jutaku danchi, the word danchi have been used for many types of land use such as kogyo-danchi (industrial complex), shogyo-danchi (commercial estate) and ryutsu-danchi (estate for distribution facilities), however, danchi popularized and used singly usually means jutaku-danchi. The sewerage rate of Yokohama city was set for 40 percent of water rate, on the other hand the cost of the small sewage disposal plant in our danchi was equal to 91.3 percent of water rate. What’s more, the property tax levied on land of the danchi was 23.9 percent higher than those for neighboring detached housing sites even though the land of the danchi included land for roads and a small park and land for the sewage disposal plant (Ishida Yorifusa 1975). Nine school sites were the subject of negotiations, six elementary and three junior high, the area of which was 11.6 hectares in total. After long and severe negotiations Tokyu voluntarily conveyed two sites and sold other seven sites at 3,577 yen a square meter average (Tokyu 1988a: 226–228, 239–242). Excess of land over the local school site standard often was bought by the City of Yokohama for another purpose. In the case of Moegino junior high school, the Yokohama city bought the excess portion for a new public health center. The preparatory committee of new school’s PTA urged the city to use it to expand the playground and was partly successful (Yuko Ishida 1984). Aobadai kodomo wo mamoru-kai was not a branch of national and city-wide association which had the same name of Kodomo wo mamoru-kai, however, the main members of Aobadai association joined the city-wide association or became subscribers of the national association’s monthly magazine. Sakuranbo-kai celebrated its thirtieth anniversary in 2003. For more about the 30 years’ history of Sakuranbo-kai see Sakuranbo-kai 2003. In 1966 when Den’en Toshi line and Aobadai station opened, Aobadai area was a part of Kohoku ward which covered a very wide area, the northern part of Yokohama city. As population increased remarkably in 1969 the area of Kohoku ward was divided into two wards, Midori-ku and Kohoku-ku and in 1994 the eastern part of Midori-ku that is Tokyu Den’en Toshi area was divided off and Aoba-ku was established. At the beginning of Tokyu Den’en Toshi it was very difficult for citizens in Aobadai area to go to the Kohoku ward office which was located the south-eastern edge of the wide ward area. The data of 1995 and 2000 is based on the national census done every five years. According to the statistics of the City of Yokohama the population increase ratio of Aoba-ku from 2000 to 2005 is 8.6 percent. Ratio of elderly persons in Aoba-ku in 2005 is up to 11.7 percent, and shows striking differences between districts (cho-chome). The highest elderly ratio in 2005 is 29.4



34 35 36 37 38



41 42 43

Yorifusa Ishida

percent of Jike cho in UCA and the second highest is 21.6 percent of Utsukushigaoka Sanchome which is one of the oldest areas developed in 1966. The lowest elderly ratio is 3.8 percent of Azamino-minami Icchome and the second lowest is 4.0 percent of Nara Sanchome, both of which are newly developed in the 1990s. Yuko Ishida, who was one of the key people in the machi-sodate movements of Aobadai area, had a Chinese poetry class in the community and enjoyed talking in her last years. The author recently joined a volunteer group which has been working every Sunday to care and preserve a remaining zokibayashi [deciduous copse] or satoyama [neighborhood wood]. As for activities of the workshop Guriin, see the website dd/green/. A precedent of farming workshop for the handicapped is, for example, Kokoromi gakuen in Tochigi prefecture which is specialized for viniculture and has a winery. Before opening, Guriin sent a leader and apprentices to Kokoromi gakuen. The system Tokyu introduced was not a fully on-demand bus or dial-a-bus system. Buses take a detour by request of a passenger, and stops where asked. A taxi driver at Aobadai station said the aged often take taxi from the station to Den’en Aobadai danchi. The distance from the station plaza to the danchi is in line less than 200 meters, however a steep hill is in between. In 1966, Tokyu collaborating with Kiyonori Kikutake (1928– ) a famous architect, made an image plan of Tokyu Den’en Toshi named Pear City Plan after the area’s well-known farm products. In the plan, an image sketch like a park system was included. Tokyu explained the image plan that green areas would be connected by boulevards, however, because of relatively low kokyo genbu [area reduction for roads and parks] the actual width of the trunk roads was too small to be able to build boulevards. As Hebbert (1994) mentioned, farm land along Yamoto-gawa River have been used as the sites of many public buildings, such as the office of Aoba-ku, a high school, and a police station and to make matters worse, even private building activities are permissible using loopholes of the UCA system. Kohoku New Town covers about 75 percent of Kohoku-ku’s whole area. As for citizen’s machizukuri movements in Kohoku New Town see Kawate 2005 and for the activities and interim results of the committee see the page of the committee in the web site of Tsuduki ward office. index.html. The concept and word of mura-dukuri has been used since the 1880s when the central government promoted the development plan of farming community called choson-ze [appropriate policies of town or village development] (Ishida 1986a: 14–18). As for these planning measures and Acts, see Yorifusa Ishida 1990: 201–213; Yorifusa Ishida 1996. As for the citizens’ campaign on Akada no yato, see Akada-tsushin which was the bimonthly news letter of the campaign published from June 1982 to June 1991 by Midori-ku shizen wo mamoru-kai (Group to preserve nature in Midori ward). As for Onda no yato Fun Club see its website

References Ando, Motowo (1978) Kyojyuten no Shiso: jumin, undo, jichi (Thought Based upon Habitat: Inhabitants, Movements, Autonomy) Tokyo: Shobunsha. Aoba-kumin machidukuri-kaigi (2000) Jisedai heno okurimono (Presents for the Next Generation) in Aoba-ku’s Website Aoba ward office (2002) Aoba-ku Machizukuri Shishin (Precept of Aoba-ku’s urban master plan) Yokohama: Aoba ward office.

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City Planning Bureau, the City of Nagoya (1982) Introduction to Land Readjustment (Kukaku Seiri practice), Nagoya: the City of Nagoya. Endo, Yasuhiro (2001) Machi-sodate wo hagukumu: taiwa to kyodo no dezain (Cultivating Urban Husbandry: Design of Dialogue and Collaboration) Tokyo: Tokyo Daigaku Shuppan-kai. Gratz, Roberta Brandes and Mintz, Norman (1998) Cities Back from the Edge: New Life for Downtown, New York: John Wiley & Sons. Hebbert, Michael (1994) Senbiki Amidst Desakota: Urban Sprawl and Urban Planning in Japan, in Philip Shapira, Ian Masser, and David W. Edgington (eds), Planning for Cities and Regions in Japan, Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. Hein, Carola and Ishida, Yorifusa (1998) Japanische Stadtplanung und ihre deutschen Wulzeln, Die Alt stadt, vol. 25, no. 3: 189–211. Hohn, Uta (1997) Townscape Preservation in Japanese Urban Planning, Town Planning Review, vol. 68, no. 2: 213–255. Ishida, Shuichi (1996) Mienai mono wo tagayasu hibi kara (Cultivating Many Invisible Substances), in Tetsuo Akemine and Shuichi Ishida (eds) Machibito-tachi no rakuno sengen (Happy Farming by Urban Residents), Tokyo: Komonzu. ——(2005) Tagayashite sodatsu: chosen suru shogaisha no sagyosho (Growing up While Cultivating: Challenges of a Workshop for the Handicapped), Tokyo: Komonzu. Ishida, Yorifusa (1975) Kyoju kankyo seibi to bunjo apato danchi no kanri (Improvement of Living Conditions and Management of a Condominium Estate), Jutaku, no. 274: 14–21. —— (1986a ) Nosan-son keikaku wo meguru seisaku no tenkai (Development of Policies for Rural Area Planning in Japan), in Shuraku keikaku (Rural Planning) Tokyo: Yuhikaku: 3–44. —— (1986b) Short History of Japanese Land Readjustment (1870–1980), Sogo toshikenkyu, no. 28: 79–87. —— (1990) Toshi-nogyo to tochi-riyo keikaku (Urban Agriculture and Land Use Planning), Tokyo: Nihon keizai–hyoronsha. —— (1994) Toshi keikaku to Toshi seikatsu (Urban Planning and Urban Life), Tokyo: Jichitai kenkyusha. —— (1996a) Japanese Urban Land Use Policy: In Historical and Comparative Perspectives, in Kyoto Conference on Japanese Studies 1994, Kyoto: International Research Center for Japanese Studies: 131–143. —— (1996b) Characteristic of Urban Sprawl in Metropolitan Fringe Areas and Measures to Control, unpublished paper read at the ARP’s International Workshop on Urban Fringe Issue (Tokyo). —— (2001) Kyodo no machi-dukuri to jumin shutai no toshi-dukuri (Cooperative Community Building and Citizen Based Urban Planning), Jichi-dayori, no. 141: 3–6. —— (2003) Hito ga sodatsu, komyunitii ga sodatsu, machi ga sodatsu (The People, Community and Built Environment Have Developed Excellently), Tsuduki, no. 26: 1–2. —— (2004) Nihon kin-gendai toshi keikaku no tenkai 1868–2003 (History of Modern and Contemporary Planning in Japan 1868–2003), Tokyo: Jichitai kenkusha. —— (2005) Aru shogakko wo meguru jumin-undo no omoide (Note on the Citizen’s Campaign for Steady Establishment of a Primary School) Ishida, Yorifusa, Hatano, Norio, and Suzuki, Eiki (1987) Nihon ni okeru tochi kukaku seiri no seiritsu to adikesu-ho (Influence of Lex Adickes upon Legislations of Japanese Land Readjustment System), Toshikeikaku Ronbunshu, no. 22: 121–126. Ishida, Yuko (1983) Aobadai no 17nen – kodomo wo meguru kankyo no utsuri-kawari


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(Seventeen Years in Aobadai – Changing Children’s Living Environment), Aobadai kodomo wo mamorukai nyusu, no. 56. —— (1984) Kochi-mondai no undo kara (Citizens’ Campaign on a School Ground), PTA Kenkyu: 32–34. —— (1987) Aobadai ni seishonen toshokan ga dekita koro (When seishonen toshokan was Opened in Aobadai), Soritsu 15nen Kinen-shi (Commemorative booklet for 15th anniversary), Yokohama: Midori-ku Seishonen Toshokan: 12–13. —— (1997) Aobadai no machi ga sodatsu naka de (Citizens’ Movements while Aobadai’s Community was Growing up), Soritsu 25nen Kinen-shi (Commemorative booklet for 25th anniversary), Yokohama: Aoba-ku Seishonen Toshokan: 31–33. Ishida, Yuko and Ishida, Yorifusa (1972) Minkan kigyo ni yoru toshi-kaihatsu to jichitai _shin-jyumin no tachiba kara (A Suburban Development Project by a Private Developer and the Policy of Local Government from New Citizen’s Point of View), Chosakiho, no. 33: 59–60. Iwai, Hikoji (1984) An Overview of Land Readjustment Projects in Japan in Masahiko Honjo and Takashi Inoue (eds) Urban Development Policies and Land Management in Japan and Asia, Nagoya: The City of Nagoya: 239–253. Kawate, Shoji (2005) Jumin Kyodo wo tsuranuita Kohoku nyutaun jigyo no kako to genzai (Cooperation between Citizen and Public Sectors in Kohoku New Town: History and the Present), Toshi Jyutaku-gaku, no. 145: 9–14. Kukaku saikaihatsu tsushin henshubu (1980) Atarashii machizukuri undo no sozo wo (Drive for Creation of New Machizukuri Movements), Kukaku-saikaihatsu tsushin, no. 127: 2–3. Minerbi, Luciano, Nakamura, Peter, Nitz, Kiyoko, and Yanai, Jane (eds) (1986) Land Readjustment: The Japanese System, Boston: Oelgeshlager, Gunn & Hain. Nishiyama, Uzou (ed.) (1971) Toshikeikaku to Machizukuri (City Planning and Community Building), vol. 2 of Koza, Gendai Nihon no Toshi-mondai (Series, Urban problems in contemporary Japan), Tokyo, Kyoto: Chobun-sha. Sakuranbo-kai (2002) Sakuranbo-dayori (Special Issue for 30th Anniversary), no. 37. Sorensen, André (2002) The Making of Urban Japan: Cities and Planning from Edo to the Twenty-First Century, London and New York: Routledge. Tokyo Kyuko Dentetsu Co. Ltd. (ed.) (1988a) Tama Den’en Toshi _ kaihatsu 35nen no kiroku (35 Years of Tama Den’en Toshi), Tokyo: Tokyo Kyuko Dentetsu Co. Ltd. —— (1988b) Tama Den’en Toshi _ ryokona machizukuri wo mezashite (Tama Den’en Toshi – Aiming Better Community Developments), Tokyo: Tokyo Kyuko Dentetsu Co. Ltd. Tokyu Corporation (2005) The History of the Tokyu Tama Garden City Development, 50 Years (CD-ROM and DVD) Tokyo: Tokyu Corporation. Watanabe, Shun’ichi (1980). Garden City, Japanese Style: The Case of Den-en Toshi Company Ltd. 1918–1928, in G.E. Cherry, Shaping an Urban World, London, Mansell: 129–144. Watanabe, Shun’ichi, Kazuhisa, Sugisaki, Wakana, Ito, and Hideki, Koizumi (1997) Yogo ‘machizukuri’ ni kansuru bunken-teki kenkyu (Bibliographical Survey on the Word ‘Machizukuri’ or Community Building, 1945–1959), Toshi keikaku Ronbunshu, no. 32: 43–54. Yokohama-shi Toshi-nogyo Konwakai (1989) 21seiki he mukete no Yokohama no toshi nogyo: No no aru machizukuri he no teigen (A Proposal for the Community Building with Urban Agriculture: Urban Agriculture in the 21st Century) Yokohama: The City of Yokohama.


Machizukuri, civil society, and the transformation of Japanese city planning Cases from Kobe Carolin Funck

Introduction Citizens’ movements, and machizukuri movements are no exception, are often induced by sudden changes in the current situation caused by institutions or actors outside the location. The most common cases are development plans and projects, be they public or private, which force the community or citizens of a location to either accept or protest the change. Natural disasters are an extreme form of sudden change in a local or regional system. After the Great Hanshin earthquake in 1995, large-scale urban planning projects in some areas and the absence of support by the administration in other parts of the disaster area left no choice for citizens but to engage in some kind of activity or other to recreate their living environment. Since then, the Hanshin area, and Kobe City at its core, has been at the forefront of machizukuri development in Japan. The surge in volunteer activities in the first few months after the earthquake also had decisive influence on the creation of the NPO-law that was introduced in 1998 (Pekkanen 2000: 111). Even before the earthquake, Kobe was known as a city that promotes large-scale urban development in the fashion of private development companies while at the same time supporting neighborhood activities and machizukuri. The question is whether the disaster has shaken the existing structures of urban planning sufficiently to change the balance between these two contrasting strands of urban policy, whether changes have been prominent and constant enough to speak of an emerging civil society role in urban governance and whether citizen’s activities themselves have reached a new dimension. The latter question refers to a departure from traditional forms of citizen participation like neighborhood organizations, which were characterized as male-dominated and undemocratic structures. A special focus of this paper will therefore be on gender issues, especially on the roles women have played in the machizukuri process.

Machizukuri in Kobe The city of Kobe is situated between the Rokko mountains and the Seto inland sea and has about 1.5 million inhabitants. It is divided administratively


Carolin Funck

into nine wards (ku). On 17 January 1995, the Great Hanshin earthquake caused heavy damage in Kobe as well as the surrounding municipalities. More than 6,000 people died and about 200,000 buildings collapsed or burned. After the earthquake, reconstruction proceeded much faster in the eastern part of the city. The closeness to Osaka, which can be reached by three different railway lines in less than 20 minutes, has led to a spread of newly built apartment buildings and condominiums. During the five years after the earthquake, as many new apartment buildings have been constructed as existed before the quake (Hanshin Daishinsai Fukko Shimin Machizukuri Shien Nettowaku 2001b: 81). The number of housing units reached pre-earthquake level in 1997. On the other hand, in the downtown areas of the western part households with low income and elderly residents experience a severe housing shortage, as reconstruction lags behind. Housing damage and the process of housing recovery therefore rapidly expanded the geographical disparity that already existed before the earthquake (Hirayama 2000: 127). Population numbers have reached or surpassed pre-earthquake levels in the eastern, northern and western parts, but are still well below recovery in the west of the central area, especially in the Nagata and Hyogo wards (Figure 6.1). The physically devastating effects of the earthquake left no choice for citizen or administration; they had to engage in reconstruction. Kobe had been famous as a city that actively supported citizen participation, particularly after the passage of one of the earliest machizukuri ordinances in 1981. On the other hand, five decades of city management under three strong mayors and at times

1.1.1995 1.10.1995 1.1.2004 1.10.2000 Change 2004/pre-quake


140 120


100 150,000



60 40




Change 1.1.1995  100










Higashi nada


Figure 6.1 Population changes in the nine wards of Kobe, 1995–2004 (source: Population Census (October 1, 1995, October 1, 2000), Kobe City calculations based on Census and population registration data (January 1, 1995, January 1, 2004).

Machizukuri, civil society, and city plannning 139 without any party in the opposition has given the city the nickname ‘Kobe Inc.’ and has made it difficult for citizens to promote their interests. The earthquake exacerbated the social and environmental disparities that many local citizens’ groups blame on the Kobe government’s development oriented priorities (Hanshin Daishinsai Fukko Shimin Machizukuri Shien Nettowaku 2001a: 10). Increased citizen participation in urban reconstruction and restructuring, but also in a range of other activities, has been seen as one of the positive aspects after the disaster. Although the city decided the areas for land readjustment or redevelopment in traditional top–down fashion, the reconstruction process of the living environment has been in many cases led by the citizens. The role of citizens, especially of citizens’ activities organized on a district or neighborhood level has been considered extremely important (Nihon Kenchiku Gakkai Kinki Shibu Kankyo Hozen Bukai 2000: foreword). In a wider sense, one of the key persons interviewed commented that “together with the destruction of the structure of society, such oppressive structures have also been destroyed . . . There have been created some openings in society, where the wind can blow through” (A.). The following case studies will try to assess how these openings have been used to widen the possibilities for citizens’ participation. To reflect the views of citizens, especially women directly, qualitative methods are most appropriate. A series of interviews with groups and individuals was conducted in spring and summer 2001 and again in summer 2003 to consider changes in a longer perspective. The activities of the groups involved were further followed through participation in meetings and analysis of their publications. As the increased participation and leadership of women is considered to indicate important structural changes in Japanese governance, women having consistently been marginalized in earlier urban governance structures, the focus of the study is on the wider participation of women in the process of machizukuri. Groups therefore had to be selected where women were involved actively, which restricted the number of possible targets. Areas for field studies were chosen from Higashi-Nada and Suma wards to avoid the special problems of the inner city areas, which have a strong economic component.

Organizations involved in machizukuri During the process of reconstruction, like in machizukuri everywhere, a wide variety of organizations have been involved, as has been shown in Chapters 7 and 8. The following typology identifies the specific gender structures for each type. The case studies will help to analyze their potential for innovation and broadening of participation and themes. Traditional neighborhood associations (jichikai and chonaikai) are based in a fixed, locally restricted area. All households in the area can but don’t have to become members; participation is usually quite high (Hohn 2000: 517). Normally, men represent the household and women have roles in the background.


Carolin Funck

Officers are usually retired men selected by prior consultation (nemawashi) and then approved by clapping during the annual meeting; very often the same person continues in a position for a long time. Shopping street associations (shotengai kumiai) are groups of shop-owners formed along shopping streets. They often form the base of machizukuri groups. Usually their membership is mostly male, but as fashion or interior shops are increasingly run by women, female participation is increasing in shopping areas that have a more fashionable image. Machizukuri councils (machizukuri kyogikai) are similar to traditional organizations in that they are restricted to a fixed area, but they were introduced especially to widen citizens’ participation. Until the earthquake, 12 groups had received recognition under the machizukuri ordinance introduced by Kobe City. Other groups had been established to preserve the atmosphere of certain districts like the Kitano area, which contains many houses built in western style for foreigners living in Kobe, or like the chinatown district. All in all, 28 councils were officially involved in machizukuri before the earthquake (Nihon Kenchiku Gakkai Kinki Shibu Kankyo Hozen Bukai 2000: 2). This number jumped to about 100 by 1998, because councils were introduced by the city in those areas designated for redevelopment (saikaihatsu) or land readjustment (kukakuseiri) as part of earthquake reconstruction projects; these account for about half of all groups. As they continued to split up, combine into new groups or dissolve after the project has been completed, numbers can only be approximate. New groups in other areas continue to emerge, and in 2003 105 groups were registered at Kobe’s machizukuri center. Table 6.1 shows the distribution of registered machizukuri groups in the nine wards. The largest numbers can be seen around the redevelopment projects in Nagata ward and around JR Rokkomichi station in Higashinada ward. Basically, machizukuri councils in Kobe can be divided according to four factors: Table 6.1 Number of registered machizukuri groups in nine Kobe wards (2000) Ward

Higashinada Nada Chuo Hyogo Kita Nagata Suma Tarumi Nishi

No. of groups 9 19 9 7 5 38 9 3 1

Of which Pre-earthquake

Urban planning

Groups with rules

2 2 4 4 3 7 1 0 1

3 14 0 5 4 31 8 1 0

3 10 5 2 2 20 7 0 0

Source: Kobe Machizukuri Senta.

Machizukuri, civil society, and city plannning 141 1




Pre- or post-earthquake: those established before the earthquake were intended primarily to establish community input into development control decisions, while those established after the earthquake were involved primarily in creating ‘hardware,’ new building and street structures. Urban planning projects or not: many groups were initiated by the administration in connection with urban planning projects like redevelopment or land readjustment. In contrast, others were created by citizens themselves without a leading role of the administration. With or without formal regulations: many groups have created building plans or regulations according to urban planning law (district plans) or Kobe City ordinances (machizukuri jorei). However, local ordinances are not legally binding for developers. Emphasis on residential or commercial functions.

Depending on these factors, their theme of interest differs, as does their form of organization, gender structure, and their possibilities to implement changes. Overall, they had an important role as a connection between citizens and administration, as well as in helping to create consensus between citizens. (Nihon Kenchiku Gakkai Kinki Shibu Kankyo Hozen Bukai 2000: 38). As for their gender structures, like the traditional neighborhood associations, machizukuri councils normally consist of heads of households, which means that men take over most of the leading functions. This tendency is especially strong in those groups set up by the administration. There are few data available about the gender of participants, but among 88 machizukuri councils counted in October 1995, only five had a female leader (Nihon Kenchiku Gakkai Kinki Shibu Kankyo Hozen Bukai 1996: 2–6). One of the effects of the Kobe earthquake was a boom in volunteer activities on a scale so far unseen in Japan. These groups engage in a variety of topics, but welfare activities are the most prominent. A list compiled by Kobe Empowerment Center (Shimin Katsudo Senta Kobe 2000) shows that in Kobe there were 168 groups in 1997 and 260 groups in 2000, including NPOs and some machizukuri councils. Classified by topic of activity, there are clear gender structures among these groups: organizations concentrating on machizukuri rarely have a female leader and on average have more male than female members. Groups involved in welfare activities show a much higher participation of women. Some of these groups developed into NPOs, as did some of the traditional local organizations and some of the machizukuri councils, like the Nishisuma Danran NPO discussed below. As reconstruction dragged on, the need for coordination and professionalism was urgently felt among the volunteer groups. A few NPOs evolved into intermediary organizations or support centers, which offer information and coordination for other groups, help to find funds, and contract to carry out entrusted projects from the local/regional administration. Two examples of such groups are Hanshin Green Net and CS Kobe discussed below. In all of the groups above, professionals in urban planning and architecture


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have been involved in different forms in a continuum from voluntary to professional activities. The “Restoration from Hanshin Earthquake Disaster/Supporters’ Network for community development machizukuri” (Hanshin daishinsai fukko shimin machizukuri shien nettowaku), based on an existing network of urban planners, was set up only ten days after the quake and assigned specialists to each part of the city. Kobe City and Hyogo Prefecture each created a system (1995/1997) to dispatch consultants to groups that required assistance for joint housing projects or machizukuri. This system relied partly on the advice of the Supporters’ Network. Some consultants started their own voluntary network, for example the Hanshin Green Net (Hanshin Gurin Netto) to promote gardening and planting in public and private spaces. These groups have helped to transmit information and knowledge as well as establishing a background for machizukuri activities. Among professionals, there is a strong bias towards male participants, as architecture and urban planning are traditionally male domains. Among 3,000 members of the architecture and planning organization in Hyogo Prefecture, only 180 are female. However, Hanshin Green Net has a higher percentage of women (22.4 percent) than the Supporters’ Network (15.9 percent), or the original consultants’ network behind it (15 percent), which points to a stronger interest in environmental issues among women, and/or a greater willingness among environmental activists to accept the participation of women. This fact was also emphasized in an interview with a female architect.

Citizens’ concerns A new start for machizukuri: Sumiyoshi Hamate Sumiyoshi Hamate, the coastal district of the former Sumiyoshi village, is an area of mixed small housing and industry close to the bridge crossing over to the artificial Rokko Island. The surrounding area is home to some of the most famous Sake breweries in Kobe. Sumiyoshi Hamate Machizukuri Group (Sumiyoshi Hamate Machizukuri no Kai) was founded in 1997, after a citizens’ movement against the construction of an industrial waste processing facility in the area had failed. The experience of “being let down by the administration” (O.) led to the decision to try to improve things themselves. According to the factor mentioned above, it is a post-earthquake machizukuri council with an emphasis on residential function, not connected to an urban planning project and still in the process of setting up machizukuri regulations. In time-honored fashion, the waste processing facility had been approved by the leader of the local neighbourhood association, even though many local residents opposed it. This led directly to the formation of a new machizukuri group. In 2001, it consisted of 44 members, of which 21 were female (26 March 2001). As membership is defined through interest, it is possible for members of the same household to attend and there are some couples participating, which is rather unusual for a neighborhood-based group as the traditional neighbor-

Machizukuri, civil society, and city plannning 143 hood associations were always represented by one member per household, usually the male household head (Sumiyoshi Hamate Machizukuri no Kai 2001). Like most machizukuri councils, one of the first activities was to conduct a survey among the inhabitants of the area. In 1997, 444 answers were collected (71 percent return rate). Major themes of concern were traffic problems caused by heavy trucks, a new use for the former kindergarten, and improvement of parks and the concrete seawall of the former coastline through more greenery. As a future vision of the area, a neighborhood easy to live in for senior citizens and an area full of greenery were the most cited expectations, followed by a safe neighborhood and a townscape of sake breweries. While more than 80 percent of respondents showed interest in the machizukuri group, only 5 percent said they would like to join, showing the narrow base on which these groups are operating. On the basis of this survey, activities included a green watching contest and the installation of wooden barrels filled with flowers along the former seawall. These serve the threefold purpose of preventing the illegal dumping of cars, creating greenery and evoking the image of a sake brewery area. The group also created a plan for the reconstruction of the local park after temporary housing units for quake victims were removed. However, their proposal was blocked by the local association, which wanted to maintain its sole right as representative of the district. As the machizukuri group receives almost no support from the administration, fundraising activities like festivals are also important. Three themes recurred during an interview with ten female members of the group, of whom five were born in the area and all were in their fifties or sixties. One theme concerned environmental problems, especially connected to the industrial waste processing plant, but also to National Highway 43, an elevated highway that cuts through the area on two levels. One participant said that “as a small aim, I try to prevent pollution from becoming any worse than it is” (O.); another mentioned the asthma of her son as the motive for her involvement in machizukuri. The second theme was about community structure. As the area has a high percentage of senior citizens, members were concerned about how to attract younger citizens into the area and into the council and how to integrate inhabitants of the new apartment buildings. These themes connect in the following utterance: It would be good if this could develop into a neighbourhood were we can have communication, were it is easy to live for both young and older people. If it became a neighbourhood were we can talk and help each other, young people might come back. With a range of polluting facilities around, “young people can’t live in this area, I think it is a place were it is very difficult to raise children” (H.). Both these themes showed a high degree of nostalgia. Remembering how she used to go swimming in the sea in the evening with a friend, one woman said


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“my father told us this is a very good area, so we were happy to move here (in 1946) – and that’s how it looks now!” (N.). “We used to have relations typical for long row houses (nagaya), but now the houses are not constructed like that any more, there is an increase in apartment buildings” (H.). The beautiful natural coastline with beaches and pine trees of childhood days is contrasted with the industrial district on reclaimed land of today and the formerly close relations between inhabitants against the present mutual ignorance. The third theme was connected to the relations with the local neighborhood association, which is seen as not oriented toward the citizens, but toward keeping control of the assets of the property district (zaisanku), and maintaining its own status as the ‘official’ representative of local residents. When villages are incorporated into cities, normally all rights on former common property like community forests are transferred to the city. However, in some cases property districts were set up to administer the common assets. As land value increased with urbanization, some of these property districts, as in the case of the Sumiyoshi area, became extremely valuable and as large property holders form an influential force in the local power game. One contested facility in the Sumiyoshi Hamate area is the community hall built in the park after the quake (Figure 6.2); so far, the local association has kept control of its use. Through the

Figure 6.2 A new community hall built in Kobe after the earthquake (source: author’s own photograph). Note A new community hall was built after the earthquake, but its use is contested between the traditional Neighborhood Association and the newer machizukuri group.

Machizukuri, civil society, and city plannning 145 experience of the relief operations after the quake “I felt that it depends on whether the local association is working properly or not, and that each of us has to participate” (E.). She also insisted that for the solution of environmental problems, “if the problem is not brought up by the inhabitants, the administration will be completely useless for such issues.” The group conducted a series of workshops in the fall of 2001 to move further towards a proposal of a machizukuri ordinance, eventually aiming for approval of a district plan. However, to promote such rules and gain approval from the administration, cooperation with the local association is unavoidable. Both groups have started to attend each other’s meetings. In April 2001, the machizukuri group took over responsibility for the administration of the park and with it the control of an important part of public space. In 2003, a new questionnaire showed that citizens in the area agreed about the aims of creating a safe neighborhood, especially concerning traffic problems, a beautiful environment without pollution problems and an independent community based on the historical and cultural tradition of the area. To this purpose, 81.9 percent admitted that some kind of rules will be necessary. Participants at the second interview in 2003 showed satisfaction with some of their achievements. My opinion is the same as everybody else, the most important result is the contact with people, I think . . . And if there hadn’t been machizukuri, this place (where the wooden barrels had been set up) was left to its own, people came here to throw their broken bicycles and cars away, but with our joint energy, we have been able to make it as nice as it is now. When I just parked my car there, I thought it’s great. (H.) But there is also exhaustion: “it’s exhausting, but very fulfilling. A feeling like we’ve done it. I can’t say it’s fun, it’s exhausting, but afterwards . . .” (F.). However, although more and more neighbors participate in the events, the group faces difficulties in recruiting new members, which they need to create a broader basis for activities in the area. From local association to NPO: Tsukimiyama The Tsukimiyama area is located in Suma-ku, around the Tsukimiyama station of the private Sanyo railway. While in itself being a quiet residential area with a small shopping street and many narrow lanes, it is bordered by the elevated Hanshin expressway and crosscut by the central main road, which at the moment is completed only halfway through the area. This area has a quite complicated structure of machizukuri activities, consisting of three layers. In the wider area, the Nishisuma Machizukuri Assembly (Nishisuma Machizukuri Kondankai) was initially started by the city to promote


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land readjustment in 1991. However, citizens rejected the way the administration tried to push the project and activities came to a halt just before the quake. After the quake, Kobe City’s reconstruction plans in this area were limited to the building of three major new arterial roads though the district that had been first planned during the 1960s. Since then, opposition against these streets has been an important part of the group’s activities; a special branch of the group was founded to take the city to court about the project. However, it also became the core of a new NPO for welfare activities (Nishisuma Danran) and of a project to recreate a park below the Hanshin expressway. This park close to the community hall includes a biotope and a small river, marking a departure from the orderly parks seen in other parts of the city (Figure 6.3). The Nishisuma group started just before the earthquake in reaction to an urban planning project, but was not directly involved in it. It involves an area of about 8,000 households, which some consider too large to set up machizukuri regulations or a district plan. It consists of several local associations, one of them being the neighborhood association of Tsukimiyama (Tsukimiyama jichikai). This group in itself has six local and nine thematic sub-groups and is very active. Since the earthquake significant reforms to the association’s gover-

Figure 6.3 A biotope created under the Hanshin expressway in Kobe (source: author’s own photograph). Note A biotope has been created under the Hanshin expressway, a small piece of nature for public use on ground that has no value otherwise.

Machizukuri, civil society, and city plannning 147 nance structure have been carried out. In particular, the rotation of officers after four years (1996) and a combined system of recommendation and open election (2001) were introduced to widen the circle of participants. Among 17 officers chosen in 2000, five were female. There is also one person employed as professional staff to run the administration. (Tsukimiyama Jichikaiho 109, 00/9/10 pp. 1–4) In 2000, plans to build a 14-story apartment building on land owned by Kobe City raised concern among the neighbors, especially for a lady in her nineties living adjacent to the planned site. The Tsukimiyama association backed the opposing group and in cooperation with a consultant the plan was stopped. This became the impulse to start a machizukuri group especially for this neighborhood, the Group for Machizukuri in the Tsukimiyama Honmachi Nichome Area and its Surroundings (Tsukimiyama Honmachi Nichome to sono Shuhen Machizukuri no Kai). It aims to address problems like the aging population, narrow streets, the future style of the shopping street, and further apartment building development. According to the different layers of machizukuri, different surveys have been conducted among the inhabitants. Comparing these surveys, the issue of narrow streets with insufficient maintenance that pose a danger in the case of emergencies emerges as a constant theme over the years. However, they are also connected to positive aspects like quietness, and 39 percent of respondents in the Tsukimiyama area in 1998 replied that some streets should stay below the four meter width required by the law. This reflects the fact that almost half of the respondents didn’t own a car. In the neighborhood around the station, facilities most wanted included a bicycle parking area, a public bath, and small parks. At the interview, three of five participants, all above 50, had been involved in the local association before the earthquake. Here too, streets were one of the main themes: on the one hand, the opposition against large streets for throughtraffic, on the other hand various problems connected to the narrow streets in the neighborhood. While one participant expressed nostalgic feelings towards the neighborhood with “these old, small streets and so on, this is for me a very important place” and “these streets with flowers planted, kind of smelling of daily life, I wish them to be saved” (Hi.), another conceded that “there are some good points about the narrow streets, but there are also some problems” (Ho.). In her case, rebuilding the house after the earthquake required building material to be transported some distance by hand because her street was too narrow for trucks to enter, which led to extra costs. A second theme centered on the activities of the local association. Due to a first restructuring some years ago to make it more open, members of the shopping street left the group. The lack of interest of the shopping street organization in machizukuri activities is perceived as a problem for further activities. In reality, this has meant that the machizukuri group in the Tsukimiyama Honmachi Nichome Area and its Surroundings, which includes the shopping street, became dormant over the next two years. The complex structure of layers mentioned above has also led to an accumulation of activities for each participant. One woman had even turned professional


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and taken the lead of the Nishisuma Danran NPO. “I am here seven days a week. People of this area are really busy with local activities” (Hi.). As a positive aspect, it was remarked that “this is an area were women can be active rather autonomously and vividly.” The successful protest movement against the apartment building was another recurrent theme of the interview. Because of the narrow streets, there are still a great number of vacant land-lots in the area, which raises concern about possible future large-scale redevelopment projects. In 2003, another construction plan was underway, again opposed by the neighbors, but was finally carried through. By the time of the second interview in 2003, Nishisuma Danran NPO had evolved into the center of activity for some of the women. The NPO is in charge of a small community center built by the local association. It offers to dispatch voluntary home helpers, open coffee time, a place for children to gather after school until their mothers return from work and lectures of all kinds (Figure 6.4). One staff member commutes from the neighboring district of Nagata-ku, famous for its variety of machizukuri activities. Asked for her reason, she mentioned that in Nagata, most activities are connected to some kind of local neighborhood association. In these conventional groups: there are all kinds of rules, or hierarchical relations. It is necessary to have something without these. Especially young people . . . they have all kinds of

Figure 6.4 Day-care salon run by Nishisuma Danran NPO (source: author’s own photograph). Note

Welfare for senior citizens is an important field of activities for NPOs.

Machizukuri, civil society, and city plannning 149 good things to contribute that might be impossible in NAs. Because I felt this, and I thought it’s not good, I came here. (S.) The fact that they created an NPO has meant that this is not seen as an individual movement, more, like, an official one, from the outside as well as from the inside. People from this area as well as we ourselves (staff members) have the feeling that we have to continue it in a clear, precise form. (Hi.) Apparently, this type of cooperation between local association and NPO, where the association offers a space and building for activity and at the same time a possibility for volunteers to turn into professionals without the restrictions of conventional types of local groups has proven quite successful, although it leaves the problem of women engaging in underpaid work, as the staff are paid only a very small amount. Generally, although it may be exaggerated to speak of “a stage where residents can have an equal partnership with the administration” (Shaw and Goda 2004: 28), the example of the Tsukimiyama area illustrates an increasing competence of citizens in issues like welfare or environment, which enables them take the initiative for solving problems in their district on their own. How to create a ‘charming’ neighborhood: Okamoto Machizukuri in the area of Okamoto differs with the previous examples in that it is an upper-class neighborhood and not only residents, but also the local shopping street association (shotengai) is involved in the process. Activities started more than ten years before the earthquake and succeeded in creating a variety of regulations. While the percentage of female participation overall is not very high, during the period of active machizukuri the shopping street association was led by a woman for six years. Her interview gives interesting hints not only about the cooperation between residents and shop-owners, but also about the experience of working as a woman in such a position. The Okamoto area is concentrated around the Okamoto station of the private Hankyu railway line. Further up the hill some universities are located, two of which have the image of catering for wealthier students. A shopping street stretches from the station downhill; here too, coffee shops and interior design shops give the neighborhood an upper class image, as do the spacious houses with stone retaining walls on the steep streets behind the station. However, problems resulting from the narrow streets that overflow with pedestrians, bicycles, and cars and the coexistence of shopping facilities and residences led to the inauguration of the Council for a Beautiful Neighborhood Okamoto (Utsukushii machi Okamoto kyogikai) in 1982, which consists mainly


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of land proprietors and representatives of the women’s association and other groups in the area. In 1999, only three of its 17 officers were female; many members have continued for almost 20 years and the input of new faces is an urgent problem. Until 1990, this group created three sets of rules to promote a neighborhood of ‘charm and harmony.’ With only about 10 percent of the houses destroyed in the earthquake, the damage suffered was comparatively small. After the quake, the emphasis of machizukuri shifted to ‘hardware’ improvement, promoted by the shopping street association. This organization has member fees from 235 member shops and can also apply for public funds. Among the shop-owners, a survey in 1999 showed that 25.5 percent of 153 respondents were women (Kobeshi Sangyo Shinkokyoku Chusho Kigyo Shido Senta 2000: 52). Improvements in townscape included a stone paving for the shopping street, a shift of telegraph poles from the streets onto private grounds, a parking lot with a small park, and the construction of a community hall. They were realized through cooperation between residents, shop-owners, administration, and private enterprises like NTT and Kansai Electric. To promote such projects in machizukuri usually requires a complex network of personal relations, especially to members of the city assembly, and complicated administrative procedures. Speaking of her experience during negotiations, the former chairperson said: you may say what you want, it’s a men’s society. Why have I been successful as a female chairperson? It’s because I’m a woman. I say to the men: men think only with their heads. We women are different. We think with our head and our feeling. I’m attacking with real sincerity (honne). In the world of official attitude (tatemae), real sincerity can be very successful. Clearly, in this area themes differ from other neighborhoods, as machizukuri targets not only inhabitants, but “everybody who has a connection to Okamoto,” students, shoppers, etc. The idea of a townscape with a blend of old and modern buildings, an individual style and a combination of quiet and lively elements has grown over the years, a process which has been supported by the cooperation of the residents group, the shopping street association and a consultant. However, there is also a gap between the two groups. Giving the reason for the lack of younger participants in the machizukuri council, the former chairperson said “If you look at what they (the machizukuri council) do, it’s things like let’s plant flowers or let’s clean the streets, it’s only things that are no fun.” At first glance a shopping district for young people, in reality the students have so far served more or less as a background decoration, as apartments in the area are too expensive and many prefer to shop in places where they are not watched by their peers. To involve the students in machizukuri activities is one of the future tasks that require a more enjoyable approach than just cleaning the streets together.

Machizukuri, civil society, and city plannning 151

Professional volunteers, volunteer professionals Most machizukuri councils have a consultant working with them at one point or another, usually financed through the Kobe Machizukuri Center. However, consultants also became involved in a variety of voluntary activities; on the other hand, some volunteers have turned professionals. Two examples will illustrate changes initiated by these professional volunteers or volunteer professionals. Hanshin Green Net This network of urban planners working for the promotion of a greener city started from a project called “Flowers in the Rubble” (Gareki ni hana o). It brought together volunteers from all over the city to seed flowers in the empty lots after the destroyed buildings had been cleared away. As the initiator of the project, a woman working for an urban planning consultant explained, green has a variety of functions. Psychologically, it helped to comfort people who had lost family members, friends, and houses. While not being easy work, the activity of planting flowers outdoors also offered some kind of therapy for the psychological stress (post-traumatic stress disorder) after the quake. In the summer of 1995, it prevented soil being blown away and dust polluting the air. The experience of uncontrollable fires after the quake had also led to a reevaluation of green areas as a safeguard against fire. As a voluntary activity that grew through the network of urban planners and their friends and families, the project took the professionals into their field, into direct contact with the people for whom they were eventually to start planning. In the long run, for the community, greenery is not an easy task. It has to be looked after, it is bothersome and therefore makes cooperation and contact necessary. On the basis of such ‘bothersome’ things, a neighborhood becomes a safe and easy to live in area. This is the idea of the local neighborhood associations. This idea has been revived during the earthquake, even in the big city . . . It is bothersome, but people realized that it also feels good. In 1996, the project was handed over to the more professional hands of a group of landscape and urban planners whose activities help to spread knowledge about gardening and green. In one area, this idea was taken up as a community theme for machizukuri. The project has also influenced the administration, with both Kobe City and Hyogo Prefecture starting green networks. Speaking about her personal experience from the volunteer activity, the woman who initiated the project said: The openings in society that have been created by the earthquake are still there. Or rather, now I know how to create them. In the beginning, I was just using the openings that had been created by chance, but now I learned to find them by ourselves. It’s a feeling like ah, maybe I can do this myself.


Carolin Funck The most important experience for me has been to have learned to keep my own stance.

Gradually, as reconstruction proceeded, professionals retreated from machizukuri activities because many of the citizens and groups involved developed sufficient knowledge themselves. “Those citizens that, as I just mentioned, don’t have to rely on professionals any more, have in a way turned into professionals themselves, of machizukuri, and they run their own neighborhood by themselves.” NPO support centers: Community Support Kobe (CS Kobe) In some cases, involvement in volunteer activities has lead to professionalization. The most advanced cases in Kobe are KEC (Kobe Empowerment Center) and CS Kobe (Community Support Kobe), two NPOs that developed into intermediary organizations who support other volunteer groups and NPOs in their activities. CS Kobe was founded by a woman; in both groups at least half of the staff are female. Asked about activities by women in NPOs, one of the members said: Small volunteer groups like NPOs are just the right size for women who have no professional skills and have only been at home so far. Also, in our projects, many excellent female staff members have appeared. I’m wondering why, but probably, in Japan, even if they are in an enterprise, there are not many places where women can use their abilities to a maximum. In this sense, I think there are many women who want to take up the challenge in a NPO. (E.) Another mentioned that “NPOs couldn’t exist without women participating” (Y.). As a place of work, “compared to companies, there are much more female leaders in NPOs. There is no resistance against a woman becoming a leader and probably nobody will make the judgment that, because she’s a woman, there is not much about it” (Y.). During the process of volunteer activities after the quake, members of CS Kobe realized that many people didn’t like the idea of being helped. This was one of the incentives to get involved in community business. CS Kobe has departed from its original concentration on welfare activities and has started to create community business groups that are supported for a starting period, then left to continue on their own. In seven years 46 groups have been supported; of these, 29 had a female leader. CS Kobe sees one of its tasks as “providing breathing space to women who start activities in the local society, even if they have to take risks” (Nakamura et al. 2004: 42). Projects include a shop that makes boxed lunches (o-bento), a factory that creates clothes for handicapped, a group that teaches computer courses for the elderly, a community solar panel plant, day care centers, and collective housing projects.

Machizukuri, civil society, and city plannning 153 Concerning our approach to machizukuri, it is different from the way administration or enterprises enter an area. Our way of doing it is to take questionnaires and hearings in the area and ask, what problems do you have. On the other hand, we also always ask what can you yourself contribute for the area? . . . The programs we make are not such that we give something to the citizens and they receive it, but that we help solve the problems of the citizens together with the citizens. (E.) CS Kobe is firmly rooted in the Higashi-Nada district. It has cooperated with a large variety of organizations mainly from this area, even with a property district for which they run a day-care facility. Some of the groups it supports make use of empty shops in former markets or shopping streets that have suffered severely from the earthquake and the recession. As do many NPOs, both support centers rely on contracts for entrusted projects from the public administration for a major part of their budget. Most contracts run only for a year, which makes it difficult to retain skilled staff. In 2003, both groups decided to use the year to reconsider their activities as they felt they were too much guided by what was available rather than what they really wanted to do or, in the case of CS Kobe, that they had spread out their activities too widely. Support centers form the avant-garde of NPOs and Kobe has seen an especially steep rise in activities; five years after the NPO law was established, possibilities as well as constraints have become much more visible.

A new civil society? How far have machizukuri activities after the earthquake contributed to the emergence of a stronger civil society? I would like to reconsider themes addressed by the groups, spaces used, and structures of organization and participation. Issues of life quality in connection with pollution or destruction of the environment, including the townscape, are just as high on the agenda of machizukuri groups as they were in the early periods of machizukuri in the 1970s. Here we still encounter the same confrontation between an administration that claims to promote the interests of the city as a whole, while leaving no room for changes on the basic concepts, and the residents defending their immediate neighborhood. While it was a first in urban planning that Kobe City allowed residents to take part in the design of a major road in Suma-Ku and agreed to reduce the number of lanes from four to two (Kobe Shinbun, May 27, 2001, jumin shudo de seibian), the basic fact of construction is not negotiable. A similar problem exists with the construction of apartment buildings, as restrictions to the use of private property remain weak. On the other hand, while residents are very active on a local basis through participation in recycling or park creation, machizukuri groups in Kobe have not taken the theme further on to the level of wider concepts. Because they are defined through neighborhood relations, they have to stay within the area of basic consensus.

154 Carolin Funck The improvement of community relations has been a very important theme. Memories from the days after the earthquake usually refer to a spirit of mutual help, which sometimes turned into a quarrel when land questions had to be discussed. A re-evaluation of traditional local structures in the process of reconstruction leads to a concept of common tasks – which are not always enjoyable – as a condition for a lively neighborhood community. One aspect of the new interest in parks and public spaces is that they provide such a task. This explains why the process of participation itself often seems to be more valued than the outcome. The interest of many local groups is not how to gather more people to reach a certain goal, but how to make more people take part in activities. Many groups thus seem less goal oriented than process oriented. Although cities are places that should allow people to form new “bonds that do not rely on kinship ties, neighborliness, communal sentiments” (Wirth 1938, cited in Massey et al. 1999: 164), these ties seem to be very strong in Kobe. However, the ideal of a neighborhood where people know and support each other does not appeal to everybody. As some younger NPO-workers remarked, “shopping in a convenience store is just fine for me, and I don’t want to be asked by my neighbors when I will get married!” (Y.) To define new forms of neighborhood acceptable for different age, gender, and social groups is a future task for machizukuri. Reconstruction and funding available after the quake have helped to create and improve public space in a wide variety of forms. While much of this space is set aside for commercial uses or connected to private buildings and therefore only apparently public, machizukuri groups have taken over the important task of managing many of these kind of spaces. Public places like parks and semipublic places like the narrow lanes in private ownership used to have a fixed form of management and appearance or in the case of the latter, a fixed destiny of being widened and paved. Now parks are used to promote a greener city with elements of running water in a variety of styles and lanes are recognized as an important part of neighborhoods. On top of this, activities of NPOs have created new kinds of semi-public spaces: empty shops used for day-care services open to everybody or private land turned into fields of flowers. A wider variety of public spaces translates into increasing possibilities to meet and discuss. Certainly, opportunities for citizens to speak out on their opinions have increased not only space-wise. Workshops have become a common tool of machizukuri; committees of city and prefecture include representatives of citizens groups; development plans are discussed on the internet. However, what happens with the results of workshops, meetings, internet discussions? How are these opinions translated into political action? Kobe City and Hyogo Prefecture both introduced ordinances based on the law for the promotion of citizen participation. Both drew fire not only from local assembly members, who saw their role as representatives endangered by elements of direct democracy, but also from NPOs, who criticized them as an attempt to integrate citizens as voluntary helpers into the administrative routine. Finally, female participation in all processes connected to machizukuri has

Machizukuri, civil society, and city plannning 155 definitely increased too, although it differs widely depending on the type of organization and is strongly biased towards themes of welfare and education. In these fields, tasks and problems that formerly have been dealt with inside the families have become a public issue and this has led to an increase in NPOs that take over such tasks. In these new public areas, women have been able to activate their know-how and contribute to a creative reconstruction (Nakamura et al. 2004: 49). It also seems clear that it is easier to participate in newer types of organizations that don’t use the principle of household representation. This would shift the emphasis to NPOs. However, as one woman interviewed put it, it is necessary that they participate in machizukuri groups, because “it’s the women who live here all the day” (H.). As many households faced financial problems after the disaster when they rebuilt their homes, and many jobs in traditional small and medium companies have been lost through economic restructuring as the economic crisis drags on, women increasingly have to work, which strengthens their position. Some work with NPOs or the new welfare and community businesses, which offer interesting but often low-paid jobs. At the same time, some of these groups are among the most innovative elements of the urban society in Kobe and the fact that most of their staff are female seems to contribute to that.

Acknowledgement This research has been supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Japan (Grand-in-Aid for Scientific Research (B) 16320114).

References Hanshin Daishinsai Fukko Shimin Machizukuri Shien Nettowaku (2001a). Machizukuri no keifu to tenkai (Geneology and Development of Machizukuri). Kobe: Hanshin Daishinsai Fukko Shimin Machizukuri Shien Nettowaku. —— (2001b). Shinsai fukko machizukuri ‘gonen to kongo’ (Disaster Reconstruction Machizukuri ‘5 Years and in Future’). Kobe: Hanshin Daishinsai Fukko Shimin Machizukuri Shien Nettowaku. Hirayama, Yosuke. (2000). Collapse and Reconstruction: Housing Recovery Policy in Kobe after the Hanshin Great Earthquake. Housing Studies. 5(1): 111–128. Hohn, Uta. (2000). Stadtplanung in Japan. Dortmund: Dortmunder Vertrieb für Bau- und Planungsliteratur. Kobeshi Sangyo Shinkokyoku Chusho Kigyo Shido Senta (2000). Okamoto shotengai shindan hokokusho (Report on the Diagnosis of Okamoto Shopping Street). Kobe: Kobeshi Sangyo Shinkokyoku Chusho Kigyo Shido Senta. Massey, Doreen, Allen, John, and Pile, Steve. (eds) (1999). City Worlds. London and New York: Routledge. Nakamura, Junko, Mori, Ayako, and Kiyohara, Keiko. (2004). Hinotori no joseitachi (Women of the Phoenix). Kobe: Hyogo Futasho. Nihon Kenchiku Gakkai Kinki Shibu Kankyo Hozen Bukai (1996). Jumin sanka no fukko


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machizukuri wo mezashite (Aiming for Reconstruction Machizukuri with Citizen Participation). Kobe: Nihon Kenchiku Gakkai Kinki Shibu Kankyo Hozen Bukai. —— (2000). Machizukuri kyogikai ni yoru shinsai fukko machizukuri kensho (Evaluation of Disaster Reconstruction Machizukuri Through Machizukuri Councils). Kobe: Nihon Kenchiku Gakkai Kinki Shibu Kankyo Hozen Bukai. Pekkanen, Robert. (2000). Japan’s New Politics: The Case of the NPO Law. Journal of Japanese Studies. 26(1): 111–148. Shaw, Rajib and Goda, Katsuichiro. (2004). From Disaster to Sustainable City Society: The Kobe Experience. Disasters 28(1): 16–40. Shimin Katsudo Senta Kobe (2000). Grupu meibo 2000 (Group List 2000). Kobe: Shimin Katsudo Senta. Sumiyoshi Hamate Machizukuri no Kai (2001). Dai5kai teiki sokai giansho, 1.4.2001 (Agenda for the 5th Regular General Assembly). Kobe: Sumiyoshi Hamate Machizukuri no Kai.

Interviews Letters in brackets after quotes in the text specify the person. CS Kobe, 2 March 2001. Flowers in the Rubble, 19 May 2001. Kobe Empowerment Center, 1 March 2001, 10 June 2003. Nishisuma Danran, 15 July 2003. Okamoto Shotengai, 26 May 2001. Sumiyoshi Hamate Machizukuri no Kai, 13 April 2001, 10 June 2003. Tsukimiyama honmachi nichome to sono shuhen Machizukuri no Kai, 14 April 2001.


Earthquake reconstruction machizukuri and citizen participation Atsuko Ito

Introduction Citizen participation and local communities have been significant themes since the end of the 1960s in Japan. In the late 1960s, local residents’ campaigns were fought against local governments who conducted top–down city planning in Japan. In those movements, the local residents demanded the right to participate in deciding policies to realize genuine local democracy. During the last 30 years, new ideas about residents’ participation, or citizen participation, and partnership working with local government have been much studied. Reconstruction machizukuri after the Great Hanshin Earthquake, which occurred in the Kobe area in 1995, shows us much about the reality of ‘citizen participation’ or ‘local community.’ This chapter examines case studies of local communities in the aftermath of the earthquake, and speculates on the development of machizukuri in Japan. In considering what kind of people and groups play a leading part in machizukuri, I would like to focus on two points. One question is how the volunteer groups and Non Profit Organizations (NPOs) that have recently been set up in Japan are developing and spreading within Japanese society. The other is how traditional Japanese local groups like neighborhood associations (jichikai, chonaikai) are restructuring themselves to carry out new machizukuri activities. Neighborhood associations (NAs) are the most general Japanese local group, which are organized in more than 90 percent of neighborhood areas in Japan (see also Chapter 11, this volume). They consist of almost all the households (not persons) in each NA area. They usually play the role of helping residents get acquainted with each other and passing on information from local government to residents. It is important to consider both together. In this chapter, however, I will be examining the latter point in particular.

Community and machizukuri studies in urban sociology in Japan In urban sociology in Japan, community studies or, as it is known in Japan, machizukuri study, which regards citizen participation as an important theme, is closely connected to the social background and urban problems in each period.


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There are high expectations from both government and citizens that community planning should help to solve the problems of the urbanizing local society. This section looks at the history of community study, focusing on the connection with the social background from the 1960s onwards, when the social structure showed a real change and community became a theme in Japan. Community in the 1960s At the end of 1960s, the community policy started to deal with anomic conditions of the urbanizing society such as deterioration of the housing environment, the loss of social relationships, a crime wave among youth, indifference to politics, and so on. Since then, ‘community’ has been a keyword to realize a civil society. The local residents’ campaign made residents’ participation a significant and concrete theme in community organization. It is still a basic theme today. The 1960s saw a boom in suburbanization, causing the relocation of residents. Industrialization and urbanization increased rapidly with the rapid economic growth period. Population concentration in large city areas and suburbanization were the norm during those days and building communities among the new residents in the suburban areas became a priority. The late 1960s in particular saw the start of citizens’ movements, including anti-pollution, environmental, and community improvement projects, chiefly instigated by new and middle-class suburban residents. The importance of community organizing began to be discussed as a countermeasure toward rapid social changes caused by high economic growth, urbanization and the crisis and decline of the traditional community. A policy of ‘priority on daily life’ was also proposed in response to the overemphasis on economic values. Residents’ movements beginning at this time were a sign that residents themselves started emphasizing their right for ‘living’ and the importance of ‘daily life’ due to the dark side of economic growth, i.e. pollution, and the deterioration of the living environment. The report titled “Community – a recovery of humanity in the living environment” of 1969 was the first report in Japan that dealt with community policy. This report placed expectations on ‘community’ as a measure to save “humanity in the daily living environment” that had been missing in the rapid social change. It comments that community “hasn’t spread widely in Japan yet” or “is an idea without a clear concept” (Kokumin Seikatsu Shingikai 1969: introduction). It could be said that Japanese community policy and community studies started at this time. Community in the 1970s In the 1970s, studies on the possibilities of ‘new community’ stand out, which succeeded and developed from community studies in the 1960s and envisioned the development of ‘civil society’ through independence and unity. The issues addressed by residents’ movements started showing some changes

Earthquake reconstruction machizukuri 159 in the 1970s. Okuda characterizes these new changes by describing them as a shift “from an urbanizing society to an urban-type society” and states that “the issues taken up by the movements did not directly attack the administration but started to attempt to enlarge the boundary area between the administration and residents movements in a long-term process” (Okuda 1983: vi). If the main issue of the 1960s could be characterized as ‘resistance,’ then that of the 1970s showed an increasing tendency to focus on the issue of responsible leadership. On the other hand, the 1970s saw the beginning of community policy at the level of the local government, policies focused on building community facilities, developing the living environment and promoting self-management and the operation of community facilities. Community in the 1980s The biggest urban issue during the 1980s was the inner-city problem referred to as the ‘crisis of the large city.’ A range of issues occurred in the center of large cities. Population decrease, closing of inner-city factories, aging and a deterioration of the living environment began to become apparent as urban decline phenomena due to industrial restructuring and suburbanization. Therefore, community studies started to focus on the reproduction of cities. Unlike suburban areas, the inner-city is a mixed district where houses, industry, and commerce overlap. It has a history as a built-up area with diversity and heterogeneity. Compared to the community studies for suburban areas, research on inner-city areas became more realistic and rigorous. Organization theories concerning several subjects were advanced and the late 1980s saw the development of voluntary association theories which paid attention to various voluntary groups and network theories (community liberating theories) with a focus on personal networks. Community in the 1990s Research centering on neighborhood associations was carried out from the late 1980s through to the beginning of the 1990s. Even in the ‘resident organization theory,’ some research on the neighborhood association had existed. Modernization theory considers the neighborhood association as being at odds with modernization and urbanization. It emphasizes that the neighborhood association fulfilled the function as the smallest unit of national organization during the war and it is still a subordinated organization of the administration. On the other hand, if you refer to Yoshiwara (2000: 143), who emphasizes that these types of theories come in many variations and are therefore difficult to consider together, the common feature of ‘cultural pattern theories’ is the emphasis on structural continuity. In his introduction to his book Research on Neighborhood Associations, Iwasaki et al. (1989) refer to the discussion on community and association by R. M. MacIver, and gives the neighborhood associations a basic status as


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“associations linked through living.” On the basis of historical analysis and questionnaire surveys, he points out that nowadays it is difficult to manage all the community activities only through the neighborhood association and that there is the possibility of producing a community through cooperation between various associations. He concludes, however, that “both possibilities are conceivable, and the overall evaluation hasn’t been reached yet” (Iwasaki et al. 1989: 3). Nakata (1993: 19) summarizes the undifferentiated and inclusive character of the functions of neighborhood associations as “joint regional management functions”. He also argues that “The inclusive and undifferentiated character of the functions should be evaluated positively, not negatively, as a synthesis.” Neighborhood Associations and Regional Groups, edited by Kurasawa and Akimoto (1990), places the emphasis on neighborhood associations and other associations. Ochi (1990: 260) defines the voluntary association by saying: People who were conscious of personal needs and common needs which don’t go well especially with the labor-division of specialized services introduced with the urban lifestyle, voluntarily unite and form a network as an independent and creative relation aiming at achieving their goals. A social relation with such a character is called the voluntary association. As for the possibilities which the neighborhood association has for now and in the future, he poses the question of “how do they absorb the daily and common energy of voluntary action and association?” and points at the fact that “the neighborhood associations absorb from the voluntary associations mid/longterm community planning power that overlooks the life structure of the neighborhood society and thus refresh their self-preservation” (Ochi 1990: 276). Studies into the voluntary associations or networks became prominent in the 1990s with the advance of the network society based on the age of information, and also emerged in the field of ‘civil activity’ or ‘civil society.’ The network society discussion garnered a lot of attention in Japan, and developed primarily from the ‘community liberated’ argument of Barry Wellman. This is one of the views on community issues as to how the development of industrial and bureaucratic-style division transforms people’s primary bonds. Concerning this question, ‘community lost’ argument of Ferdinand Tönnies and Louis Wirth and the ‘community saved’ argument of Herbert Gans had been in discussion, but now as a third viewpoint against these two, there is a discussion along the lines of “close bonds got liberated from spatial restrictions by the development of traffic and communication means and continue to exist in the form of networks spread over a large area” (Matsumoto 2000: 42). The future direction of ‘community’ In the late 1960s, when the word ‘community’ was still new and freshly appeared as a policy, ‘community’ produced great expectations as a solution for

Earthquake reconstruction machizukuri 161 the anomic situation which urbanization brought. Since then it has been used as a slogan for the achievements of civil society, but with the rise of local residents’ movements, more forms of local residents’ participation or citizens participation have become the main subject. Subsequently, local residents’ participation and citizens’ participation became a fundamental theme for a while and when Machizukuri, with a mid/long-term perspective started to develop in the existing local society, research on the participants of actual community formation in local societies began to be built up. In Japanese society, research on neighborhood associations and self-government forms the foundation to the research of local residents’ organizations, but it has been developed into a study targeting also voluntary associations and personal networks. In 1995, when the Hanshin/Awaji earthquake occurred, various studies on networks were presented as previously stated. During that process, ‘Machizukuri’ which has a more practical and dynamic meaning than ‘community,’ has begun to be settled gradually in local society as well as in the research field. It is time for the various groups and networks to ask themselves comprehensively what kind of relations they should have with the usual selfgovernment organizations and how machizukuri should be developed. Community study and the Great Hanshin Earthquake Yamashita (1996: 71) understands the earthquake as a typical ‘community disaster,’ and notes that it is a significant historical turning point for communities. As he notes: “Community disaster is the opportunity to think about community itself again, and it is also the opportunity to strengthen the structure of it.” Another characteristic of society after the earthquake is that volunteers made a great progress in various aspects, especially in social welfare. The volunteers possess widespread networks, and it seems that their activities are not bound to locality. But as a matter of fact, they have much to do with community and a lot of them root in their base community. It can be argued that the fusion of local community and volunteer activities is a new pattern of Machizukuri. Urano (1999: 232) says that the volunteer activities play a new role in community disaster prevention, which will help the task of neighborhood community: “The local activities of residents still have a fundamental meaning for safe community. Then we have to clarify how the practices of various volunteer activities will connect to residents’ community activities.” The Great Hanshin Earthquake and the following reconstruction process therefore has caused renewed interest in community activities by residents or volunteers as a pattern of modern urban society.

The Great Hanshin Earthquake The Hanshin earthquake was an opportunity to reconsider the significance of local community. Immediately after the earthquake, people in the stricken area


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were not able to get any help from the local government or volunteers from outside the area because the damage was too severe. So they helped each other within their neighborhoods and rescued a lot of people from collapsed houses. In particular, in areas where the residents had engaged in community activities in their daily lives before the earthquake this experience created a strong framework for cooperative rescue and relief activities. For example in the Mano area, where machizukuri has been supported by residents for 30 years, the accumulation of this experience was turned to its advantage as people were able to organize quickly; elderly people were helped to safe places, and fires were prevented immediately after the earthquake by means of a ‘bucket relay’ by residents using water from nearby factories that had also participated in the machizukuri process (e.g. Konno 2001; Support NPO for Hanshin reconstruction 1995). This showed that daily community activities are very effective in an emergency. Moreover, in the process of reconstruction more generally, those areas showed relatively faster recovery from damage. Inner-city problems and the Hanshin Earthquake Kobe’s inner city, which is characterized with mixed-use of housing, commerce, and small businesses was severely damaged by the earthquake. In inner-city areas there were many old houses which collapsed easily, and a disproportionate number of the elderly people who lived there lost their lives. Also, much higher numbers of fatalities were recorded in the inner city than in newer areas in the suburbs, as shown in Table 7.1. Furthermore, recovery and reconstruction after the earthquake was slow in the inner city. The elderly, tenants and self-employed people were in a particuTable 7.1 The number of deaths in the Kobe inner city* and suburbs by age groups Ward Higashinada Nada Chuo Hyogo Nagata Suma Tarumi Kita Nishi Total

Age 0–64

Over age 65


827 484 111 254 366 162 2 4 4

589 420 117 251 506 200 6 3 3

1,416 904 228 505 872 362 8 7 7




Source: Kobe City (1996) Hanshin Awaji Daishinsai – Kobe-shi no kiroku 1995 (The Great Hanshin Earthquake – The Record of Kobe City in 1995). Note * Inner-city area in Kobe City includes parts of Higashinada, Nada, Chuo, Hyogo, Nagata, and Suma wards.

Earthquake reconstruction machizukuri 163 larly severe situation. The problems they have are interrelated. That is, it is difficult for older people to get new jobs, while elderly people and tenants may not be able to obtain a loan. If these people are not able to return to their homes, only few people buy and consume in the area, and the local economy won’t recover. Because of these conditions, the reconstruction of individual lives and livelihoods in areas where large numbers of elderly, tenants, and self-employed lived was delayed. Consequently, the reconstruction of the inner-city areas where such people were concentrated was also held up. Areas where inner-city problems had been serious before the earthquake were not reconstructed smoothly. We can conclude that as a result of the Hanshin earthquake, the innercity problem, such as decline in population, industry, and businesses became clearer and became worse than it was before the earthquake. The inner-city problem was deeply related to Kobe City’s land-use planning policies before the earthquake. After World War II, Kobe City actively developed land for the expansion of the city. Kobe City’s land development technique can be characterized as ‘moving the mountains to the sea,’ that is, earth stripped from the mountains to create leveled surfaces for new town development is used to reclaim land from the sea, so resulting in developable land in both areas. It was easier and more efficient to develop new suburban areas than to deal with the inner city, because the latter needs more time to coordinate agreement with residents (Kobe City 1982), (see Chapters 2 and 6, this volume). However, this method tends to prevent residents’ participation in community development. Moreover, it has not been functioning well in the current economic climate since the system is premised on the growth of the economy and land prices. In order to resolve the inner-city problem, citizen participation is becoming ever more important. Nevertheless, we can find similarities between pre- and post-earthquake policies. Reconstruction machizukuri after the earthquake Kobe City decided to carry out comprehensive planned reconstruction in parts of the areas that were most severely damaged just two months after the earthquake. Six areas (about 125 hectares) were designated as statutory land readjustment project areas, and two areas (about 26 hectares) were designated as statutory urban redevelopment project areas. These areas correspond to about three percent of Kobe City’s designated disaster area (Kobe City 1995). The decision caused a great deal of controversy, because it was taken without the consent of local residents in the confusion after the earthquake. Some residents started campaigns to oppose it, and others suggested alternative plans. There was a lot of dispute, especially about the way the decision was made. This ‘one-sided’ decision brought about feelings of mistrust towards the administration on the part of residents, which was to become a barrier blocking the smooth operation of reconstruction machizukuri. Finally, reconstruction machizukuri councils were established in each project area according to the urban planning


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law. Machizukuri councils are organizations composed of landowners, residents, private consultants, and others who are interested in the area. Kobe City introduced the concept of Kobe City Machizukuri Councils in 1981 (Supporter’s Network for Community Development Machizukuri 1999); (Evans 2002). Changing from ‘reconstruction machizukuri’ to ‘everyday machizukuri’ One of the lessons learned from the earthquake is the importance of community for residents. After the earthquake, due to the large-scale land readjustment and redevelopment projects, the number of machizukuri councils increased rapidly to reach 97 by March 1999, while the number was only 29 before the earthquake. The system of machizukuri councils was expected to result in the decentralization of power and increased citizen participation in local affairs. Ten years after the quake, however, a new issue has emerged: the difficulty in continuing community activities. Immediately after the earthquake, the emotional attachment to neighborhoods was strong. However, as daily life returned to normal conditions, it became more and more difficult to maintain this feeling and to continue the activities. Most machizukuri councils in Kobe were established for urban planning projects after the earthquake. Therefore, machizukuri was a process of trial and error under the strict restrictions imposed by urban planning. In many areas, after the projects are finished, the machizukuri councils are likely to dissolve. However, some areas start taking action toward creating communities for better daily lives, making use of their experience.

The case of reconstruction machizukuri in Rokkomichi Station north district The Rokkomichi Station area, in Kobe’s Nada ward, was one of the areas most damaged by the earthquake. Kobe City decided on March 17, 1995 to designate this area as a statutory urban planning project area, not only to reconstruct the district but also to expand its function as one of the city’s sub-centers. The Rokkomichi Station south district, which is located to the south of the station, was designated as a statutory Urban Redevelopment Project area. The Rokkomichi Station west district (the south-west part) and the Rokkomichi Station north district (north part) were designated as statutory Land Readjustment Project areas. This area has developed as an eastern residential area of Kobe City since the national railways Rokkomichi Station was built in 1934. As this area escaped damage during World War II, it remained an area that was densely built-up with wooden houses, and the aging of both the population and the wooden housing stock became a problem. Although the residential environment was crowded and filled with aging buildings, it seems that the area was considered convenient and comfortable to live in by its residents. In 1965, the area around Rokkomichi

Earthquake reconstruction machizukuri 165 Station was designated the eastern sub-center in Kobe City’s Master Plan. After the earthquake, this concept was enforced through the designation of a large urban redevelopment area. The western sub-center around Shin-Nagata Station in Nagata ward, even more severely damaged, was to be redeveloped on an even larger scale. The Rokkomichi south district covers an area of 5.9 hectares. At the time the earthquake struck, about 1,400 people, in 700 households, lived in the district. About 80 percent of the houses collapsed, and 32 people died. This area was completely rebuilt as an urban redevelopment project with high-rise apartment and commercial buildings. The west district is 3.6 hectares in size. When the earthquake occurred there were about 1,100 people, in 500 households, living in the district. The rate of collapse for the houses there was about 70 percent and 60 residents in all died in the district. Many elderly people in the district died due to the collapse of the old houses and the resulting fires. The north district covers an area of 16.1 hectares. At the time of the earthquake, about 4,200 people, in 1,800 households, were living in the district. About 70 percent of houses were destroyed here too. A fire broke out, and many houses were burned down. In total, 72 residents died. The west and north district were designated as land readjustment areas, were houses would be relocated to allow for wider streets and parks. The north district case study Taking the north district as a case study, I will pay particular attention to the following three issues. The first is the issue of trust between the residents and the Kobe City government. The second is the machizukuri focus on parks, which is a characteristic of the district. The last issue is concerned with the people who take part in machizukuri. It is worth asking, how has the relationship between the residents and Kobe City changed during the period since the earthquake? The outline planning decision by Kobe City for its reconstruction was deeply unpopular with the residents. This was because Kobe City made the decision too quickly without listening to the residents’ opinions. A voluntary group called the ‘Rokko Association for New Machizukuri’ was organized by the residents. They collected written opinions opposing the decision. However, the reconstruction plan was formally approved on March 17. The residents’ leader in the district, looking back on the decision, said, “It caused victims great embarrassment and fear and gave us nothing but a feeling of distrust toward the government” (Yabuta 1999: 76). The association members held a meeting to learn more about the land readjustment project and engaged in collecting residents’ opinions for more than six months until the reconstruction machizukuri councils were established. The aim was to stop Kobe City from taking the initiative to carry forward its version of machizukuri (United Machizukuri Council of Rokkomichi Station North District 2001).


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The debate about the plan for the park was the first opportunity to re-establish a relationship of trust between the residents and Kobe City. The land readjustment project plan to construct a one-hectare park caused a great deal of argument within the machizukuri councils, because the residents had to give parts of their land for the new park. Some people didn’t want to lose the land that they had owned for generations. Some people were afraid that their plot would become too small to reconstruct their houses and to keep living in the district. In May 1996, as a result of negotiations with Kobe City, the north district succeeded in reducing the area of the park to 0.8 hectares in order that as many residents as possible could remain in the district. Taking this opportunity, the residents and City officials began to learn to work together for better machizukuri. Since then, this district has been making ‘suggestions’ to the local government to advance machizukuri. The word ‘suggestion’ is significant. It is different from ‘demand’ or ‘request.’ It means, “this is our idea. We think it is the best. What do you think about it? If you have a better one, please let us know.” In case the residents’ idea is good, realizing the residents’ idea entirely is the easier way also for the government rather than making plans by themselves and try hard to persuade the residents into accepting their plans. As the residents come up with ideas for themselves, it can result in practical discussions with the government. Moreover, the discussion goes on to create better ideas. The use of parks as tools for machizukuri The north district is 16.1 hectares in size. It is divided into eight machizukuri councils whose areas were based on the existing NA boundaries. A ‘Joint Machizukuri Council’ was set up to discuss the common issues of the district. The Joint Machizukuri Council decided to form five committees in February 1997 for housing reconstruction, disaster prevention, the living environment, roads and open spaces, and the park. I will introduce some of the work and ideas of the park group as an example. In the park group, the residents were very eager to discuss the kind of parks they wanted as the City government was quoted as saying, “We want to be positive in taking account of residents’ opinions.” The group organized a study tour of other parks, and asked elementary school children and junior high school students their opinions about the park. Next, the Rokkomichi Station North District Park Management Group was formed in August 1998. This group has some unique characteristics. Usually, a park management group manages only an existing park. In this case, they managed the 0.8-hectare park and another park of 0.1 hectares, while both were under construction. This idea of managing all the parks in the area, including both half-finished and existing ones, was new. The leader of the park management group said, “We came to think about the future of a park by creating a management group for it.” This management group started a new project. They intended to get residents

Earthquake reconstruction machizukuri 167

Figure 7.1 Tea-time after cleaning Hiehara Park, Kobe.

involved in the management of the parks. First, work began with the cleaning of the small existing Hiehara Park. The leader of the park management group was worried whether there would be any participants at first. These days, more than 30 people of various ages come to clean the park on Sundays. The total number of participants in this activity is more than 5,000 people in the four years since the group was formed. The main purpose of this activity has been changing from cleaning to an opportunity to meet and chat, which contributes to the community development. In addition, the residents learned gardening with the help of experts, and emergency training was held at the park. They are landscaping not only the large park but also the little spaces which we call ‘corner parks’ (machikado-hiroba) by themselves. In this north district, work in the parks begins to contribute to community development. The committee to set up Rokkomichi Station North District Meeting Place was formed in October 2002, to discuss about constructing a meeting place within the main park. A competition was held to decide the design of the meeting place. The judging committee consisted of a panel of ten experts and residents, and there were 19 entries from architects in Kobe. One proposal by a young architect was selected in March 2003. His design idea was a wooden, one-storey house using natural lighting and ventilation. This is named ‘The House of Wind.’ The characteristic of the design is the effective use of wind and


Atsuko Ito

Figure 7.2 The House of the Wind.

sun. The design of the house is simple, and harmonizes with the park, and it will be also easy to maintain. Therefore, the judging committee concluded this design was worthy of merit. After the selection, the basic design was modified during several workshops with the residents and the designer to come up with a final design. The House of Wind was completed in October 2004, and the residents have organized ‘The House of Wind Club’ to manage the house. The reason why they used the word ‘club’ is that it has a familiar image unlike neighborhood association or machizukuri council, which have a more formal one. They are going to try to manage the meeting place by membership dues. The members will be recruited not only from the residents but also from people outside the district. The leader of the park management group thinks a ‘never completed’ park is ideal. In general, the park and the meeting place will be completed through the land readjustment project, which will be finished in 2006. However, she thinks this is just the beginning, and hopes to keep developing the park further. It is not easy to bring her plans to fruition because the maintenance and development of a park will need the help of many people. Besides, a financially independent system of management will be necessary. At any rate, the parks in this area have great potential for developing machizukuri.

Earthquake reconstruction machizukuri 169 Who engages in machizukuri? A sixth group was established in the district in May 1998. It is the ‘Committee to Organize the Neighborhood Association.’ It was considered that the base of community activities will change from the ‘machizukuri councils’ to the ‘neighborhood association’ after the land readjustment project is finished. In this district, before the earthquake there was no network and each NA operated independently. Furthermore, like many other areas in Japan, some residents didn’t know of the existence of a NA in their district, while others didn’t have a favorable impression of the NA, which tended to consist of regular, elderly members. In the committee, members learned about the local history and festivals from those who had lived in the area for a long time. Then they discussed how to continue machizukuri. As a result, they decided to establish five sub-groups for: disaster prevention, housing reconstruction, living environment, roads and open spaces, and parks at each NA. The members of the sub-groups from each NA held meetings to work together with each other. They also set the executive members’ age limit at 75. One of the characteristics of traditional Japanese NA is that the leaders inform the residents about information and directions from the local government. The information was always passed down by the government and residents hardly thought about their community for themselves. After the earthquake, the residents recognized the disadvantages of this process. Now they are trying to build a system where they can share information, solve their problems by themselves, and suggest ideas to the local government. A member of the machizukuri council explains it as follows, “After the earthquake, a lot of able persons whom we had never seen before participated in machizukuri. There must be still quite a few people who would like to do something for their local district.” The members of NA officers are also changing. For example, at Rokkochonichome NA, in this district, the NA officers were to be in rotation before the earthquake. Now, more than half of the officers of the new NA consists of volunteer members of the machizukuri council. And the tenure of the chair is set to be two years in order to keep freshness. Other NAs show a similar tendency. However, it is true that there are a few NAs that didn’t succeed in changing the system smoothly from machizukuri council (reconstruction machizukuri version) to a new NA (daily life machizukuri version). They are going back to the old pre-earthquake system. It could be a vital key to the sustainability of machizukuri efforts to reconstruct the NA to enable a variety of talented people previously hidden in the district to engage in machizukuri activities.


Atsuko Ito

Conclusions: the changing local community and the type of people and organizations for machizukuri As we have seen earlier in the chapter, community and machizukuri studies in Japan have been emphasizing the question of how the various groups, networks and neighborhood associations will organize relationships in the community. We have also expected their fusion as a new pattern of machizukuri. Although machizukuri in this district has just started and cannot answer this question perfectly, it gives some indications of the future direction. In this case study we have seen that since the start of reconstruction machizukuri due to the earthquake not only the housing or the townscape, but also the people, local organizations, and networks that get involved in machizukuri have been changing. People who previously had almost nothing to do with the community are able to play leading parts in machizukuri, and existing local groups, especially the NAs, are being reorganized. And the House of Wind Club started well for now. Many residents and more than 100 people from outside the district became club members. The house is used everyday by people and groups from inside and outside the district. Their membership dues and user fees are covering lighting and heating expenses and staff costs. Besides, many people are interested in and come to see to the house and the unique management system, and networks with residents and visitors and the pride of the residents are growing. And best of all, people and groups, including NAs and other associations, are enjoying various activities in the space. We cannot know whether the fundamental vehicle for machizukuri in the future will be the NA, the House of Wind Club, an NPO, or any other group in this district. However, this case shows us a trend within local communities in Japan. We need to observe such cases carefully to better understand the various possibilities for local communities.

References Evans, Neil. (2002). Machi-Zukuri as a new paradigm in Japanese urban planning: reality or myth? Japan Forum. 14(3): 443–464. Iwasaki, Nobuhiko, Ueda, Tadaichi, Hirohara, Moriaki, Ajisaka, Manabu, Takagi, Masao, and Yoshihara, Noki (1989). Chonaikai no kenkyu (Research on Neighborhood Associations). Tokyo: Ochanomizu Shobo. Kobeshi (1982). Toshikeikaku jigyo no ayumi (The Process of Urban Planning Projects). Kobe: Kobeshi. —— (1995). Kobeshi fukko keikaku gaiyoban (Reconstruction Plan of Kobe City: Digest). Kobe: Kobeshi. —— (1996) Hanshin Awaji Daishinsai – Kobeshi no kiroku 1995 (The Great Hanshin Earthquake – the Record of Kobe City in 1995). Kobe: Kobeshi. Kokumin Seikatsu Shingikai. (1969). Komyuniti – seikatsu no ba ni okeru ningensei no kaifuku (The Community – The Revival of Humanity in Life). Tokyo: Keizai Kikaku Cho Minseikatsu Kyoku. Konno, Hiroaki. (2001). Innashiti no komyuniti keisei: Kobeshi Mano jumin no machizukuri (Community Development in the Inner City: Machizukuri of Mano Residents in Kobe). Tokyo: Toshindo.

Earthquake reconstruction machizukuri 171 Kurasawa, Susumu and Akimoto, Ritsuro. (1990). Chonaikai to chiiki shudan (Neighborhood Associations and Local Groups). Kyoto: Minerva Shobo. Matsumoto, Yasushi. (2000). Toshiseikatsu to shakaiteki nettowaku. (Urban life and social networks) In Kiyoshi Morioka (ed.) (2000). Toshishakai no ningenkankei (Urban Life and Social Network). Tokyo: Hosodaigaku Kyoiku Shinkokai. 35–45. Nakata, Minoru. (1993). Chiiki kyodo kanri no shakaigaku. (Sociology of Local Governance). Tokyo: Toshindo. Ochi, Noboru. (1990). Borantari asoshieshon to chonaikai no bunkahenyo. (Cultural change of voluntary association and chonaikai). In Susumu Kurasawa and Ritsuro Akimoto (eds) (1990). Chonaikai to chiiki shudan (Neighborhood Associations and Local Groups). Kyoto: Minerva Shobo. 240–287. Okuda, Michihiro. (1983). Toshi komyuniti no riron (The Theory of Urban Community). Tokyo: Tokyo Daigaku Shuppankai. Support NPO for Hanshin reconstruction. (ed.) (1995). Mano machizukuri to shinsai kara no fukko (Mano Machizukuri and the Reconstruction from the Earthquake). Tokyo: Jichitai Kenkyusha. Supporter’s Network for Community Development Machizukuri (1999). Key Terminology in Restoration from Hanshin Earthquake Disaster. Kyoto: Gakugei Shuppansha. United Machizukuri Council of Rokkomichi Station North District (2001). Rokkomichieki kitachiku fukko machizukuri kirokushi “Ashita e” (A Record of Reconstruction Machizukuri in Rokkomichi Station North District “Towards Tomorrow”). Kobe: United Machizukuri Council of Rokkomichi Station North District. Urano, Masaki. (1999). Toshi to kikikanri: Chiikibosai to borantia nettowaku. In Hiro Fujita and Naoki Yoshiwara (eds) (1999). Toshi shakaigaku, (Cities and Crisis Management). Tokyo: Yuhikaku. 217–233. Yabuta, Kazuhiko. (1999). Rokkomichieki kitachiku shinsaifukko e no ayumi (Rokkomichi station north district –the process of disaster reconstruction). Toshi Seisaku. 95: 69–82. Yamashita, Yusuke. (1996). Komyuniti saigai no shakaigakuteki imi: Hanshindaishinsai wo kangaeru (The sociological meaning of the community disaster: thinking about the Great Hanshin Earthquake). Shakai bunseki. 23: 59–74. Yoshiwara, Naoki. (2000). Chiiki jumin soshiki ni okeru kyodosei to kokyosei – chonaikai wo chushin to shite (Community and publicity in neighborhood groups: the case of Chonaikai). Shakaigaku Hyoron. 50(4): 141–153.


Machizukuri and historical awareness in the old town of Kobe Hiroshi Nunokawa

Introduction One important aspect of machizukuri is that it attempts the reconstruction of spaces and the practice of place governance from the point of view of the values and priorities of the people (Enami and Mitsuhashi 1989). A fundamental characteristic of machizukuri is the attempt to involve a wider range of local people in deciding the priorities for local place management. Each actor has an identity, and historical factors hold an important place in these identities. There is thus a strong connection between machizukuri and historical awareness. The values in a place that people attempt to defend or enhance through machizukuri are informed by their interpretation of the history of the area. Simultaneously, people’s historical memories are reconstructed through the process of machizukuri. This chapter examines the attempt by a local history circle to proactively redefine the meaning of their local history. This chapter explains the interaction between machizukuri and historical awareness through research by the Machizukuri Council formed in Nishide machi, Higashide machi, and Higashikawasaki cho, which are representative of the old town of Kobe. The members of the history circle, mentioned later, call the whole area including Nishide machi, Higashide machi, Higashikawasaki cho, and the part of Hyogo, ‘Kitahama’ (which translates literally as ‘north beach’ or ‘north shore’). This area of Kitahama is a unique place for studying machizukuri. It is not only a development area for machizukuri schemes, but also a mix of important historical memories. We can therefore see interesting variations of machizukuri in one place.

Medieval Hyogo-tsu and modern Kobe port Since Taira-no Kiyomori built the big port of ‘Owada-no-tomari,’ later known as ‘Hyogo-tsu,’ for improving trade between China and Japan in the twelfth century, Hyogo-tsu became the most important port for inland-sea traffic in medieval Japan. Moreover, the amount of trade in Hyogo-tsu was more than that in Lübeck, a central city of the Hanseatic League in the same era (Imatani 1992). In the seventeenth century, the Tokugawa Shogunate opened the west-bound

Machizukuri and historical awareness 173

Figure 8.1 Kitahama: Nishide, Higashide, and Higashi kawasaki. Note This is an outline map of the area around Kitahama. The dark zone in the upper right indicates Nishide, Higashide, and Higashikawasaki area.

domestic shipping line called ‘Nishi-mawari Koro,’ and Hyogo-tsu became more developed. The traditional jichikai (the ‘self-governing’ or neighborhood association) of Hyogo-tsu, called the traditional ‘machi’ or ‘cho’ in Japanese, was organized in the early-modern age (Murata 1898). In 1868 the port of Kobe was opened to international trade, and after 30 years, when the amount of trade at Kobe surpassed that at Yokohama, Kobe became the largest port in Japan, functioning as the deep-water port of the whole Kansai area. A foreign settlement was built in association with the port opening, and from there European culture quickly spread out from Kobe. The town of Kitahama is located between the ports of Hyogo-tsu and Kobe. Nishide-machi was developing as a suburban area (called de-machi, so Nishidemachi translates literally as western suburb, and Higashide-machi as eastern suburb) of Hyogo, in the late eighteenth century. When the port of Kobe was opened, foreign trade was developing rapidly, and a big dockyard was built at Higashikawasaki cho in 1884. As a result, the labor markets for stevedores and ship carpenters were growing, and the population of Kitahama was increasing (Nunokawa 1993). Consequently, Kitahama had characteristics of both traditional Hyogo-tsu and modern Kobe port.


Hiroshi Nunokawa

Place and people It is possible to catch glimpses of the atmosphere and characteristics of a place through the life stories of people. Many famous people originated from the Kitahama area and their life stories personalize some characteristics of Kobe. Toyohiko Kagawa is known as a prominent social reformer in the world. He was born in Shimagami-cho of Hyogo, near Kitahama, in 1888. The various social movements he started in Kobe, such as social welfare associations, labor unions, farmers unions, and consumer co-operatives spread nationwide, and his international peace movement also became very famous around the world in the 1930s (Nunokawa 1997). Kitahama was one of the central bases of the stevedores that represented the workers of Kobe. The bosses of the stevedores had enormous powers in Kobe’s underground world. One of them was Harukichi Yamaguchi, and he was the first boss, called kumi-cho, of the most famous and widespread gangster (yakuza) organization, namely, the Yamaguchi-gumi. Yamaguchi lived in, and was based in, Kitahama. After the war, Yamaguchi-gumi became the biggest gangster organization and spread over a wide area in Japan, and it is still based in Kobe nowadays. Ko Nakauchi, founder of the company Daiei, who revolutionized the distribution and retail industries of Japan, was born in a small drugstore in Kitahama in 1922. He opened a store for housewives, called Daiei, in Osaka in 1957, that grew into one of Japan’s largest department store chains by the 1980s. In doing so, he ignited the distribution revolution in the postwar period. In recent years, Daiei became a symbol of management crisis after the so-called “bubble economy” crash in the late 1980s. Many famous people have close ties with Kitahama. It is very interesting that this small area produced a number of such famous people. And it is noteworthy that such people are remembered by Kobe citizens as representatives of Kobe. It is thus not too much to say that Kitahama is a place that concentrates many of the characteristics of Kobe. The image of Kitahama in Kobe Kenjiro Haitani wrote a novel entitled Taiyo no Ko (The Child of the Sun), and the setting for that novel was Kitahama (Haitani 1998). In this novel, he described Kitahama as follows: The towns of Kobe look like a number of cards lying side by side. And they have contained quite modern sites, including Tor Road, Gaijin Bochi (graveyard of foreigners), and Meriken Hatoba (American quay), since long ago. Moreover, the towns of Kobe make a stylish impression by naming certain places Hana Dokei (flower clock) the square in front of the City Hall, Flower Road, the street from Sannomiya Station to the Kobe custom house, Port Island, Port Tower, and so on.

Machizukuri and historical awareness 175 Certainly, that description is one of the features of Kobe, but in this port town, the tavern where Fu-chan, the heroine of this novel, worked is located in a traditional working-class neighborhood with few picturesque spots. Descending Shinkaichi Street, which was formed by shifting the bank of the Minatogawa river east toward the sea, we find Kawasaki Dockyard at the end of the street. Many cheap restaurants and bars for laborers stand side by side along the street to the main gate of the Kawasaki Dockyard. And animated voices fly about from early morning; we can hear them all day long, because there is a market nearby. At night, we can hear the songs and shouts of drunkards until late, so we may even question when the inhabitants of this town sleep. (Haitani 1998: 21) This expression, “a traditional working-class neighborhood with few picturesque spots,” accurately describes the atmosphere of Kitahama. In this area, there were many subcontract factories related to shipbuilding, many lodging houses, many bars for laborers, called machiya, which had been standing for one hundred years, and a market. Although 30 years have passed since the novel was first written, Kitahama has not changed so much until now, even though its temporary prosperity has disappeared. This is in stark contrast to Sannomiya, or Harbour Land, where modern high-rise buildings dominate. However, recently, people who find new value in such a traditional workingclass neighborhood with few picturesque spots have begun to appear. The Great Hanshin Earthquake of 1995 destroyed the central part of Kobe. In a newspaper article Takuma Tokunaga, a painter, describes how he despaired on seeing the collapsed areas; he walked about the collapsed wards of Kobe with a broken heart – like watching his sick mother. But when he came to Kitahama, his sorrow began to ease, and he began to draw the streets of Kitahama.1 Graduate students of Kobe Design University got a taste of typical scenes of a port town and the warm-hearted inhabitants of Kitahama, and they were immediately fascinated and went there again and again. They opened an art exhibition entitled Machinaka Art, in a café that ship workers and others had been using from the 1950s in the former site of a small neighborhood factory smeared with rust and oil.2 They expressed feelings like, “There is no such interesting place anywhere,” and they were able to find artistic beauty there, although the local inhabitants feel sad to say, “Now only the aged live here, but it was once lively” and “There are many old buildings.”3

Machizukuri and city planning of Kobe municipal authorities As in many other cases in Japan, the machizukuri activities in Kitahama developed in response to a large-scale city planning project that threatened the community. A new stretch of road planned by the Kobe municipal authorities,

176 Hiroshi Nunokawa called the Minatomachi Line, was opened on March 23, 2003, and named Nanohana Road – (Rape Blossoms Road) as the chosen nickname. Some 57 years have passed since the decision to built the road was taken by the city planning bureau in 1946, and 18 years had passed since the start of construction. The machizukuri plan was strongly connected with the opening of the Minatomachi Line. Eiji Otsuka, an official of Kobe city council, said, “We pushed forward with the machizukuri plan of this area as a participatory model under the control of the Kobe municipal authorities.”4 Perhaps the opening of the Minatomachi Line was indeed the purpose of the machizukuri plan under the control of the Kobe municipal authorities. So we could say that the city planning was the mother of the machizukuri plan. A prize of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport was awarded to Nishide, Higashide, and Higashikawasaki Machizukuri Council during the “21st Machizukuri Month” on June 25, 2003. The reason for awarding the prize to these wards was given as follows: In this densely built-up area where prewar town planning is left, the council was chaired by machizukuri members voluntarily, collected the voices of inhabitants, and submitted many demands to administrative agencies and other bodies. In this way, this conference is improving machizukuri continuously by putting the merits of several public works to practical use positively. In the last a couple of years, after the Kobe earthquake, this council has been engaged in machizukuri, and making the best use of history in order to be prepared for the opening of the Minatomachi Line, and it has been a model of a resident-oriented town organization.5 There is some irony that this explanation by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport credited the machizukuri process for supporting the opening of the Minatomachi Line. Certainly, the ministry also gave credit to the voluntary works of the Council, but Kobe municipal authorities and the ministry persistently based the evaluation on the promotion of city planning, and their criteria was whether the machizukuri was effective for city planning or not. In these ways the meaning of the term ‘machizukuri’ gets blurred. Start of the Machizukuri Council Kobe City has been actively engaged in promoting machizukuri as a way of advancing city planning for more than two decades. The process up to the start of the Machizukuri Council reveals the relation between the city planning of the Kobe municipal authorities and the machizukuri plan.6 The Kobe municipal authorities established an ordinance for District Planning and Machizukuri, Chiku Keikaku to Machizukuri Jorei in December 1981. Representatives of Nishide, Higashide, and Higashikawasaki began study meetings with municipal authorities and consultants in August 1984. The next year, they invited represen-

Machizukuri and historical awareness 177 tatives of several local organizations, and held monthly study meetings. On August 29 of the same year, the Machizukuri Council started, and Kobe municipal authorities authorized the Council on October 19, 1987. It was not long before construction of the Minatomachi Line was begun, so we can imagine the relation of both events. Furthermore, the Kobe municipal authorities and consultants have participated in the Machizukuri Council from the starting stage. Mr Otsuka’s reference to the “Autonomy of the Residents” was therefore only a catchword. We have to recognize that in practice the Kobe municipal authorities have been taking the lead of the Machizukuri Council. The 1986 Machizukuri Plan The working plan ‘Project to support the improvement of residential sites’ in Nishide, Higashide, and Higashikawasaki areas (Jutaku Shigaichi Seibi Sogo Shien Jigyo), started on December 9, 1985, and the working plan ‘Project for promotion of better streets in densely built-up zones’ (Misshu Shigaichi Seibi Sokushin Jigyo), started on March 26, 1987.7 The master plan of these working plans was the “Machizukuri Plan” drawn up by the Machizukuri Council in December 1986. Needless to say, the Machizukuri Plan was drawn up to conform to these working plans, because the Kobe municipal authorities had been taking the lead in the Machizukuri Council as mentioned above. The fundamental policies of the improvement plan are summed up in the following five points. The first policy is the improvement of the road network in this area, that is, planning the systematic improvement of all roads in this area. In detail, it includes the improvement of main roads and sub-main roads with cooperative rebuilding of old, densely built-up residential areas, the widening of main access roads, and the converting of central roads to community roads. The second policy is pushing on with cooperative rebuilding. Its purpose is to create a good housing environment and to supply good housing through the cooperative rebuilding of old, damaged houses, or houses on small, irregular lots. In particular, it lays emphasis on the improvement of blocks where the roads are narrow and old houses are densely packed, along with the improvement of public facilities. The goal is to replace crowded and dangerous singlefamily wooden houses with modern multi-family condominium blocks, while clearing more space for roads. The third policy is guidance for rebuilding houses. When houses are rebuilt in this area, it gives guidelines for widening of roads and harmonious rebuilding by units of apartment blocks, recommends special houses as protected historical building, and aims at improvement of the environment of the area. The fourth policy is the promotion of fire-proof buildings and high-intensity land use along wide roads. It pushes on with measures to improve fire-resistance of the buildings along wide roads (main roads, local central roads, and so on), to stop the spread of fires, and to increase the supply of housing through intensive land use.


Hiroshi Nunokawa

The fifth policy is intensive improvement of problem blocks, such as those that contain many houses without street frontage, or many houses on narrow lanes where people can get trapped in the event of fire or earthquake. It plans intensive improvement of problem blocks in this area, where improvements are urgently needed and the work would be highly effective. It is characteristic that these improvement plans evaluate the improvement of the road network including the improvement main roads as the most important matter, and in relation to this matter aim to break up the densely built-up zone. These plans refer to the outside of buildings and recommend “historical tasteful buildings,” but, in the end, evaluate them as secondary matters, and do not consider ordinary houses or shops as being of historical value regardless of their age. Actual development of the working plan We investigated the actual development of the abovementioned working plan.8 First, we began to look at the improvement of the traditional working-class neighborhood at Higashikawasaki 7-chome, as an example of the total support for the improvement of the residential site. This working plan aimed to rebuild the old wooden houses; accordingly, the apartment buildings ‘Higashikawasaki

Figure 8.2 The apartment building ‘Higashikawasaki 7 Chome’ (source: author’s own photograph).

Figure 8.3 Old wooden house and new apartment buildings (source: author’s own photograph).

Figure 8.4 The Glory Higashikawasaki apartment building (source: author’s own photograph).


Hiroshi Nunokawa

7 Chome’ was completed in 1996, and ‘Glory Higashikawasaki’ was completed in 1999. Compared with the scene before the Higashikawasaki 7 Chome apartment building was built, the outside of the new building is modernized and the narrow alley is widened. This work was evaluated as a highly effective improvement of problem blocks in this area where the improvement was urgently needed. This new apartment building and its improved environment put the improvement plan of Kobe municipal authorities into clear focus, and reveal their intentions, which prioritize better roads and disaster safety over other values.

Machizukuri and local historical awareness “The Committee of the History of the Cove, Irie” started as part of the Machizukuri Council of Nishide, Higashide, and Higashikawasaki on May 26, 2000 (Irie is an older name for the Kitahama area). And the Machizukuri Council incorporated the items including “a program of street preservation that gives a feeling of history,” “presentation of historical and cultural resources that the inhabitants of this area are proud of,” and so on, into the action plan from 2001. At that time, the Machizukuri Council began to consider the relation between the Machizukuri Plan and local history.9 The Machizukuri Council began to consider the local history after the Kobe municipal authorities completed the outline of Machizukuri Plan, and the working plan was regularly carried out. In March 2001, “The Committee of the History of the Cove” devised activities including a lecture under the title “Hyogo in the Edo Era – the Case of Nishide, Higashide, and Higashikawasaki,” a field trip under the title “A Walking Tour to Feel the Sea Breeze and Follow Local History,” and so on, and published a pamphlet under the title “Casually Exploring The Cove” introducing historical sites and noteworthy places. This pamphlet briefly explained the connections between historical buildings and places noted on the map with historical events (Irie No Rekishi Iinkai 2001) This pamphlet especially paid attention to the personality of Kahei Takadaya in detail on the last page, and recognized historically the Irie area as “The town nursed by Kahei Takadaya.” Takadaya was a merchant who was active in trade running the merchant ship Kitamae-bune, and is famous as the man who was active in the solution of the Golovnin Incident (namely, the capture and imprisonment of the Russian naval lieutenant V. M. Golovnin in 1811). He set up the head office of his stores in Nishide town. Moreover, Ryotaro Shiba wrote a novel about his life titled Nanohana no Oki (Offshore Fields of Rape Blossoms). So the name for the Minatomachi Line, “Rape Blossom Road,” and for the “The Rape Blossom Project” originated from this novel. Furthermore, a stone monument carved “The Place where the Head Office of Kahei Takadaya’s Shops was set up” was placed on the side of the Minatomachi Line, and the surroundings of the stone monument were transformed into a small park. The small park named ‘pocket park’ was evaluated as ‘a new space created as

Machizukuri and historical awareness 181

Figure 8.5 An outline map of the Cove (source: Irie No Rekishi Iinkai (2001). Note

“Rape Blossom Road” surrounds this area.

a symbol of Irie,’ and was given meaning as a place that was not to be made a closed space but was to be made a place where anyone from outside, not to mention the inhabitants who live in Irie, could enter lightheartedly after the opening of the Minatomachi Line.10 The Committee of the History of Irie played an important role in attaching such historical factors to the machizukuri city planning. Uncovering local knowledge These several trends toward looking at local history began to extend beyond the rigid framework of the city planning system. One of their trends is realizing again the history and role of neighborhood factories that have been taking root in this area from the opening of the modern age. The newspaper Kobe Shinbun


Hiroshi Nunokawa

Figure 8.6 The map of the neighborhood factories in Irie (source: Irie No Rekishi Iinkai (2001)). Note

Detailed illustrations of the neighborhood factories are drawn on the map.

gave accounts of the personalities of Takeji Nakata, the president of “Marunaka shipyard” in Nishide-machi, and Yasuhiro Kondo, the manager of a foundry in Higashide-machi, and began to pay attention to their crafts that has been alive until now.11 Furthermore, the students of Kobe Design University drew up “The Map of The Neighborhood Factories in Irie,” and positively introduced that high-level crafts, tradition, confidence that have been developed from a long time ago have been taking root in Irie (Kobe Design University 2001). They went around neighborhood factories and interviewed many people, and they entered their findings as detailed illustrations on a map. The source of their energy is the new sensibility that it is possible to feel an artistic impression in the atmosphere of Irie that was once called “the town with no affection” (Haitani 1998). Creating a new historical awareness and doubts about machizukuri The machizukuri plan that stemmed from city planning sowed the seeds for the emergence of several actors who looked at the local history. In the process of acquiring competence and experience, feelings of doubt about the present

Machizukuri and historical awareness 183 machizukuri plan were whispered. Yasuhiro Kondo, the manager of a foundry, of whose history Kobe Shinbun gave an account, has fulfilled an important role in machizukuri as the chief of the Neighborhood Association of Higashidemachi. But it was decided that his foundry was to be demolished as part of the improvement of city roads. His foundry was then reconstructed in a Machiya that had a history of 100 years, and had the taste that represented the historical scenes in Kitahama. After much worrying whether to demolish his foundry, where he had operated for 72 years, Mr. Kondo was obliged to consent.12 He said, “The kindness of the inhabitants of my town is very warm, so I don’t want leave my town.” Perhaps such thoughts were connected to his foundry, and it is possible that such thoughts have sustained the community of this area. But the city planning authorities discount such thoughts. Takuma Tokunaga has felt the comfortable and pleasant atmosphere of Kitahama, and he has been drawing pictures of the streets, so he thought that another historical scene of Kobe had disappeared when the Minatomachi Line opened.13 He saw the improvement of city planning as a rapid destruction of such a “comfortable and pleasant atmosphere.” The untold history of Kitahama Tokunaga was fascinated by buildings that had outer walls and handrails painted in bright red and green, and he elaborately sketched these features that were not usually seen on Japanese buildings.14 These buildings are the houses that the inhabitants from the Korean Peninsula had been living in. The modern age of Kitahama has been colored by various cultures. Author Kenjiro Haitani, in his novel titled The Child of the Sun, paid attention to the lives and cultures of the inhabitants from the island of Okinawa and the Yaeyama Islands who lived in Kitahama. In the process of machizukuri, no attention was paid to their various cultures. The scenes in The Child of the Sun were mentioned in the pamphlet “Casually Exploring Irie,” but the attitude toward making further investigations of the various lives and cultures sustaining them seems to be not so strong. And the various workers, including stevedores from Okinawa and the Korean Peninsula, who had earned their incomes in this district, have hardly been mentioned. Similarly, Harukichi Yamaguchi also hasn’t received attention, and Toyohiko Kagawa who had been committed to the problems of lower classes hasn’t been mentioned. Therefore, it might be said that machizukuri has been missing important historical factors which describe the locality of Kobe. Chikao Sakagami, who has been committed to the machizukuri plan as an official of Kobe City, is particularly conscious of these omissions. His mother was born in Higashikawasaki and his father was born in Imadezaike, neighboring Nishide. His memories of childhood are the scenes of Kitahama, where neighborhood factories were scattered, many boats were jammed into the harbor, many barges into the canal, and many cafés crowded with harbor men.15 He regrets that even the memories of his parents’ time are fading away, and he has a

184 Hiroshi Nunokawa keen sense of crisis as if the cultures and customs that have been nursed in the port town have disappeared. So he continues eagerly to interview the inhabitants who preserve such cultures and customs. Sakagami recognizes the various cultures mentioned above as important factors of “the cultures and customs nursed in the port town.” He set up the history circle to draw pictures of this untold history. Activities of the history circle Citizens who were engaged in machizukuri take part in the history circle, as well as Sakagami himself. For example Yasuhiro Kondo, the abovementioned manager of the foundry in Higashide-machi joined in the circle. Takayuki Iwai, one of the members of the history circle and the chairman of “The Committee of the History of the Cove,” who carried on a pawnshop in the postwar years in Nishide-machi, has been looking at the various lives of the inhabitants in Kitahama, and knows the various cultures of the area well.16 Besides, the people who have supported the actions of “The Committee of the History of the Cove” have taken part in the circle. There are about ten regular members of the circle. The age of the members ranges from those in their forties to those in their eighties, and most of them are persons of advanced age above 60. All of the regular members are men, but women positively cooperate with them in interviews, and many women join in events related to local history. It could be said that machizukuri has entered a new phase, for such people have begun to pay attention to histories untold until now. The current activities of the history circle can be classified into three areas. The first is the attempt to draw a town map of Taisho and prewar Showa eras by repeated interviews. This attempt depends on the childhood memories of the members and inhabitants. During the interviews, the inhabitants remember very happy times and talk about what was where and what it looked like. The second activity are original interviews. Through interviews, we could find out about the lifestyle and sociability of those days – information that we could have never received from written accounts of history. For example, we can find out about eating habits, about the market, and what kind of shops were in the market. About eating habits, we found by an interview with a woman that in the latter half of 1920s, pupils of an elementary school ate three bowls of rice every morning. From this interview, we can estimate that the rice consumption per head in those days was significantly larger than now, and we can review the famous “rice riots” in 1918 in view of these actual living conditions. A man who was a primary school student in those times said that it was a disgrace to manhood to go shopping to the market. According to this interview, we can see that the marketplace was closed to men, and we can recognize that gender roles were different from nowadays. The third activity, which Mr. Sakagami especially supports, is the attempt to make crafts like those made by neighborhood factories in those days by inter-

Machizukuri and historical awareness 185 viewing people who still have knowledge of such crafts. We could learn about these crafts only by interviews, because there are few books explaining them. As a result of the interviews, we discovered the craft of Japanese shipbuilding, which we rarely see now, in particular, the very interesting skill of the ship maintenance. For example, from an interview with Takeji Nakata, the president of the Marunaka shipyard in Nishide-machi, we learnt that the carpenter did not use a plan; he built ships by his experience and intuition alone. Furthermore, we visited the foundry that Yasuhiro Kondo managed before it was demolished, and we were impressed by the conversion from a machiya – an old townhouse – into a neighborhood factory. The outside of the foundry was an old Machiya, but the modern industry developed in there.

Conclusions Perhaps these actions of the history circle seem not so relevant for academic historians. And the directions of these interviews look different from the viewpoint of professionals of folklore who are good at interviewing. But these actions make the inhabitants remember their past lives together, and make them recognize that the persons who shoulder the town are they themselves. It is not negative that most of members of the history circle are persons of advanced age. Except for them, there is nobody who could reconstruct the past life by looking back at a long time ago, and we have to recognize that as a positive role of citizens of advanced age. Although Kobe municipal authorities took the lead, the improvement of city planning and the activities of the Machizukuri Council have attracted many inhabitants. These people soon realized the importance of the history of the area in which they live, and each of them began to search for original activities to bring history to life. Machizukuri projects in the future will surely depend on the success of such activities.

Notes 1 “Drawing the atmosphere of ‘disappearing Kobe’” in Asahi Shinbun, May 8, 2003. 2 “Sea behind the sail, the inhabitants of Nishide, Higashide, Higashikawasaki-cho 3, Machinaka Art” in Kobe Shinbun, February 17, 2002. 3 Ibid. 4 Eiji Otsuka (2003) “The whole story of the Project of Rape Blossom 1” in Kinmokusei _50+36+2. Available online: 5 The materials of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport for the press conference. Online:, accessed June 14, 2006. 6 For more details about all that happened until the start of Machizukuri Council see the home page of the Machizukuri Council (ibid. above). 7 About these working plans see the home page of the Kobe City Improvement Public Corporation (Kobe Toshi Seibi Kodan). Online: June 14, 2006). 8 Ibid.


Hiroshi Nunokawa

9 About the actions of “The Committee of the History of Irie” see the home page of the Machizukuri Council: 10, accessed 14 June 2006. 11 Kobe Shinbun, February 18, 2002. 12 Kobe Shinbun, February 18, 2002. 13 Asahi Shinbun, May 8, 2003. 14 Ibid. 15 Kobe Shinbun, February 16, 2002. 16 Ibid., February 15, 2002.

References Enami, Shigeyuki and Mitsuhashi, Toshiaki (1989). The Slums and the Exhibition. The Publication Department of JICC. Haitani, Kenjiro (1998). The Child of the Sun. Kadokawa Pocket Book. Imatani, Akira (1992). Japanese History No. 9, the King of Japan and the Villagers. Shueisha. Irie No Rekishi Iinkai (2001). Irie no burari tanbo (Casually Exploring The Cove)., accessed 14 June 2006. Kobe Design University (2001). Irie machikojo mappu (The Map of the Neighborhood Factories in Irie). Kobe: Nishide, Higashide, Higashikawasaki Machizukuri Kyogikai. Murata, Seiji (1898). The Commemorative Society for 30 Years since the Port Opening. Kobe: Kobeshi. Nunokawa, Hiroshi (1993). The Formation and the Structure of the Lower Strata of Urban Society in Kobe. Kobe: The Hyogo Institute of Buraku Problem. —— (1997). Peace Movement of Toyohiko Kagawa in the 1930s. Journal of Japanese History. 424: 55–76.

Part III

Conflicts over changing places and governance


Citizens’ movements to protect the water environment Changes and problems Toshihisa Asano

Introduction Opinion polls show that 81.9 percent of Japanese are interested in the environment and 70.5 percent would like to take part in environmental activities (Cabinet Office 2001). In fact, however, membership of major societies for the conservation of nature (the Wild Bird Society of Japan has 48,000 members, the Nature Conservation Society of Japan 22,000, and the World Wildlife Fund Japan 35,000 in 2005) is not only much lower than that of the corresponding European or American societies, it is also less than that of Korean societies, though the population of Korea is less than half that of Japan. One of the important characteristics of the Japanese environmental movement is therefore the small number of people who belong to nature conservation societies though many Japanese show great interest in environmental problems. In addition, the networks between the societies are weak (Foljanty-Jost 2003). However, the situation is changing. Since the Kobe earthquake in 1995, there has been rising public interest in volunteer efforts and relevant laws and regulations are being developed. The starting assumption of this chapter is that environmental problems are social constructs. In the process of constructing a problem, defining environmental issues in new ways, and proposing alternative policies, citizens’ movements along with the mass media play a significant role. In Japan, pollution problems had great impacts on everyone during the 1960s, so in the early stages of environmental movements anti-pollution policies were emphasized at the expense of comprehensive environmental management policies. For example, many issues arose in connection with water pollution or water quality, but recently interest in the water environment has become more diversified and the narrow emphasis on water quality has shifted to a broader concern with ecosystems as a whole. This is a manifestation of the change from anti-pollution movements to ecosystem-oriented nature conservation movements. However, the relationship between the various environment-oriented citizens’ movements is weak or discontinuous, which has a significant impact on the ability of such citizens’ movements to shape public understanding of environmental issues, and public policy.


Toshihisa Asano

To explore these issues I examine some of the distinctive features of the environmental movement in Japan using two case studies – one relating to the local environmental movement in Lake Kasumigaura and the surrounding area and the other to Lakes Nakaumi and Shinji and the area surrounding them. This chapter focuses on how these movements developed, their background, and what kinds of problems they encountered. The two case studies are used to illustrate the challenges that citizen’s movements face in protecting the local water environment and the changes that such movements have undergone.

Environmental problems and citizens’ movements in Japan Two groups of problems concerning the water environment In Japanese environmental issues, pollution (kogai) has an important meaning. Struggles between the government, private enterprise, and the victims of pollution-related illnesses have greatly influenced subsequent citizens’ movements or environmental policies. Pollution issues have also had a strong influence on water-related environmental issues. Water quality has therefore become one of the most important topics of discussion. Water pollution has attracted attention from two aspects: the direct threat of water pollution to human health and the use of water pollution as an indicator of general environmental deterioration. For example, the latter includes foulsmelling wetlands, bad-tasting water, changes in vegetation, declining fish catches, loss of biodiversity, or landscape destruction, which can all be explained from the viewpoint of water quality. As a result, many citizens’ movement organizations emphasize water quality as an environmental problem. Of course, environmental problems connected to water are not restricted to problems of water quality. It involves the destruction of wetland ecosystems. In Japan, after World War II, a number of large development projects were carried out by the public sector and these often led to environmental destruction. Rivers were governed primarily by the Ministry of Construction’s River Bureau, which saw rivers primarily in engineering terms of industrial, urban, and irrigation water supply, flood control, and hydro-electric power generation. Large scale river re-engineering and dam construction projects were planned and carried out throughout the country (McCormack 1997; Kerr 1996). Many construction projects were built on or over rivers and seashore areas. Although there were movements against these developments from the beginning, these activists were regarded as a very restricted group of people. In the 1990s, the problem of public works projects became the focus of popular attention and while some projects were forced through, others were stopped by pressure of public opinion. There are therefore two groups of problems that relate to the water environment. One is the pollution problem and the other is the destruction of nature, and two different types of citizens’ movements have developed around these problems. Anti-pollution movements or movements for the relief of pollution victims focus on pollution issues, and nature conservation movements focus on the

Citizens’ movements and the water environment 191 destruction of nature. Each movement has developed independently. Though the people who play leading roles in these movements or who support them share a sense of environmental crisis and respect each other’s position, they seldom cooperate in their struggle. Environmental pollution There is a large literature about pollution problems in Japan, (Ui 1971–1974; Harada 1972; Ishimure 1972; Kurihara 2000; Harada and Hanada 2004; George 2001; Japanese Association for Environmental Sociology 2000). A basic text by Iijima (1993) reviewed the history of pollution problems in Japan. According to this review, when mine pollution occurred during the Edo period in villages downstream of some mines, farmers and fishermen were treated with comparative respect. However, after the Meiji period, the new government carried out a policy of increasing the nation’s wealth and military power. Industry was rapidly modernized but this was accompanied by the occurrence and spread of environmental pollution. Until World War II, under the centralized government, the lives and health of people were considered secondary to the growth of the national industrial economy. After the war, although the political system changed, the government still put priority on economic growth over everything else and anti-pollution measures were disregarded. Then in the first half of the 1960s, outbreaks of notorious diseases caused by pollution occurred in various parts of the country, for example, Minamata disease (mercury poisoning), Yokkaichi asthma (air pollution from petrochemical refineries), and itai-itai disease (literally ‘it hurts, it hurts’; cadmium poisoning). These health hazards spread further in the 1970s and Japan was called the ‘pollution capital of the world.’ Pollution was the main environmental problem at the time, but after the latter half of the 1980s as many of the most visible pollution problems were mitigated by the pollution regulations enacted in the early 1970s, while antipollution movements continued as movements seeking the relief of victims or the like, the general trend of public opinion moved on to global environment problems and the destruction of nature caused by regional developments. As a result, pollution problems were given much less space in the mass media. Environmental problems are social constructs, and citizens’ movements play a significant role in the process of constructing societal understanding of the nature of the problem. Movements that have had a real impact on the construction of pollution problems in Japan include anti-pollution movements and movements for the relief of victims. Because industrial pollution had much greater impacts on the poor and the socially vulnerable, pointing out where the responsibility for pollution lies was seen as equivalent to criticizing the political system or the existing social structure, and anti-pollution movements have been closely associated with reform movements in Japan, such as human rights, peace, antiwar, anti-nuclear, labor, and leftist movements.


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Destruction of nature caused by regional development The other focus is the destruction of nature caused by regional development. Nature conservation movements have contributed to the construction of this problem (see Nature Conservation Society of Japan 2002, and Ishikawa 2001 for a history of the nature conservation movement in Japan). An early example was the protest against the development of an electric power resource at Oze Pond, which is one of the most famous ponds and high moorland areas in Japan. This protest movement led to the establishment of the Nature Conservation Society of Japan, in addition to the preservation of Oze Pond. Nature conservation problems are discussed in a different context to the pollution problem. Nature conservation organizations have tended to keep their distance from leftist movements or have attempted to avoid any leftist tinge. As this problem was originally raised in the context of conserving hard-to-find nature, it can be considered mainly a problem of rural areas, though the movement is supported by many urban dwellers. Some nature conservation societies have close links with the Imperial Family, with members of the Imperial Family sometimes serving as presidents of the societies. After World War II, in the process of reconstructing the Imperial system, an image of the Emperor as a symbol of the state and also as a ‘priest of the green’ in this state was constructed, for example, through the national land reforestation movement (Nakashima 1999). Given that this was one formative basis of Japan’s nature conservation movements, it is unsurprising that nature conservation societies do not cooperate with anti-pollution groups, though they also are fighting against the government or private enterprise to save nature. The concept of what aspects of nature are worth conserving has also changed over time. Until the 1960s, there was an insistence on protecting wilderness areas and rare or scientifically valuable natural environments. Then, ecological values were emphasized and ecological landscapes became the focus. More recently, there is greater respect for the biological diversity or cultural value of nature and accessible ordinary nature is considered an object for conservation (Ishikawa 2001).

Development of movements to protect the water environment The movements described above must be taken into account in considering water environment movements. However, the two types of movements are not clearly divided. In the 1960s and 1970s, the environmental movement had an anti-establishment character, but with the development of widespread recognition that everyone was responsible for water pollution and that individual effort was necessary to improve the environment, the character of the movement began to reflect these changes. Citizens’ movement organizations began to insist that everyone had to reconsider their lifestyle and that the citizens’ and administrative sectors should collaborate on improving the environment. The movement changed from an accusatorial and anti-establishment character to a more introspective and accommodative one.

Citizens’ movements and the water environment 193

1960–1970s KOGAI Water pollution (contamination)

1990s and now Experience of past KOGAI in Japan Water environment Environment in catchment area

Water pollution (eutrophication) Water quality control Watershed management Restoration of nature Industrial and agricultural effluent Domestic waste water Inhabitants as victims

Partnership with citizens

Figure 9.1 Changes in keywords relating to water environmental problems.

The change is illustrated by changes in the keywords relating to water environment problems. Figure 9.1 shows the major keywords. In relation to water pollution, ‘Suishitsu Osen,’ a term meaning water contamination that was used in the 1960s was heard much less often and ‘Suishitsu Odaku,’ which is nearly equivalent to eutrophication, became more popular. More attention is now paid to the whole water environment than to water pollution. Watershed management is a more popular term than water quality control and restoration of nature has become an important challenge. Residents are considered as partners collaborating with governments on environmental conservation rather than as victims of industrialization. The changes that have occurred in one area over time are illustrated by case studies of two lake areas: Lake Kasumigaura and Lakes Nakaumi and Shinji and their surrounding areas (see Figure 9.2). Both lakes share characteristic environments and habitats of brackish lake water where freshwater from rivers meets saltwater of the ocean, though Lake Kasumigaura is now desalinated. The surface areas of the lakes are almost the same as is the area of their drainage basins. However, the essential difference between them is their location. Lake Kasumigaura is in the Tokyo metropolitan area and is now important as one of the reservoirs involved in the water supply for the metropolitan area. Lakes Nakaumi and Shinji are in a rural area that is highly dependent on public projects. The populations of the drainage basin for each of these lake areas are also very different. Environmental problems at Lake Kasumigaura Lake Kasumigaura is located within the Tokyo metropolitan area and is less than 100 kilometers from the Tokyo city center. The drainage basin was a typical agricultural region and is now famous for producing rice, lotus root, pears, and breeding pigs. But now a sizable part of the area has been urbanized as a result


Toshihisa Asano

Nakaumi/Shinji-ko Surface area: 165.3 km2 Drainage basin: 1,869 km2 Depth: 5 meters Population 0.4 million


Kasumigaura Surface area: 220 km2 Drainage basin 2,200 km2 Depth: 4 meters Population: 1 million

Figure 9.2 Location of Lake Kasumigaura and Lakes Nakaumi and Shinji.

of numerous residential sub-divisions and large public works projects, for example, the development of the Kashima Coastal Industrial Zone and Tsukuba Academic City located to the east and west of Lake Kasumigaura respectively. At the same time as these major regional development projects were being promoted, the lake was part of a major river engineering project designed to convert the lake from one of brackish water open to ocean tides to a freshwater reservoir. This scheme was promoted as ensuring water supply for the rapidly growing Tokyo Metropolitan Area. In the 1960s, large land reclamation projects were planned and water resource development was stepped up. At the same time, the environment of the lake and the surrounding area was rapidly changing as a direct result of the river engineering project, and some of the residents collectively began opposing the development projects. Behind this, protests against environmental destruction, including the anti-pollution movement, were becoming more common throughout Japan. In 1973, several serious problems, called abnormal environmental change (ihen) occurred in the Lake Kasumigaura area. These included an extinction of clams, mass mortality of farmed carp, a plague of microcystis algae, fusty tap water, a foul smell from the lake, and so on. By this time, many residents were taking a great interest in the lake environment and a citizens’ movement to protect it became active.

Citizens’ movements and the water environment 195 Subsequently, the problem of eutrophication became the most important environmental problem, while protest activities against water resource development decreased. Blocking the link between the lake and the ocean for water resource development had resulted in eutrophication and so the desalination of the lake was seen as one of the essential causes of the problems. However, the water resource development project became an accomplished fact. The main issues related to damage to the fishery, risks to drinking water, and the foul smell from the lake. In the 1990s, especially after the 1995 World Lake Conference was held in this area, integrated watershed management has become one of the most important challenges. The main issues are not only eutrophication but also the environment for all living matter, restoration of the forest in the catchment area, and establishing common lakeshore areas where people can play in the water or walk. There is also discussion on how citizens should carry out their responsibilities. Experimental attempts at restoration of the inshore environment have provided a leading example for nationwide nature restoration projects and contributed to the proposal and enactment of the Nature Restoration law in 2002. Figure 9.3 shows this transition. The upper left area is concerned with water development. This has been a peripheral issue since the 1970s, but has recently 1960–1970s



1963 Completion of Water Gate


1995 World Water Conference Problem of new water channel development

Problem of the damming of Kasumigaura

New public works led by citizens

Anti-development (radical) Problem of eutrophication

Respect for nature For all living things

Improvement of water quality Reflection on our lifestyle

‘IHEN’ in 1973

Creation of comfortable waterfront environment

Damage by eutrophication

For residents around the lake

[Organizations involved in the movement] Tsuchiura nature conservation society Group of farmers or fishermen


Liaison conference for conservation of Lake Kasumigaura Kasumigaura citizens’ association

Figure 9.3 Environmental problems of Kasumigaura addressed by citizens.


Toshihisa Asano

become the focus of attention after nationwide criticism of public projects. The remaining areas show the problem of eutrophication or the whole lake environment. The prioritization of these issues has been led by citizens’ movements that originated in the drainage basin area. Environmental movements In the 1970s, farmers and fishermen protested against the development project. They were partly supported by radical laborers and students who joined in the famous Narita struggle against the construction of the New Tokyo International Airport in Narita City to the south of Lake Kasumigaura. After the ihen of 1973, city dwellers stood up to protest about the safety of their drinking water and the environment of the lake and its surroundings (Asano 1990). At first, a farmers’ and fishermen’s movement and a city dwellers’ movement coexisted, though they were present in slightly different districts around the lake. But before long, the former disappeared and the latter became the representative citizens’ movement. This movement was supported by city dwellers, especially by newcomers and housewives with a strong interest in the eutrophication of Lake Kasumigaura. This movement emphasized the fact that a non-partisan volunteer group carried out its activities. One of the leaders wrote that they had to fight against the prejudice that they were Communists (Okui 1983). In fact, the movement was carefully non-party but also anti-establishment. In the 1990s and now, it was supported by city dwellers and local employers. The supporting layer is almost the same, but the movement has become more widespread. Ordinary residents now recognize the movement and some conservative local employers have begun participating in it. Civic organizations are collaborating with government bodies on environmental conservation and beginning to lead projects that have been awarded large amounts of public money, indicating the growing legitimacy of such citizen movements. Figure 9.4 shows the distribution of members of two environmental movement organizations in the 1980s. The city areas in the drainage basin, Tsuchiura City and Tsukuba Academic City, are at the center of the movement. Figure 9.5 shows the distribution of elementary schools that joined in an environmental NPO project by 2002. This project is called the ‘Asaza Project.’ Asaza, or floating heart, is a floating-leaved plant. The aim of the project is to set up a system for collaboration between citizens and governments. Part of the project involves civic organizations making biotopes in schoolyards and using them for environmental education and restoration of nature in and around the lake. The floating hearts that grow in the school biotopes are transplanted into the lake. This activity covers a large area with the total number of participants reaching approximately 100,000. However, since 1995, the movement has been divided by differences in action policy. One organization has focused on reaching out to ordinary residents rather than to government bodies. It places a high value on participation and practice by the residents themselves and its philosophy is not to fight against government. Rather, it works with local or national government. In contrast, the

Citizens’ movements and the water environment 197



Figure 9.4 Distribution of members of two environmental groups in 1987 (source: adapted from Asano 1990). Notes a Tsuchiura Nature Conservation Society; b Liaison conference for conservation of Lake Kasumigaura.  in (a) represents an individual member and the number shows the number of individual members.  in (b) represents one group member and the number shows the number of group members.  in (b) represents one individual member. The broken line shows the drainage basin. The division gathering the marks out of drainage basin is Mito City, the capital of the prefecture.

other organization has not abandoned its strategy of fighting against government bodies and going to court against some public projects, although in some cases this group also works with government bodies with public funding. Another difference between the two groups is found in their idealized vision of the future of Lake Kasumigaura. In very simple terms, the former group is acting on behalf of residents, and for human beings in general, and the latter claims to be acting on behalf of nature. Overall, they show the strengthening of resources, growing legitimacy and increasing sophistication of the movement during the last decade. Environmental activism has moved from a radical anti-establishment activity to one in which public school children, local businesses, and local and national government bodies are involved. Environmental problems of Lakes Nakaumi and Shinji The second case study involves Lakes Nakaumi and Shinji. These lakes are located in the San’in region, far from the metropolitan area and recognized as a


Toshihisa Asano

Figure 9.5 Distribution of elementary schools joining in NPO Asaza foundation’s project by May 2002 (source: adapted from NPO Asaza foundation’s data).

peripheral region in socioeconomic terms. The local economy is sluggish and depends heavily on public works projects. The environmental problems in this area are clearer than those in the Lake Kasumigaura area. They relate to the pros and cons of the Nakaumi Land Reclamation Project (Asano 1997, 1998, 1999, 2002). This project was designed to shut the two lakes off from the Japan Sea and desalinate them. It then aimed to create 2,500 hectares of new land and to irrigate the reclaimed land together with 7,300 hectares of existing farming land. Figure 9.6 shows the project plan. Problems with the Nakaumi Land Reclamation Project generated a series of discussions on the pros and cons of the project with the main issues changing over time. At first, the focus was on the desalination of the two lakes by 1988 when the government decided to put off desalination indefinitely. Next, land reclamation of the Honjo-Koku area was discussed up to 2000 when the government gave up the idea of land reclamation. Since then, attention has focused on the after-treatment of the cancelled project and nature restoration in and around the lakes.

Citizens’ movements and the water environment 199

Japan Sea


Matsue L. Shinji


L. Nakaumi Yonago


Hii River Water gate 1 Nakaura water gate 2 Ohashi River

Shimane Pre. 10 km

Tottori Pre.

Area that would benefit from agricultural water resource development Reclaimed land Honjo-Koku

Figure 9.6 Nakaumi Land Reclamation Project (source: adapted from Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry (1981) Plan of Nakaumi Land Reclamation Project).

Environmental movements The main supporters of the early protest movement were local fishermen and city dwellers. At this time, although there were numerous issues such as water pollution, clam fishing, landscape preservation, the threat of flooding, and disruption of the ecosystem, the overarching issue was water pollution and the resulting damage to clam fishing after desalination. The protest strategy was successful and the protest movement was able to gain broad public support (Hobo 1989). The protest organization criticized the administrators’ environmental assessment of the project at every point. The threat of water pollution was recognized as a real problem by ordinary citizens and people concerned with the tourism industry. Finally, the government decided to put off desalination indefinitely. Then the Honjo-Koku problem came up. The problem was whether or not to continue the reclamation project, which had lost an enormous water resource through the decision to defer desalination of the lakes. The issue was then how to use the site. Officially, the issue was whether Honjo-Koku should be used for agriculture after reclaiming the land or as a fishery by leaving the lake in its natural state. However, in reality, the issue was whether Honjo-Koku should be used for urban growth of the adjacent city of Matsue after reclaiming the land, or whether the lake should left to nature. When the project was first conceived in the 1950s food security was a major issue in Japan, but by the 1980s, with more and more farmland lying uncultivated, it became harder to justify land reclama-


Toshihisa Asano

tion projects for agriculture. The use of the land for urban development might create an economic stimulus for the region, but would contradict the claimed rationale for the project. Initially, the protest movement was supported by city dwellers and fishermen. However, researchers became more and more concerned about the problem and the arguments became scientific and specialized, while demonstrative actions declined. The movement also received more support from residents around Lake Nakaumi because Honjo-Koku was in Lake Nakaumi. Figure 9.7 shows who supported the movements in each the desalination problem and the Honjo-Koku problem. It focuses especially on where supporters lived around the lakes. The drainage area is so large that the interests of the residents are diverse and vary from place to place. The citizens’ group played an important role in choosing the main issues among the many interests of residents and to formulate a common problem for the whole drainage area. Although both movements are concerned with the same Nakaumi Land Reclamation Project, Figure 9.7a shows some differences in issues from 9.7b. These were caused by differences of time and locality. During the last few years of the twentieth century, the Japanese government reviewed its budget allocations for numerous public works projects, partly because of widespread criticism of public projects since the high-handed management of the Nagaragawa river mouth weir and Isahaya Land Reclamation Projects. This review had a decisive impact on the cancellation of the Nakaumi Land Reclamation Project. In 2000, the Honjo-Koku project was cancelled and in 2002 the desalination project, which had been on hold since 1988, was completely cancelled. The problem was then the after-treatment of the cancelled project and the restoration of the lakes to their natural state. The issues involve the dismantling of the desalination facilities and the restoration of the lakeshore environment. Some citizens’ organizations are insisting that the government should use the water-gate to control the water quality in the lake and cut the already completed dikes around Honjo-Koku to restore the water flow. That would require the construction of bridges over the demolished parts of the dikes, as they carry roads joining the islands to the mainland. The central government accepted a part of their demands and decided to cut a part of the dikes in 2005. And these lakes were inscribed as registered wetlands under the Ramsar Convention in 2005, though in the early 1990s Shimane and Tottori prefectures did not want to recommend the lakes as registered wetlands because of worries that the Ramsar Convention would restrict the land reclamation project. In this region, similar to the case for Kasumigaura, there are two movements. Each independently aims to restore the nature of the lakes and surrounding area. One is the group that opposed the land reclamation project. This group has put forward opinions on nature conservation based on scientific data. In 1989, it established a research institute through a financial contribution from the fisheries cooperatives and played an important role in the cancellation of the Honjo-Koku project. Now it is demanding the wise use of the water-gate and partial demolition of the banks built for land reclamation. The lake environment simulation model created by the institute is highly valued in this area. The other group

Figure 9.7 Regional structure of the Nakaumi Land Reclamation Project problem (source: adapted from Asano 2003). Notes a 1: Hirata City, Hikawa Town, 2: Shinji Town, Tamayu Town, 3: Matsue City, 4: Yasugi City, Yatsuka Town, Higashiizumo Town, Mihonoseki Town, 5: Yonago City, Sakaiminato City, 6: others. b 1': Hirata, Hikawa, Shinji, Tamayu, 2': Matsue, 3': Yatsuka, Mihonoseki, 4': Yasugi, Higashiizumo, 5': Yonago, Sakaiminato, 6': others. a: agriculture associations, b: commerce and industry associations, c: fishery associations, d: labor unions and cooperative societies, e: other civil groups (nature conservation groups, women’s groups, neighborhood associations, etc.)


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originated and grew up without a direct connection with the protest movement. This group is aggressively pursuing its aim of establishing a good environment in the drainage area. It places a high value on the ties between upstream and downstream interests, and on cooperation between the residents and local or national government. The group has planted reeds around the lakeshore and trees in the upstream forest, and promotes events for local empowerment at a planned dam construction site. The dam construction project is part of a regional river improvement project as large as the Nakaumi Land Reclamation Project. However, there is no massed movement protesting against it, although there are local, fragmented protest movements.

Conclusions Local water environment movements and anti-pollution movements Environmental problems are social constructs. In the process of constructing a problem, citizens’ movements play a significant role along with the mass media in defining the issues and articulating alternatives. In Japan, pollution had great relevance for everyone, so anti-pollution policies were emphasized at the expense of multivalent, comprehensive environmental management policies. In the environmental movement, many issues arose in connection with water pollution or water quality, but recently interest in the water environment has become more diversified and centralized efforts on water quality have become weaker. This is a manifestation of the change from anti-pollution movements to ecologyoriented nature conservation movements. The relationship between the two types of movements is weak or discontinuous. In the case of Lake Kasumigaura, a movement supported by city dwellers coexisted with a farmers and fishermen’s movement, but the two did not act together and differed in character. The nature conservation group insisted that they acted not for any leftist ideology but for ‘our’ living environment and ‘our’ children’s environment. Then the movement gradually developed an introspective character and its statements emphasized that we should reflect on our consumption-intensive, anti-environmental lifestyle and should change to an ecological one, while its criticism of the water resource development project became weaker. This change in the character of the movement has had a lasting effect. The difference in their stance towards the government is one of the reasons why the movement split into two factions. One faction has the strategy not to fight against government bodies and the other has not abandoned its strategy of fighting against them. The latter tries to make a social issue of the water resource development projects. But it is not concerned with one-time farmers or fishermen protesting against regional development projects nor, of course, with groups like the radical laborers and students who protested against Narita Airport. In the case of Lakes Nakaumi and Shinji, the politically conservative fishermen mainly supported the movement against the land reclamation project partly in association with progressive parties. The leaders of the movement were, however,

Citizens’ movements and the water environment 203 careful to avoid taking on the color of a particular political party, and with this philosophy they gained the support of a majority in the region. The success of this anti-development movement was based on the leaders’ strategy of involving the local government in a scientific debate about the impact of the project, while also using the drawing power of local labor unions and progressive parties. Residents’ groups had to wipe out their image of radical leftism to get the broader support of ordinary people. But according to a recent survey on voting behavior (Sugitani and Okita 2005), Green Party voters and those who vote for the Japanese Communist Party have some ideas in common. In a sense, it is therefore reasonable that supporters of environmental movements are considered leftists, though, of course, they hold a variety of political beliefs. In any case, one of the important problems for water environment movement groups is the need for broader support. In Japan’s political culture, the environmental movement has to be supported not only by particular political parties but also by bipartisan people. If the movement has an image of being closely aligned with a particular political party, it has a problem whether or not such a relationship actually exists. Today this image of environmentalists as radical leftists is gradually fading and the number of people participating in activities to conserve the water environment is increasing. These activities include beautification campaigns, nature restoration projects, environmental education activities, and so on. However, with more participants, there is a worry that volunteers will be considered as cheap labor for local or national government. While it is said that the partnership between citizens and government is important, the relationship between them is often hierarchical. The word ‘partnership’ is used to attract ordinary people to public activities. More discussion about the nature of this partnership is needed. Taking this thinking to its logical conclusion, if people protest against the government, they are considered Communist, and if they follow the government, they are used by it. This thinking may show some immaturity in Japanese civil society. Weakness of networks between local societies for the conservation of nature The weakness of the networks between various societies for the conservation of nature is one of the underlying problems of the Japanese environmental movement. This weakness is found at both the nationwide and local level. For example, in the case of Lake Nakaumi, the movement succeeded in stopping the desalination project for the two lakes because of the strong partnership between the various anti-project groups and this partnership carried on until the government gave up the idea of the land reclamation. But since then, the groups have failed to cooperate on a strategy for the environmental restoration of the lakes or against another large project that will affect the environment of the drainage basin. In particular, if a problem relates to river engineering for flood control, it is difficult to maintain a partnership between the residents of upriver and downriver districts. Each group therefore addresses nature conservation from its own point of view.


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In the case of Lake Kasumigaura, the local environmental movement has been divided by differences in policy. In a round-table discussion on the lake environment, the citizen’s groups opposed each other. The government or local government works together with each sect for its own purposes, and so citizens are unable to take the initiative in the environmental management of Lake Kasumigaura. Generally, the Japanese environmental movement has a strong scienceoriented strategy. However, sometimes this becomes so strong that it leads to a division of movements according to scientific topics. It also sometimes makes the arguments too complicated for ordinary people to understand, who therefore find it difficult to participate. This may be one of the reasons for the movement’s narrow base. Though the movement is unable take the initiative in setting environmental policies, it does propose many new ideas for the conservation or restoration of nature, some of which have been implemented. This has been one of the most valuable contributions of the citizens’ movements. Local environmental movements and local empowerment In Japan, NGOs carry weight in terms of various actions and philosophies. In the case of Lake Kasumigaura, it is a citizen’s movement that is raising important questions over the environment, and that seeks a way to live in harmony with nature and to influence the ecological ethics of ordinary residents. In the case of Lake Nakaumi, the movement against the project was successful. It altered land uses around the lake, clarified the problem of large public works projects, and increased the residents’ awareness of the lake environment. At the very least, citizens’ groups contributed to a re-examination of public works projects. The lives of everyone depend on water. Water is essential for agriculture and growing food, as well as for various regional socioeconomic activities. In this context, a movement seeking a sustainable water environment is seeking the ideal mix of socioeconomic activities and lifestyle in the region. In future the growth and spread of these movements will be important in building livable and sustainable communities and in empowering regional societies.

References Asano, Toshihisa. (1990). Kasumigaura wo meguru jumin undo ni kansuru kosatsu (Neighborhood movement for environmental conservation in the area around Lake Kasumigaura). Geographical Review of Japan. 63(4): 237–254. —— (1997). Kankyo hozen undo no tenkaikatei ni okeru chiikisei (The study of environmental preservation movements in the area around Lake Nakaumi and Lake Shinji, Tottori and Shimane prefectures). Geographical Sciences. 52(1): 1–22. —— (1998). Nakaumi kantaku jigyo Honjo-Koku no tochi riyo an no hensen (Transition of Land Reclamation Project of Lake Nakaumi, Tottori and Shimane prefectures: problems of regional development planning). Geographical Sciences. 53(4): 261–282. —— (1999). Chiiki kankyo mondai ni okeru ‘Jimoto’ (‘Local Spheres’: the area con-

Citizens’ movements and the water environment 205 cerned with local environmental problems through the case of the land reclamation project of Lake Nakaumi, San’in region, Western Japan). Journal of Environmental Sociology. 5: 166–182. —— (2002). Rokaru na kankyo undo e no chirigakuteki apurochi (Geographical approach to local environmental movements: a case study of the Nakaumi land reclamation problem in Tottori and Shimane prefectures). Geographical Sciences of Japan. 75(6): 443–456. —— (2003). Kankyo undo no chirigakuteki kenkyu (Geographical approach to environmental movements). In Tatsuya Ito and Toshihisa Asano (eds), Kankyo mondai no genba kara (From Fields of Environmental Problems). 128–144. Tokyo: Kokonshoin. Cabinet Office (2001). Opinion poll on conservation and utilization’ in Cabinet Office (2003) Heisei 14 nendo ban yoron chosa nenkan (Opinion poll yearbook in fiscal 2002). Tokyo: Ministry of Finance Printing Bureau. Foljanty-Jost, Gesine. (2003). Comparing policy-networks: the case of climate change policies in Germany and Japan. The 10th International Conference of the EAJS, book of abstracts, 12–13. George, Timothy. S. (2001). Minamata: Pollution and the Struggle for Democracy in Postwar Japan. Cambridge: Harvard University Asia Center. Harada, Masazumi. (1972). Minamata byo (Minamata Disease). Tokyo: Iwanamishoten. Harada, Masazumi and Hanada, Masanori. (eds) (2004). Minamata gaku kenkyu josetu (Isagoge of Minamata Study) Tokyo: Fujiwarashoten. Hobo, Takehiko. (1989). Yomigaere Mizuumi (Arise! Our Lake). Tokyo: Dojidaisha. Iijima, Nobuko. (1993). Kankyo-mondai no shakaishi (Social history of environmental problems). In Nobuko Iijima (ed.), Kankyo shakaigaku (Environmental Sociology). 9–31. Tokyo: Yuhikaku. Ishikawa, Tetsuya. (2001). Nippon no shizen hogo (Nature Conservation in Japan). Tokyo: Heibonsha. Ishimure, Michiko. (1972). Waga SHI-min: The Minamata byo toso (Our Dying People: The Minamata Disease Struggle). Tokyo: Gendaihyoronsha. Japanese Association for Environmental Sociology (2000). Journal of Environmental Sociology. 6. Tokyo: Yuhikaku. Kerr, Alex. (1996). Lost Japan. Melbourne, Oakland, London, and Paris: Lonely Planet Publications. Kurihara, Akira. (2000). Shogen Minamata byo (Testimony of Minamata Disease). Tokyo: Iwanamishoten. McCormack, Gavan. (1997). Food water power people: dams and affluence in late 20th century east and southeast Asia. Kyoto Journal. 34: 4–28. Nakashima, Koji. (1999). Representing nature and nation. In Toshio Mizuuchi (ed.), Nation, Region and the Politics of Geography in East Asia. 13–30. Osaka: Osaka City University. Nature Conservation Society of Japan (2002). Shizen hogo NGO hanseiki no ayumi (50 Years of the NGO for Nature Conservation). Tokyo: Heibonsha. Okui, Tomiko. (1983). Aru shimin undo (A Civil Movement). Tsuchiura City: Tsukubashorin. Sugitani, Takashi and Okita, Chizuru. (2004). 2004nen sangiin senkyo ni okeru Nihonban ‘Midori no To’ no chiikiteki tokuhyo bunpu (Geographical vote distribution for Greens Japan in 2004 Upper House election). Ochanomizu University Studies in Arts and Culture. 1: 93–100. Ui, Jun. (1971–1974). KOGAI genron (Principles of pollution). Tokyo: Akishobo.

10 Civic movement for sustainable urban regeneration Downtown Fukaya City, Saitama prefecture1 Akito Murayama Introduction As Japan leaves the phase of rapid urban growth and enters the phase of maturity, the issues of economic, social, and environmental sustainability and the enhancement of people’s quality of life have become important issues. In many Japanese cities people are now searching for sustainable urban forms and functions that provide a high quality of life. As there is no single solution available for such issues, urban planning as a process of consensus building and decisionmaking among various actors of society in Japanese cities is becoming more important as a way of finding original solutions that contribute to urban sustainability and quality of life. Many planners, activists, and researchers argue that there has been a paradigm shift in Japanese urban planning from a top–down techno-bureaucratic approach to a bottom–up collaborative approach. In fact, after the revision of the City Planning Act to require municipal governments to prepare urban master plans through citizen participation processes in 1992, the Great Hanshin–Awaji Earthquake in 1995 and the establishment of the Law to Promote Specified Nonprofit Activities in 1998 (the NPO law), activities of non-profit organizations as well as citizen participation in policy-making processes have become very energetic in many cities. Developing and applying planning procedures and techniques while securing financial support and enough time to support bottom–up collaborative approaches have become important issues for planning researchers and practitioners. In order to activate bottom–up collaborative planning, pioneering practitioners are holding forums where various actors of society can discuss and share a future vision of the urban environment, and develop policies and implementation measures for urban regeneration. Furthermore, financial support and human resources are sought to empower civil society organizations that often have to confront strong pressures from governmental organizations with authority or private enterprises with market force. This chapter examines the process of participatory planning and machizukuri in downtown Fukaya City, Saitama prefecture in which the author participated as a staff member and a non-profit organization member. The chapter poses the

Sustainable urban regeneration 207 questions: is a paradigm shift of Japanese planning really occurring, and if so, to what extent have things really changed? What have been the successes and the difficulties accompanying change? Some tentative answers to these questions are proposed in the conclusions.

Fukaya and its planning context Fukaya is located in the northern part of Saitama prefecture, about 75 kilometers northwest of central Tokyo. The area of the city is about 70 square kilometers. In the Edo period (1603–1867), the city prospered as a post town (Shukubamachi) on the old Nakasendo highway, one of five major highways connecting old Tokyo (Edo) and cities in the rest of Japan. The Tone river was a busy shipping route, and villages located in northern part of the current municipal area developed as distribution centers. In the Meiji period (1868–1911), with the opening of Fukaya Station in 1883, rail transport became dominant. The sericulture and paper industries grew, and the brick factory established by the famous entrepreneur Eiichi Shibusawa became a symbol of modernization. The bricks made in Fukaya were used in the construction of Tokyo Station and other major buildings. In 1955, Fukaya City was established when Fukaya village and its surrounding villages were consolidated as part of a national campaign of municipal amalgamation. From 1960 to the present, Fukaya City has seen rapid urban growth with an increasing number of enterprises and a growing population. Population and industries As of July 1, 2005, the population of Fukaya was 104,212 residents in 37,137 households. Population decreased in the late 1950s, recovered afterwards, and increased about 10 percent each year from 1965 to 1985. Since 1985, the population has been stable. Examining population composition by age cohort, the ratio of 15 to 64 years old has been stable since 1965, the ratio of 14 years old and under has been decreasing since 1980 and the ratio of 65 years old and older has been on the rise since 1965. The city is expected to enter a phase of no- or low-growth, depopulation and an aging society in the near future similar to many other cities in Japan. Fukaya City has a large agricultural sector, ranked thirteenth in the nation and first in Saitama prefecture. The main products are vegetables and flowers including: leek, cucumber, spinach, tulips, and lilies. While production has continued to increase, the number of farming households has decreased steadily. With the development of industrial complexes from 1955 to 1985, manufacturing of electric appliances and metals has been successful. However, since 1992, the output and the number of workers have been decreasing. Until 1991, retail sales had been increasing steadily due to the increase of population, but, in recent years, the retail sector has been suffering, especially in the downtown area.


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Land use, suburban growth, and downtown decline About half of the city’s land is used for agriculture in the forms of rice paddies and vegetable fields. Since 1988, there has been a steady increase of land for housing and decrease of land for agriculture. Although the population of Fukaya City as a whole has increased since 1965 (approximately a 92 percent increase from 1965 to 2000), the population of downtown Fukaya has decreased since 1965 (approximately a 53 percent decrease). The same trend can be observed in the number of households. These changes are due to suburban residential developments that occurred in this period. In particular, the large land readjustment project in Kamishiba, a suburban residential area with a shopping center, had a great influence on suburbanization in Fukaya City. The main street of downtown Fukaya had prospered as a post town in Edo period and maintained its character as a significant commercial and business center until the 1970s. In the late 1970s into the 1980s, with the progress of motorization and suburban developments both residential and commercial, downtown Fukaya started to experience a decline. The decline of downtown retail became serious after the development of the Kamishiba Shopping Center in the early 1980s. Land readjustment projects in downtown Fukaya Land readjustment is an urban development project that transforms a chaotic urban area into a neater urban area with wider streets, grid street pattern, new parks, organized lots, and extra lots for sale (see Doebele 1982; Sorensen 1999). Since it involves the relocation and reconstruction of buildings and changes to street patterns, considerable loss of historic assets is inevitable. One characteristic of land readjustment projects is that the area of each lot is reduced as it is assigned to a new location (usually near the original location). A portion of each land holding is contributed for public facilities including streets and parks or additional lots for sale to cover the project costs. Although the area of each lot is reduced, the value of each landholding will theoretically increase in value because the surrounding physical environment is much improved after the project. Downtown Fukaya can be divided into two areas: the Station Front Area and the Nakasendo Area. A land readjustment project was implemented in the Station Front Area from 1971 to 1997. The area has wide streets and large blocks. The designated Floor Area Ratio (FAR) is 400 percent but currently only about 100 percent is actually used. The Nakasendo Area is a low rise and high density urban area along the former feudal highway with narrow streets, small lots, and historic resources including buildings and alleys. The critical issue here is the compatibility of the ongoing land readjustment project with historic conservation. The city, Fukaya Chamber of Commerce, property and business owners had developed an ambitious downtown redevelopment scheme for the Nakasendo

Figure 10.1 Scale model of existing downtown Fukaya (2003) (source: author’s own photograph). Note This model, with the photographs shows the different characteristics of the Station Front Area and Nakasendo Area.

Figure 10.2 Downtown redevelopment scheme (left) and Chuo Land Readjustment Project Plan (right) (source: adapted from Murayama and Matsumoto 2005). Note The land readjustment project plan was developed to realize the downtown redevelopment scheme. It is still effective despite the withdrawal of the downtown redevelopment scheme.


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Area in 1988, but the scheme was withdrawn after the burst of the bubble economy. However, the Chuo Land Readjustment Project Plan (an infrastructure plan of grid pattern streets and parks) that supported the redevelopment scheme was not withdrawn and is in effect as of 2005 with only minor changes. Currently, the land readjustment project is gradually being implemented in the Nakasendo Area. When an infrastructure plan has been approved, and new street alignments written into the Official Plan, it is not very easy to simply cancel it.

Developing the Fukaya City urban master plan through the citizen participation process Organization and process overview The revision to the City Planning Act of 1992 introduced a new system that required municipal governments to prepare urban master plans through citizen participation processes. Following the provision of the Act, in 2000 Fukaya City initiated a planning process involving intensive citizen participation. The planning organization had three groups: Planning Committee, Citizen Planning Group, and staff. The Planning Committee consisted of officials from various city departments and university professors and was in charge of developing and finalizing the urban master plan based on the citizens’ proposals. The Citizen Planning Group (CPG), responsible for preparing citizens’ proposals, was formed by volunteer citizens (more than 100 at the peak) who had responded to the city’s recruitment efforts including the announcement in the city’s monthly newsletter and the publicity in Fukaya Station, Kamishiba Shopping Center, and a local spring festival. The staff was made up of city officials from the Urban Planning Section, private consultants and university research unit members including the author. The role of staff was to facilitate and assist activities of the Planning Committee, CPG, and its sub-groups. Following the basic data collection and organization by consultants, the planning process started in November 2000 with the recruitment of CPG members and the unearthing of their concerns. The following seven sub-groups of CPG were created: Conservation and Creation of Natural Environment and Agricultural Land, Residential Environment and Urban Landscape, Universal Design and Urban Safety, Conservation and Creation of Historic Environment, Downtown Revitalization, Transportation System, and Citizen Participation and Progress Monitoring. From April to December 2001, the seven sub-groups worked intensively and monthly CPG meetings were conducted. In March 2002, the citizens’ proposals were finalized after integrating the sub-group proposals from the citywide perspective and further discussion about the key issues. During 2002 and 2003, the urban master plan was developed by the Planning Committee assisted by staff and some CPG members, based on the citizens’ proposals. A questionnaire on the draft plan was sent to every household in the city. Finally in January 2004, the plan was officially adopted (Koizumi 2004).

Sustainable urban regeneration 211 Activities and proposals by Downtown Revitalization Group The Downtown Revitalization Group (DRG) was one of the most active subgroups in the planning process because the incompatibility of land readjustment project with historic conservation was a critical issue in the downtown. It was widely recognized that if the land readjustment project went ahead, it would inevitably lead to the destruction of the remaining historical assets in the area. The DRG consisted of nine volunteer citizens, one city official from the Land Readjustment Section and three staff members including the author. It should be noted here that most of the citizens in the DRG were not downtown property owners or retailers but residents living outside the downtown who were interested in downtown revitalization. They were interested in downtown revitalization for a variety of reasons, but they all looked at the downtown as a unique area representing history and culture that was essential to the identity of Fukaya City. They considered the revitalization of the declining downtown key for the city’s sustainable growth. The rest of this section focuses on the activities and proposals by the DRG. From April to July 2001, the DRG made a significant effort to identify and share issues related to downtown revitalization. In the town walking workshop held in April 2001, approximately 30 people, including downtown property owners and retailers walked around downtown in three groups and recorded on large maps their favorite places and interests as well as the places to be improved. After the workshop the three groups shared information. In the Citizen Planning Group (CPG) meeting of May, more than 120 comments from the workshop were categorized and presented to all members of the CPG. Comments included the need to preserve historic resources, to renew deteriorated buildings, to improve the street environment and to revitalize commercial activities. In June, the DRG made a map showing the existing condition of downtown (surface parking lots, historic buildings, public facilities, greenery, and major streets) and displays explaining downtown issues, existing plans, and DRG activities. They were presented to the public during the Tanabata Festival in early July 2001. The DRG members argued that the major issues of downtown were to conserve and utilize historic resources and to improve the existing urban environment incrementally and that the implementation of the land readjustment project was a serious problem that had to be faced. As downtown issues gradually became clear through the above activities, the DRG members started to publicly question the existing Chuo Land Readjustment Project Plan that would destroy many of the historic resources in the Nakasendo Area. Since the beginning of the planning process, collaboration between the three efforts within downtown Fukaya, namely land readjustment led by the city’s Land Readjustment Section, commercial revitalization led by the Fukaya Town Management Organization (within the Fukaya Chamber of Commerce) and the urban master plan led by the city’s Urban Planning Section, had been a challenge. The lead staff member of the Urban Planning Section coordinated a joint staff meeting for an exchange of information and opinions after realizing that the


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DRG was questioning the existing land readjustment project plan and considering a promotion of downtown regeneration through conservation and utilization of historic resources. In the meeting, urban master plan staff introduced the current opinions of the DRG, expressed the fear of carrying out the Chuo Land Readjustment Project Plan without clear future vision and insisted on the need for collaboration between the three efforts. On the other hand, land readjustment staff and town management staff emphasized that they would not modify or abolish the existing plans unless there was a consensus among downtown property owners and retailers to do so. The situation was that many downtown property owners and retailers supported the land readjustment and the commercial revitalization efforts by the city’s Land Readjustment Section and Fukaya Town Management Organization while the DRG members strongly opposed those efforts. The city’s urban planning section was in a dilemma; the position of the DRG was so diametrically opposed to the existing plan that some sort of conflict was inevitable. Between August and early September 2001, the DRG concentrated on presenting the downtown issues to the public, trying to get support from downtown property owners and retailers in particular. This was to be accomplished through the citywide public forum co-sponsored by Fukaya City and CPG, sub-area conferences and the temporary information center placed in Fukaya Station for two weeks. Unfortunately, these efforts were a failure since downtown property owners and retailers were tired of participation processes in the past and as such were reluctant to be involved in the DRG activities and asked the DRG to come up with a reasonable alternative right away. In October, after many meetings, the DRG confirmed the following position and direction: •

• •

The DRG will continue to provide detailed information on its activities and proposals, will not try to gain more participants and proceed with activities to propose goals and policies for downtown revitalization. Staff will propose the process for shaping proposals. The DRG will not oppose to the existing land readjustment project plan, but will present several alternatives including the existing plan and evaluate them. The DRG will not select the preferred alternative but Fukaya citizens will do so through a citywide questionnaire. The DRG will provide appropriate materials to be considered by the public.

The above position and direction were adopted based on the conclusion reached after many meetings that the role of the DRG should be to provide an opportunity for constructive discussion and that the DRG should change its position from oppositional to neutral to get out of the parallel discussion with the city’s Land Readjustment Section and Fukaya Town Management Organization. In November, following this new position and direction, DRG came up with “The Principles of Downtown Regeneration” explaining the basic goals of

Sustainable urban regeneration 213 downtown regeneration and “The Policies of Downtown Planning: Three Directions” showing three different possible infrastructure alternatives. “The Principles of Downtown Regeneration” proposed are shown in Box 1. The principles were based on “Ten Principles of Japanese Compact City” proposed by Kaido (2001) and customized for downtown Fukaya based on previous activities by the DRG members. Furthermore, “The Policies of Downtown Planning: Three Directions” were developed as shown in Box 2. These were preliminary plans prepared by staff and adopted by the DRG to initiate a discussion on infrastructure alternatives. In December, the DRG proposals were organized for presentation in the CPG meeting. The term “Living City” was introduced as a key concept of downtown regeneration which looks at downtown not merely as commercial or residential area but mixed use area equipped with various functions to support living, working, playing, and consuming.

Box 1: the principles of downtown regeneration Citywide planning 1 Shape compact urban form; 2 (Re-)Create a high-density downtown; 3 Provide public transportation system around downtown. Downtown planning 1 Mix various uses and functions including housing, retail, business, government, culture, and welfare; 2 Promote an effective use of underutilized land; 3 Create pedestrian and bicycle oriented street environment; 4 Network greenery and water including parks, shrines, temples, and streams; 5 Promote various downtown industries; 6 Inherit historical context and pull out values and possibilities of downtown; 7 Pursue beauty of space; 8 Improve disaster prevention performance; 9 Promote universal design; 10 Encourage learning and support for machizukuri.


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Box 2: the policies of downtown planning: three directions Alternative 1: no infrastructure change • • • •

Make Nakasendo (main street) a pedestrian priority street; Conserve and utilize historic subdivisions, buildings, and spaces; Concentrate commercial activities mainly on Nakasendo; Incrementally improve and rehabilitate residential environment.

Alternative 2: north–south corridor • • •

Make Nakasendo and Nakazemichi (another historical street from Edo period) pedestrian priority streets; Partially conserve and utilize historic subdivisions, buildings, and spaces; Concentrate commercial activities mainly on newly built 22-meterswide north–south Fukaya Street. Other uses including housing will be introduced along the street; Incrementally improve and rehabilitate residential environment. Renew the area along Fukaya Street and improve its residential environment.

Alternative 3: existing land readjustment project plan • • • •

Make a newly built Nigiwai Street a pedestrian priority street; Conserve and utilize historic resources as much as possible; Concentrate commercial activities mainly on Nigiwai Street; Renew the whole area and improve its residential environment.

Scale model workshop Since downtown regeneration was one of the most important and controversial issues in citywide perspective as it concerned the identity of Fukaya City and required a major investment by the city, further study was conducted. In February 2002, issues for a part of downtown were studied in detail using 1:200 scale models. The DRG members wanted to conduct a scale model workshop since the preliminary drawings for the policies of downtown planning did not really represent the alternative images of future urban space. In the workshop, participants put pedestrian oriented streets, residential streets, new buildings, parks, plazas, and trees on two different models that staff prepared and discussed the merits and demerits of the different alternatives. The first model represented Alternative 1 (no major infrastructure change) and the second one represented Alternative 3 (existing land readjustment project plan). Through the workshop, the spatial image of each alternative was presented visually and issues of each alternative became much clearer.

Sustainable urban regeneration 215

Figure 10.3 Preliminary drawings for the policies of downtown planning: three directions (source: adapted from Murayama and Matsumoto 2005). Note

These drawings show different possible infrastructure alternatives.

After that, the DRG held one more workshop of the same kind, this time using models of an even wider area. The DRG members, downtown property owners and retailers, Fukaya Town Management Organization staff, and urban master plan staff participated in this second workshop. The points of discussion were as follows: •

There are problems in implementing the existing land readjustment project plan. Modification is still possible. It is important to consider various possibilities and come up with a new alternative that everyone agrees on. There is too much risk in implementing a large-scale land readjustment project plan at once. How about implementing the plan in small units and working on individual projects step by step?

216 •

Akito Murayama The initial aim of the land readjustment project planned in the period of bubble economy was the efficient (i.e. high-density) use of land, but the socioeconomic situation changed afterwards. We need to redefine the aim of downtown regeneration and come up with the appropriate implementation measures.

Draft plan, questionnaire, and final plan Based on the above and other activities by the CPG and its sub-groups, the citizens’ proposals were developed and adopted by spring 2002. The downtown regeneration part of the plan was a compilation of the DRG’s work including the “Policies of Current Issues,” the “Principles of Downtown Regeneration,” and the “Policies of Downtown Planning: Three Directions,” and the results of the scale model workshops. The Planning Committee then started a series of discussions to develop a draft plan subjected to a citywide questionnaire. Staff prepared a preliminary plan for discussion based on the citizens’ proposals. In the Planning Committee meetings of summer 2002, discussion was concentrated on proposals that asked the city government for additional expenditure or reconsiderations of existing measures. Among them were the re-evaluation of the existing land readjustment project plan to be compatible with historic conservation, the purchase of historic buildings or the establishment of a subsidy system for historic conservation, the control of new suburban regional commercial development and improvement of circular bus service. From September to December 2002, a questionnaire based on the draft plan was on the table for discussion. Many of the city officials on the Planning Committee insisted on the need for discussion and coordination within city departments regarding the specific issues mentioned above. City officials generally hesitated to include specific measures to realize the master plan as they could not guarantee their implementation. As for the Chuo Land Readjustment Project Plan, the DRG’s original proposal to ask the public to select from the three alternatives was not adopted. Instead, questions asking about the future image of urban landscape, the policies for Nakasendo (main street) improvement, and the method of land readjustment project plan implementation (“all at once” or “step by step”) were set. The city officials were clearly reluctant to change or add to the content and procedures of ongoing work. In February 2003, a citywide questionnaire drafted by the Planning Committee was distributed to 29,400 households in Fukaya and 3,100 (10.7 percent) of those were returned. The questionnaire followed the structure of the draft plan: Major Issues, Goals and Measures for Land Use, Downtown Regeneration, Safe and Comfortable Residential Environment, Conservation and Creation of Rural Environment, Transportation, Parks and Plazas, Citizen Activities and Participation, Plan Monitoring and Evaluation, and Machizukuri Ordinance accompanied with “Fukaya Stories” that described in the form of a story some examples of lifestyles that could be realized after the plan was implemented. Regarding downtown regeneration, the basic policy and the measures to conserve and

Sustainable urban regeneration 217 utilize historic environment, the concrete policy to widen Nakasendo (which would in fact result in a partial destruction of the historic environment) and the step-by-step implementation of land readjustment project plan were supported by Fukaya citizens who answered the questionnaire. Fukaya citizens were given multiple choices accompanied by descriptions in text and images for each of the issues. The result of the questionnaires showed that at the same time they supported historic conservation, they also wanted to see Nakasendo widened for a better street environment for both pedestrians and automobiles. The final plan was then prepared based on the results of the questionnaire and was completed in fall 2003. As shown in Box 3, the downtown regeneration part of the final plan consisted of two basic policies and measures to implement them.

Box 3: downtown regeneration part of Fukaya City urban master plan Basic policies of downtown regeneration • •

Conservation and utilization of historic environment; Multi-functional ‘Living City.’

Major measures for downtown regeneration • • • • • • • •

Historic landscaping project in Nakasendo (main street); Urban design guidelines; Cope with both historic conservation and disaster prevention; Step by step promotion of Chuo Land Readjustment Project Plan; Support conservation and utilization of historic buildings; Public facility utilizing historic building; Support for utilization of vacant stores; Support for events for revitalization.

Activities of Fukaya Nigiwai Kobo, a non-profit organization Fukaya Nigiwai Kobo (FNK) is a registered non-profit organization established in July 2002 by interested citizen members of Fukaya Urban Master Plan Citizen Planning Group (CPG) particularly the Downtown Revitalization Group (DRG) who wanted to continue their activities after the completion of the Urban Master Plan. The mission of FNK is to conduct research, provide and collect information, hold seminars and events, and make proposals to enhance quality of life and to revitalize the community. FNK seeks to achieve the “Living City” outlined in the Downtown Regeneration section of Fukaya City Urban Master Plan.


Akito Murayama

As a result of the background of its establishment, activities of FNK are strongly tied to the implementation of the urban master plan. Until March 2003, FNK conducted a wide variety of projects related to the identification and utilization of local resources, the promotion of machizukuri activities, cooperation with Fukaya Town Management Organization projects and participation with the city’s policy-making processes. The challenges for historic conservation Since April 2003, FNK has been focusing its activities on the conservation and utilization of historic resources. FNK was fortunate that one of its members owned a historic warehouse built in 1933 to store hardware merchandise, the Yanase Warehouse. After reading the proceedings of the symposium on historic conservation and utilization that FNK coordinated, he decided to lend the unused warehouse to FNK for the unbelievably low rent of ¥5,000 per month (about US$50) and allowed FNK to start a renovation project. In the Yanase Warehouse Renovation Project, after spending time renovating and cleaning the building, FNK held two events, the Firefly Experience Project and the Photo Gallery of Good Old Days Fukaya, as experimental uses of Yanase Warehouse under renovation. In the Firefly Experience Project, nearly 2,000 fireflies were let go inside the warehouse for appreciation and learning opportunities were provided for children. The event was held during the Fukaya Tanabata Festival when many people gather in the downtown. In the two-hour period of the event, around 400 visitors were counted. In the photo gallery of Good Old Days Fukaya, old photos of Fukaya taken by a local photographer were displayed for two days and approximately 250 people visited the exhibit. A music recital in a sake maker’s warehouse, Nanatsuume, was another activity related to conservation and utilization of historic resources. FNK invited professional recorder players and held concerts inside the sake maker’s historic warehouse. Children and their parents totaling about 80 enjoyed beautiful music in the unique atmosphere of the historic warehouse. These projects were made possible by subsidies from the intermediaries: DoCoop and Japan Junior Chamber, Inc. Urban renaissance model survey In spring 2004, the director and two co-directors of FNK, including the author, applied to the Urban Renaissance Model Survey administered by the Urban Renaissance Headquarters of the Prime Minister’s Office and successfully acquired a national government fund of around ¥6 million for three major projects: a Survey of Historic Buildings by Citizens, Detailed Surveys and Utilization Proposals of Major Historic Buildings by Local Architects, and the Major Renovation of the Yanase Warehouse (described in Box 4). The funding was intended to support pioneering local initiatives that aim to solve difficult problems for the enhancement of quality of life and the revitalization of the

Sustainable urban regeneration 219 community. During the 2004 fiscal year, 556 proposals were submitted and 162 were funded nationwide. FNK’s proposal was entitled “Surveys and Experimental Uses of Historic Buildings by Citizens for Downtown Regeneration” and was intended to widen the recognition of values of historic buildings, promote the participation of citizens in machizukuri, encourage property owners to consider conservation and utilization of their historic buildings and establish an actual mechanism to conserve and utilize historic buildings. After some changes to the original proposal, a variety of activities were conducted from summer 2004 to winter 2005. The effort was successful in that some property owners have decided to positively consider conservation and utilization of their historic buildings and that one property owner asked FNK to conduct a similar survey for his historic warehouse after attending the final exhibition and presentation. Conversely, financial and human resources to mobilize the conservation and utilization of historic buildings through the collaboration of property owners, local architects, local businesses, and FNK are needed. Furthermore, there are real conflicts between the city’s potential measures to conserve and utilize the historic environment so that as many historic resources as possible will be inherited by future generations, and the implementation of the Chuo Land Readjustment Project Plan. The land readjustment project as initially planned would have resulted in the destruction of virtually all the historic assets in the area, and modifying the plan sufficiently to protect those assets is still a great challenge.

Box 4: surveys and experimental uses of historic buildings by citizens for downtown regeneration Fukaya machizukuri school: survey of historic buildings by citizens The event in which 13 citizens selected their favorite historic buildings to be conserved and utilized through the tour of historic buildings including shop houses, mud-walled warehouses and brick warehouses as well as forgotten urban spaces including courtyards and alleys. The tour was followed by interviews to the owners on episodes and lifestyles related to the historic buildings. Prior to the event, FNK members and interns from the University of Tokyo conducted a comprehensive survey of over 200 historic buildings in downtown Fukaya and created a database. Detailed surveys and utilization proposals of major historic buildings by local architects FNK asked a local architects group Mokusei to conduct detailed surveys and to make utilization proposals for the five major historic buildings


Akito Murayama

selected by citizens. The purposes were to make records, to understand the owners’ attitudes toward conservation and utilization, to provide visual images of conservation and utilization of historic buildings to the public and to support historic building owners. Major renovation of Yanase Warehouse and its use In order to be compatible with the governing building and fire codes, Yanase Warehouse went under a major renovation. The renovation plan was designed by Mokusei architects. After the renovation, exhibition, and presentation of Mokusei’s works, the serving of local noodle soup and other uses were realized in the warehouse (see Figure 10.5).

Figure 10.4 Yanase Warehouse renovation (source: author’s own photograph). Note Major renovation was made possible through the Urban Renaissance Model Survey conducted by the local non-profit organization FNK.

Sustainable urban regeneration 221

Figure 10.5 Activities in Yanase Warehouse (source: author’s own photograph).

Conclusions In Fukaya City, before the activities described above happened, there was no civic movement to impact the city’s existing urban planning policies. Policies were generally proposed, adopted, and implemented by the city departments with the participation of property owners. The citizen participation process in developing Fukaya City Urban Master Plan provided an opportunity for the citizens to initiate a civic movement to address what they really wanted to see in the future of Fukaya City. The role of staff to facilitate and assist the activities of the CPG and its subgroups seemed essential in launching the civic movement. As a result of the process, a non-profit organization Fukaya Nigiwai Kobo (FNK) was established to continue the activities to enhance quality of life and revitalize the community. Is a paradigm shift of Japanese planning from top–down techno-bureaucratic approach to bottom–up collaborative approach really occurring, and if so, have things really changed? What have been the successes and difficulties accompanying change? In the case of downtown Fukaya City, urban master plan staff including city officials from the Urban Planning Section, private consultants, and university research unit members tried to realize the paradigm shift through the activation of the civic movement, but they could not fully achieve their goals. They were successful in engaging, raising awareness, educating, and activating citizens to confront the


Akito Murayama

city departments resulting in some new policies and measures based on the citizen groups’ proposals being incorporated into the city’s urban master plan. However, the efforts of the DRG and the CPG could not make the city really reconsider the inadequacy of the existing land readjustment plan. This is partly because the DRG and the CPG were not successful in involving and gaining support from downtown property owners and retailers who could directly impact the city department in charge. After the completion of the urban master plan, FNK, with scarce resources, is making a tremendous effort to engage downtown property owners and retailers in its activities focused on historic conservation. Through its actual activities (and not policy planning) of utilizing historic resources, some of them seem to have begun to seriously consider historic conservation. FNK, supported by downtown property owners and retailers, has the potential to be very influential in the future. On the other hand, the city has not moved forward to implement the adopted urban master plan, especially those items related to conservation and utilization of the historic environment. FNK has been asking the city to open the plan implementation process to the public or at least present the work plan, but its voices are rarely heard. The civic movement in downtown Fukaya might not have realized a paradigm shift, but it had a great influence on planning in Fukaya. It certainly introduced some new ideas of historic conservation to downtown Fukaya regeneration, it created new organizations such as the CPG, the DRG, and FNK, and it changed the process of developing a master plan. These achievements are successes for the future. In order for the paradigm shift to really occur, both the activation of civic movement and the change in the city departments are needed. In the case of Fukaya, the civic movement was successfully activated but difficulties still remained in having the city departments operate in collaboration with civic society organizations in addition to property owners and retailers, and to change existing policies, plans, and the organizational structure if necessary. We can only hope that the city departments change their approach to a more collaborative manner before the civic movement loses its energy.

Note 1 This chapter is a revised version of: Akito Murayama (2005) “Governance for Sustainable Urban Regeneration: Cases of Participatory Urban Planning and Machizukuri in Fukaya City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan,” Conference Proceedings of the International Federation for Housing and Planning (IFHP) spring Conference 2005: The Intentional City, May 22–25, 2005, Portland, Oregon, USA, pp. 7–17.

Bibliography Amano, Shinya (2005), Saitama-Ken Fukaya-Shi no Machinaka Saisei ni Muketa Torikumi no Tenkai Katei: Planning Naki Machinaka Saisei no Genkai to Kadai (The Process of Downtown Regeneration Efforts in Fukaya City, Saitama Prefecture: Limits and Problems of Downtown Regeneration without Planning), Masters Thesis, Department of Urban Engineering, Graduate School of Engineering, The University of Tokyo (In Japanese).

Sustainable urban regeneration 223 Doebele, William, ed. (1982), Land Readjustment, a Different Approach to Financing Urbanization. Lexington, Massachusetts: Lexington Books. Fukaya Nigiwai Kobo website: (In Japanese). Ichimiya, Takahiro with Akito Murayama, Hideki Koizumi, Rikutaro Manabe, Kazuhisa Sugisaki, Kiyoshige Miura, Kotaro Kojima, and Ichiro Miyamori (2002), Fukaya-Shi Toshi Master Plan – Sono 3: Chushinshigaichikasseikahan no Kessei to Sono Yakuwari (Fukaya City Master Plan: Proposal by Citizen Planning Group – Part 3: Organization of Downtown Revitalization Group and its Role), Architectural Institute of Japan Annual Conference (Hokuriku) 7005 (In Japanese). Kaido, Kiyonobu (2001), Compact City: Jizokukano na Shakai no Toshizo wo Motomete, (Compact City: In Search for Urban Visions of Sustainable Societies) Tokyo: Gakugei Shuppan-sha (In Japanese). Koizumi, Hideki (2004), Empowerment in the Japanese Planning Context, in: André Sorensen, Peter J. Marcotullio, and Jill Grant (eds.), Towards Sustainable Cities: East Asian, North American and European Perspectives on Managing Urban Regions, Aldershot: Ashgate. Murayama, Akito and Hirsyuki Matsumoto (2005), ‘Fukaya no Toshi Master Plan to Machinaka Saisei’ (Fukaya’s City Master Plan and Downtown Regeneration), in: Hiroshi Yahagi and Hideki Koizumi (eds), Series Toshi Saisei 3 – Teijogata Toshi e no Mosaku: Chiho Toshi no Kuto (Series Urban Regeneration 3 – Toward a Stable City: Struggles in Local Cities), Tokyo: Nihon Keizai Hyoron-Sha. Murayama, Akito with Shinya Amano and Ichiro Miyamori (2005), Machinaka Saisei ni Muketa Rekishitekikenzobutsu Chosa / Katsuyo Jikken: NPO Fukaya Nigiwai Kobo ni yoru Toshi Saisei Model Chosa no Gaiyo (Survey and Experimental Utilization of Historic Buildings for Downtown Regeneration: Overview of Urban Regeneration Model Survey by Registered NPO Fukaya Nigiwai Kobo), Architectural Institute of Japan Annual Conference (Kinki) 7467 (In Japanese). Murayama, Akito with Hideki Koizumi, Kazuhisa Sugisaki, Rikutaro Manabe, Kotaro Kojima and Ichiro Miyamori (2003), Fukaya-Shi Toshi Master Plan: Machizukuri Kyogikai Teiango no Tenkai – Sono 3: NPO Fukaya Nigiwai Kobo no Setsuritsu to Sono Katsudo” (Fukaya City Master Plan: Movement After the Citizen Planning Group Proposal – Part 3: Establishment and Activities of the NPO Fukaya Nigiwai Kobo), Architectural Institute of Japan Annual Conference (Tokai) 7510 (In Japanese). —— (2004), Fukaya-Shi Toshi Master Plan: “Machinaka Saisei” Bubun no Naiyo to Sono Jitsugen ni okeru Kadai (Fukaya City Master Plan: Contents and Problems in the Implementation of “Downtown Regeneration” Section), Architectural Institute of Japan Annual Conference (Hokkaido) 7296 (In Japanese). Murayama, Akito with Takahiro Ichimiya, Hideki Koizumi, Rikutaro Manabe, Kazuhisa Sugisaki, Kiyoshige Miura, Kotaro Kojima and Ichiro Miyamori (2002), Fukaya-Shi Toshi Master Plan – Sono 4: “Seikatsugai” no Saisei ni Muketa Fukaya-Shi Chushinshigaichi no Kukankeisi no Hoshinzukuri (Fukaya City Master Plan: Proposal by Citizen Planning Group – Part 4: Development of Downtown Fukaya Planning Policies for Revitalizing the “Living City”), Architectural Institute of Japan Annual Conference (Hokuriku) 7006 (In Japanese). Sorensen, André (1999), Land Readjustment, Urban Planning and Urban Sprawl in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. Urban Studies. 36(13): 2333–2360.

11 Neighborhood Associations and machizukuri processes Strengths and weaknesses Shizuka Hashimoto

Introduction Neighborhood Associations (NA) are very widely distributed through almost all Japanese communities with a high participation rate of residents and are well known as an essential part of Japanese civil society (Pekkanen 2004: 225; Pharr 2003: 326). This form of community group has had powerful effects on the style, form and operation of community organization in Japan; this is in large part why age and gender groups such as women’s associations, elderly associations, and children’s associations exist widely across the country. In order to operate, NAs usually have a long-standing tradition of decision-making based on participation of member households, thereby being able to convey the demands and concerns of residents. Local governments, therefore, routinely expect NAs to represent the opinions of member households. In the meantime, machizukuri efforts often attempt to prioritize new sets of ideas and values for local environments and intend to involve new actors in the process. Drawing on their previous relations with NAs, local governments often expect that NAs would play a central role in machizukuri. There are, however, clear signs of decline in the effectiveness of NAs as representatives of community interests. The questions this chapter addresses are: how do NAs act in machizukuri process, and what impacts do the NAs have on machizukuri processes? Before examining two case studies on machizukuri efforts to investigate answers to the above questions, I explore the organizational characteristics of NAs such as organizational structure, general activities, and their relationship with local governments. The discussion of the general characteristics of NAs will help explain why NAs took a certain form of behavior in the machizukuri processes described in the case studies.

Organizational characteristics of Neighborhood Associations The NA is the most widespread type of citizens’ group in Japan, with a total of 274,733 associations in 1980 (Ministry of Home Affairs 1981). Approximately one-third of NAs, 90,276, were established before World War II. NAs go by a number of names, depending on the area and date established: self-governance

NAs and machizukuri processes 225 associations (jichi-kai) (28.9 percent), neighborhood associations (chonai-kai) (25.6 percent), village/hamlet associations (buraku-kai) (17.3 percent) or ward associations (ku-kai) (18.4 percent). The number of NAs increased to 298,488 in 1992 (Ministry of Home Affairs 1993: 2) and has continued to increase gradually as population increases and human habitation expands. In 1980, the Ministry of Home Affairs conducted a comprehensive survey on NAs, in which all municipal governments across the country participated, 3,278 in total. It is apparently the most recent nationwide complete survey, though there are several surveys that targeted limited numbers of municipalities. All but five municipal governments responded to the survey; that is, 3,265 municipalities out of 3,278 had NAs in their jurisdiction; and the figures below refer to those 3,265 municipalities. Membership Participation in NAs is not on an individual basis but on a household basis. This is in part thought to be a legacy of prewar family system which institutionalized the absolute power of the household head over family members. In 3,164 municipalities NAs were organized in more than 90 percent of the area of jurisdiction; in 2,867 municipalities (87.8 percent of the total), NAs were organized in all neighborhoods, showing the high participation rate in NAs across the country. Although NAs are thought to be voluntary associations organized by residents, however, there are numerous means to encourage households to participate. Indeed, in approximately half of the municipalities (1,647), most of the NAs participation was semi-compulsory; in the other half, 1,539 municipalities, though most of the NAs employ a voluntary participation system, as a general rule, all households were expected to participate in a NA. In contrast, there were only 56 municipalities in which most of NAs employed a completely voluntary participation system. Indeed, the number of municipalities in which more than 90 percent of households participated in NAs amounted to 3,116 or 95.4 percent of the respondents. Provision of various services combined with the encouragement of participation to non-member households enabled NAs to successfully maintain high participation rates, even if only in a nominal fashion. Although there were large NAs whose membership exceeded 1,000 households, they were exceptional, amounting to only 2,633 NAs (0.9 percent of the total.) 44 percent of NAs had less than 50 households, 24 percent had between 50 and 100 households, and 17 percent had between 100 and 200 households. A significant majority of NAs thus have less than 200 households. In most municipalities (86.2 percent of the total), NAs collected a membership fee which was their largest funding source. In addition, in just over half of the municipalities (51.4 percent) subsidies for community-based activities was their second largest funding source.


Shizuka Hashimoto

Activities NA activities can be largely divided into two categories: administrative activities and non-administrative activities, both of which benefit residents of neighborhoods either directly or indirectly. As for non-administrative activities, NAs perform various activities to improve the living environment and the quality of life for residents. NAs improve the physical environment of neighborhoods through cleaning and beautification of neighborhoods as well as the management or construction of communal facilities such as community centers and road environments. In addition, NAs provide various recreational and cultural activities for residents, assist individuals in funerals and weddings, and support local groups, all of which promote friendship among residents, nurturing social capital of neighborhoods. Other than these activities, NAs often provide various services for residents including disaster and fire prevention, traffic safety, and circulation of newsletters. Administrative activities range from communication between local governments and residents to mobilization of residents for the sake of effective administration (Table 11.2). Though municipal governments are responsible for administrative activities, they often ask representatives of NAs to conduct those activities in order to reduce governmental costs. By appointing representatives of NAs as intermediaries, municipal governments hope to use NAs as inexpensive administrative branches. Indeed, the number of municipal governments which Table 11.1 Major activities of Neighborhood Associations Activities

Contacts with a municipal government Presenting petition and demand from residents to a municipal government Management of a community center Cleaning and beautification of a neighborhood Bon dance, festivals, athletic meets, travel (Cooperation for) Charities and blood donation Installation of street lights and security lights Disaster and fire prevention Cultural activities, sporting activities Elderly people’s group, children’s group, Coming-of-Age Day celebration Traffic safety Management and maintenance of roads Funerals and weddings Collection of various insurance due Publication of newsletters Other Source: Ministry of Home Affairs 1981: 5.

NAs that engage in these activities Number




2,919 2,919 2,782 2,687 2,683 2,157 2,073 2,037

89.4 89.4 85.2 82.3 82.2 66.1 63.5 62.4

2,004 1,684 1,642 1,588 1,256 525 126

61.4 51.6 50.3 48.6 38.5 16.1 3.9

NAs and machizukuri processes 227 Table 11.2 Administrative activities delegated to NAs by municipal governments Activities

Delivery of governmental newsletters and documents Asking for public cooperation for charities Liaison between municipal governments and residents Various surveys Delivery of governmental invoices such as tax papers Promotion of taking out mutual aids for various accidents Cooperation for garbage collection Other

NAs that engage in these activities number


2,967 2,678

90.9 82.0

2,415 1,753

74.0 53.7



1,478 266

45.5 8.1



Source: Ministry of Home Affairs 1981: 11.

delegate administrative activities to NAs amounted to 2,294 (70.3 percent of the total). Moreover, roughly half of the municipalities, 1,683 (51.5 percent), appoint representatives of NAs as part-time governmental officials to take charge of administrative activities. Compensation for the activities ranged from less than ¥10,000 to ¥10,000–50,000 per month (about US$100–500), and only a few cases were entirely on a volunteer basis (without payment); supposedly the amount of compensation in large part depended on the population of neighborhoods. Organizational structure and operation NAs, in general, have their own general assembly as the highest decisionmaking body in which every member household is expected to participate; each household is entitled to send one person as a representative. However, as a general assembly requires a wide range of participation by constituent households, it is only held once or twice a year for the accounting statement and personnel of a NA. Regular decision-making for operating activities are delegated to a board meeting which usually includes a head, deputy, secretary, accountant, accounting auditor, and representatives of lower organizations. Almost every NA has several lower organizations which consist of between ten and 30 households; the size of an organization depends on the population of neighborhoods. Each lower organization is entitled to send a representative to participate in monthly or semi-monthly board meetings, to convey the demands and concerns of constituent households. They are also expected to inform residents of discussions and decisions after every meeting. The presence of lower organizations and representatives enables the efficient operation of various activities carried out by NAs.


Shizuka Hashimoto

Let us take an example of a neighborhood clean-up in order to understand how the linkage of a board meeting and households works. All member households are obliged to send one person for the clean-up to do their fair share. The board discusses when to carry out a neighborhood-wide clean-up activity, hearing opinions of representatives, to secure broad participation of residents. The meeting also decides on the responsibilities of each lower organization. After the meeting, representatives inform the constituent households of the board meeting decision and ask them to participate in the clean-up. Each household then decides who to send considering the schedule and allocation. The same is true for requests from governments. If a municipal government asks the head of a NA to carry out something for the sake of the government or to deliver a newsletter to residents, the head utilizes the linkage between the board and member households, in cooperation with representatives of lower organizations, to discuss whether to or how to cooperate, allocate workloads among member households, and mobilize residents to execute the business asked by the government. In summary, NAs operate various activities using three basic functions: representation, communication, and mobilization, based on nested organizational structure. Moreover, in addition to lower organizations, NAs usually belong to a higher organization (Joint Neighborhood Association, JNA) comprised of several NAs on an elementary school district scale or old municipality scale. JNAs are operated by representatives of constituent NAs, usually heads of NAs, with revenue of contributions from subordinate NAs and governmental payments in the form of subsidies and commission charges. Some JNAs have only a limited role as an intermediary both among NAs and between local governments and NAs, without intervening in community activities of subordinate NAs. Other JNAs, in contrast, act as a managerial center for community activities of subordinate NAs. The relation between NAs and JNAs, whether NAs are independent of JNAs, differs from municipality to municipality; it apparently depends on which association the municipal government mainly has contact with. JNAs are considered advantageous when people have to deal with various interests or conflicts in which more than two NAs have a stake. They could also mobilize residents who belong to subordinate NAs in dealing with widescale events such as festivals and athletic meets, if necessary, just as individual NAs mobilize member households. The hierarchical network structure comprised of local governments, JNAs, NAs, lower organizations, and individual households, though the structure does not necessarily mean a strong top–down relationship, is of great benefit to both local governments and residents in various ways, working as an incubator of social capital. Hence, local governments encourage new residents to participate in existing NAs. If not, local governments encourage residents to organize a new NA, explaining its benefit to them. Given the characteristics of NAs, such as wide-ranging activities, inclusive membership, and their exclusive jurisdiction, some researchers consider that NAs are similar to local governments, though not institutionalized, and that it is natural for them to cooperate with the state (e.g. Kurasawa 1990: 22–23). Another scholar holds that NAs

NAs and machizukuri processes 229 have long contributed to local, cooperative management and that would continue to carry out their managerial activities in an advanced and democratic manner, which, in turn, would contribute to democratic development of the associations (Nakata 1981: 29).

Signs of decline in the effectiveness of Neighborhood Associations Intersection of NAs and machizukuri councils In the rising tide of machizukuri movement, local governments often expect NAs to play a central role in creating livable environments. As a matter of fact, one of the most recent, wide-ranging surveys, conducted in 2000 by the Japan Center for Cities (JCC), in which all cities (671) and wards (23), were asked to answer a set of questions about the state of community governance, revealed that 146 out of 526 governments that responded to the survey have a machizukuri council in their jurisdiction (JCC 2001). The number of respondents which appointed members of a NA board as a council member amounted to 83 governments (56.8 percent of the total), whereas only 42 (28.8 percent) municipalities appointed members of women’s groups and 22 (15.1 percent) appointed members of volunteer groups or NPOs. Only 30 municipalities (19.9 percent) employed public input in appointing a council member (multiple responses allowed). This fact underscores the point that although volunteer groups and NPOs are showing remarkable contributions to machizukuri efforts recently, the role of and the expectation on NAs as one of the key players in machizukuri remain significant. This is because NAs often have a high participation of residents so governmental officials habitually expect that NAs could articulate the demands and concerns of residents in the machizukuri process. We have to, however, be aware of the fact that the sound function of NAs rests heavily on close ties among member households, as a prerequisite for NAs to effectively represent, communicate with, and mobilize residents. The survey, though it targeted only urban municipalities, disclosed remarkable facts about the state of NAs which should not be overlooked in considering the role of NAs in machizukuri. The total number of NAs, presumably, increased as population grew and cities expanded; however, the relationship between NAs and residents seems to have changed significantly over time. As for the question about the change in participation rate in the past decade, though 52.1 percent of municipalities maintained a steady participation rate, 36.2 percent of municipalities experienced decline in participation rates. In metropolitan areas such as Tokyo and Osaka, the proportion of municipal areas in which NAs were organized in all neighborhoods was relatively low compared to that of other areas; at only 65.6 percent of 206 municipalities, whereas 81.5 percent of the other 314 municipalities were entirely organized as NAs. The same applied to participation rates; in metropolitan municipalities 28.1 percent of municipalities had more than 90 percent of households participating in NAs compared to


Shizuka Hashimoto

60.5 percent in other municipalities. These tendencies were particularly true of municipalities with a larger population. In light of residential form, the neighborhood where no NAs exist was prevalent in high-rise apartment areas, regardless of location, and single-family housing areas in the suburbs. As NAs employ a household-based participation system in which each member household is entitled to send only one person for decision-making, middle-aged or elderly males often represent their family as a head of family, thereby, general assemblies and NA boards fall under the domination of aged males, although it might be an unintentional product; indeed, according to the JCC survey, 95.6 percent of NA board members were people aged 41 or more. More precisely, 3.7 percent of board members were aged 41 to 55, 45 percent from ages 56 to 64, and 46.9 percent were over the age of 65. The conventional operation of NAs has produced rigid organization, posing various difficulties. In fact, in the JCC survey, 70.2 percent of the respondents identified difficulties in fostering young leaders and 66 percent of the respondents had difficulties seeking new residents for membership of NAs, and 36.9 percent saw an increasing dependence on local governments while 32.5 percent indicated only token or insubstantial activities. Diminishing social bond In addition, a public opinion survey conducted by the Cabinet Office on human relationships, in which a random sample of 3,903 people between the age of 15 and 79 were targeted to answer, revealed that in rural areas, more than half of the respondents had close or relatively close contact with neighbors, whereas more than half of those in other areas had little or no relation with neighbors; it showed a marked tendency especially in residential areas (Figure 11.1). Although a high participation rate of the NA seemed to guarantee strong social bonds among residents, the survey disclosed that, in reality, two out of three people did not have strong ties or relationships with their neighbors. Another survey on civil activities and human relationships, conducted also by the Cabinet Office, clarified the motives for participation in local activities (Figure 11.2). 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Total


Rural area





Single-family housing area



High-rise building area


relatively close



Downtown area

very close




6.1 12.9

45.3 49.2 46.0

not so close (have relations)

15.1 33.2

not close (have seldom or no relation)

Figure 11.1 Relationships among residents (source: Cabinet Office 2004: 101).

NAs and machizukuri processes 231 0%
























Custom or social imposition


14.3 18.8 12.0

Asked by members



16.1 20.4






34.5 41.7

Personal interests/needs

Figure 11.2 Motives for participation in local activities (source: Cabinet Office 2004: 105).

For those who are in the 20–50 year old age group, which is approximately consistent with working ages, the major motive for involvement in local activities was custom or social imposition rather than personal interest or needs. Those in productive ages were swamped by work, thereby having little leisure time to participate in local activities. Yet, this does not necessarily assure that they would be involved in activities when they have spare time. The share of highly motivated people consistently increased with age, from those in their fifties (28.0 percent) to those in their seventies (41.7 percent). It may be no coincidence that middle-aged and elderly people who could participate in NAs’ decision-making expressed interest, in contrast with that of the other age groups, in participating in local activities; in essence, active involvement in NAs’ decision-making process may reinforce motivation for local activities. In light of industrial structure, Japanese society has changed dramatically especially since World War II. The share of the population engaged in primary industry, mainly agriculture, rapidly decreased from 48.6 percent in 1950 to 5.1 percent in 2000 and supplied labor force to secondary and tertiary industries, whose share rapidly increased from 21.8 percent to 29.8 percent and from 29.7 percent to 65.1 percent in respective years (Statistics Bureau 2000). This contributed to Japan’s extremely high economic growth from the mid 1950s to the early 1970s and the economic bubble in the late 1980s. The drastic change in industrial structure not surprisingly triggered population outflow from rural areas to urban areas, inducing the excessive concentration of population and industry in metropolitan areas. In suburban areas, where once the majority of residents were engaged in agriculture, the share of non-agricultural population has grown exponentially as a result of increasing farm retirement and new residents, accompanying boundless urban sprawl. Although people in those areas formerly shared values and had a sense of the common bonds among residents, which were grounded in the traditional agrarian lifestyle, the rapid transformation of employment structure made it difficult to maintain the pre-existing communal sense of value, individualizing people’s lives. As one farmer put it:


Shizuka Hashimoto Twenty or thirty years ago, it was not difficult to guess what other people think in large part. Because the great majority of us engaged in paddy farming in those days, we could frequently communicate with other residents through the year when we work in the fields. However, in these days, as many people work in non-agricultural sector, residents do not meet frequently. The same holds true for farmers since the majority of them are part-time farmers and agricultural works, thanks to mechanization and modernized agricultural facilities, do not need cooperative works differently from what used to be. (Personal interview, March 21, 2002)

Local governments, particularly municipal governments, are liable to assume that NAs function to represent local demands and concern from past experience. However, given the signs of decline in effectiveness of NAs, we need to wonder whether the central functions of NAs, namely representation, communication, and mobilization, are still working effectively and whether local governments can continue to count on their sound function.

Neighborhood Associations and machizukuri processes In this section, we take a closer look at the roles and structure of the NA in machizukuri efforts. To be more precise, through two studies, the Asuka district of Kakegawa city, Shizuoka prefecture and the Hotaka district of Hotaka town, Nagano prefecture, both of which show the typical relation between local governments and (J)NA in machizukuri, we explore what roles local governments expect NAs to play, how NAs actually operate as a vehicle of local demands and concern, how effectively NAs are functioning, and what problems are caused as a result of the structure of NAs. Case of the Asuka district, Kakegawa city Kakegawa city with a population of 80,554 lies in the mid-western part of Shizuoka prefecture. Kakegawa has high accessibility to major metropolitan areas: Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka, and the city has experienced improvements in the public transportation network such as the construction of a new bullet train station and highway interchange, further enhancing its accessibility to major urban areas. In light of land use regulation, since the city of Kakegawa was never divided into Urban Promotion Areas and Urban Control Areas under the City Planning law, a large part of the city has remained almost completely unregulated ‘white lands’ (shiroji) apart from the relatively more regulated central city area (19.3 square kilometers out of a total city area of 185.8 square kilometers) which is zoned with urban land use zones (yoto-chiiki) (see Sorensen 2002: 315). In addition, agricultural use zones of the Agriculture Promotion Area Act, covered only limited areas (35.7 square kilometers). Accordingly, relatively inexpensive land prices of Kakegawa, in comparison to

NAs and machizukuri processes 233

Figure 11.3 Traditional rural landscape in Kakegawa (source: author’s own photograph). Note Centuries of intensive rural settlement have created distinctive rural landscapes in Japan, which were first widely threatened by increasing automobile use and the ‘resort boom’ of the 1980s.

those of metropolitan areas, induced urban sprawl and desolation of agricultural and forest land combined with land speculation and disorderly development. The government of Kakegawa realized that statutory land use regulations were fundamentally inadequate in conserving agricultural and forest land and controlling rising land prices within its jurisdiction and finally decided to create a machizukuri ordinance in 1991 in order to complement existing land-use zoning. By 2001, 14 plans were established. Under the ordinance, residents are entitled to establish a land use plan with public participation and the government will enforce it provided that at least 80 percent of land owners agreed with the plan. In those areas, the ordinance stipulated, people ought to report their activities associated with land, such as construction and land use change, to the government so as to confirm their compliance with the plan. Plans are drawn up based on NA boundaries, although there was no stipulation about the spatial scale of a plan in the ordinance, in large part because the government of Kakegawa has conducted various administrative activities in tandem with the 144 NAs in its jurisdiction. NAs act autonomously and together, to some degree or another, to improve the local

234 Shizuka Hashimoto environment, and 95.6 percent of residents participate in a NA associated with their residence. Therefore, the government expects that NAs, as usual, could organize and coordinate various voices of residents in the planning process. The Asuka district (Asuka chiku), is located at the middle of Kakegawa city, approximately three kilometers from the downtown area of the city, and has a population of 426 (105 households) within some 90 hectares of land. Because of its close proximity to the downtown combined with incomplete land use regulation, one-quarter of the land of the Asuka district, mainly forest land, was bought out by two private developers from 1982 to 1994. Accordingly, there was a growing concern about future land use by the developers among residents. The NA of the Asuka district considered the way to negotiate with the developers and, eventually, decided to apply the procedure of the ordinance to formulate a land use plan for the purchased area. Under the ordinance, the developers would have to comply with the plan, if the specified proportion of associated land-owners agreed. The Asuka district’s decision was enough to induce a cooperative attitude in the developers; they agreed to hear concerns and demands of residents to revise their original development plans. Hence in 1994, the residents of Asuka, following the due process of the ordinance, established a planning board responsible for negotiation and planning in concert with the developer. The Asuka NA played the central role in organizing the planning board. It is interesting that the planning board had the almost same organizational structure, and was operated similarly to its parent organization, the Asuka NA. The NA of the Asuka had seven sub-organizations, called kumi, which literally means a group; each of which was comprised of 9 to 20 households, and every resident household belongs to one of those. The board of the NA whose authority is next to a general assembly was comprised of eight persons: a head and representatives from each of the seven kumi; they are endorsed two- and one-year terms respectively. The head is chosen by general assembly, while the representatives are chosen by each lower group (kumi) from its constituent households on a rotation basis. The board members hold a meeting once a month; the head relays information from the local government including government newsletters, to the representatives. The representatives, soon after a board meeting, hold kumi meetings to which all member households are asked to send one person to be informed of the messages from the government. Representatives could bring up demands and concerns raised in a lower group meeting to a board meeting as the need arises. In this way, the NA of Asuka has enhanced communication among residents and exchanged information with the government, making the best use of its hierarchical structure. It is not surprising that the NA board, in organizing and operating a planning board, attempted to incorporate such built-in functions of the NA by establishing an almost identical organization to it. Indeed, the head and representatives of the NA board served concurrently as the head and representatives of the planning board with the same term limit as those of the NA. The only difference between the two boards was that every lower group could send up to three additional representatives, depending on its population and share of land, and they were to

NAs and machizukuri processes 235 serve a one-year term on the planning board. The planning board had a membership of around 25. By increasing the number of representatives, the planning board intended to hear a broad range of views from resident households. The selection of representatives was left up to the individual group, and most employed a rotation system which obliged representatives from all households to serve as board members in turn. Asuka’s planning effort took seven years and was completed in 2001, which means the head and representatives changed four and eight times respectively through the project. During the seven year period, the planning board held 62 meetings. The planning board held 16 meetings in the first two years to discuss the land to be developed by the private developers, in which three explanatory meetings were held by the developers. The developers, however, finally postponed their plans indefinitely by the end of 1996 because of continuing economic stagnation after the burst of the bubble economy in 1991. Although the present danger posed by the developers was avoided by unexpected economic downturn, the planning board decided to continue discussing how to promote machizukuri and desired land use without resorting to the original development plans. It is, however, an undeniable fact that the abrupt halt of the development plans diminished, to some degree, the sense of crisis and enthusiasm for machizukuri among residents. In the planning process, other residents had the opportunity to participate in some of the meetings such as a field survey, three inspection tours, and six explanatory meetings. The explanatory meetings, however, were not intended to revise the plan based on the opinions of residents but intended only to explain or justify the legitimacy of a draft plan in order to gain support from residents. In that context, the role of representatives, such as hearing opinions of residents, bringing them up in a board meeting, and informing residents of debates in a meeting, was of essential importance for the board in order to achieve substantial participation in the planning process. Representatives, however, did not act as intermediaries between the board and residents in most situations, which means they neither brought the opinions of residents to the board nor explained debates in meetings to residents. Although there might exist, to some extent, a sense of community or shared value among residents of the Asuka district, and representatives might have considered how other people think about the future of the Asuka district, based on their above perceptions, it would not be sufficient for them to speak for other residents. There were two major causes for the failure in or malfunction of the role of intermediary expected to be played by representatives. One stemmed from the technical complexity of planning and the other stemmed from the organizational structure of the NA. Debates over machizukuri conducted by the planning board frequently involved various technical matters such as due process of the machizukuri ordinance, binding force of a plan, and the conditions of implementing a land improvement project. Unless representatives were employees of local governments or developers who had experience with similar issues, they


Shizuka Hashimoto

had to acquire the requisite knowledge during the process. Technical difficulties involved in the debates often prevented board members from fully comprehending debates which, in turn, prevented them from explaining the debate to residents. In addition to technical obstacles, some representatives of the planning board, though they were supposed to speak for constituent residents in planning process, acting as intermediaries between the board and residents, did not know either what they were expected to do or how to effectively communicate with other residents. This also prevented the planning board from keeping close contact with residents. Although the organizational structure of the planning board seemed to enhance communication between the board and residents in an effective manner, in reality it was an unreasonable expectation. By patterning the planning board on the NA, members of the NA board expected that the planning board would be able to inherit the existing functions of the NA. The planning board, however, also inherited unfavorable traits from the organizational structure of the NA board. Elderly men were highly likely to dominate decision-making in both boards. As mentioned above, NAs, in general, employ a household-basis participation system which allows every member household to send one person to participate in the decision-making of the board. The same rule applies to every household regardless of its family structure. A head of the family normally represents the interests of the family, resulting in the domination of the NA board by aged males. For example, in the case of a large family comprised of more than three generations: grandparents, parents and children, as long as a grandfather is alive and well and he did not pass his authority to his son, the grandfather represents the interests of rest of the family. Accordingly, as the planning board shared the great majority of members with the NA board, the planning board was naturally dominated by aged males. In reality, while the head and representatives were altered four and eight times respectively, all representatives were males in every single period. Young people and women had less opportunity to be heard in the planning process, though it might not have been on purpose. In addition, frequent change of board members inhibited representatives from taking over consents and arguments of the board meeting to new board members. Almost half the members of the planning board were appointed on the ground that they were members of the NA board, and the same one-year term was applied to all other representatives except the head. This short, fixed term system on a rotational basis, regardless of competency or motivation, was originally intended to equally distribute the opportunity to speak at the board and share burden on persons who were obliged to serve for the NA board, which was widely accepted by residents. However, the rule inevitably resulted in the frequent alternation of planning board members, thereby preventing representatives from acquiring knowledge and experience required to deliberate machizukuri. Accordingly, representatives often failed to take over what was discussed and argued by the board to their successors. Although some lower level groups (kumi) independently applied a two-year term for those who did not concurrently serve for the NA board, antici-

NAs and machizukuri processes 237

Figure 11.4 New institutional development in rural areas of Kakegawa (source: author’s own photograph). Note Institutions such as hospitals, government offices, schools, and old-age homes are often built outside city planning areas because planning regulations are weaker, and land costs lower

pating undesirable consequences of the short, fixed term system, it was an uncommon effort; some three-quarters of the board members changed every year. In the end, the planning board tended to discuss the same thing almost every year again and again without substantial progress. This is one of the key reasons why the planning in the Asuka took such a long period of time to formulate the plan and secure the required level of agreement from associated land-owners, while planning in other districts where planning committees had longer terms or did not change their membership at all took only two to three years on average. In other words, the disappointing performance of board members, especially of their capability to communicating with residents, combined with technical difficulties, inevitably delayed the planning process and prevented the planning board from effectively formulating the plan. In 1998, a hospital construction project suddenly arose within Asuka, and it changed the whole situation. Although residents of Asuka protested strongly against the construction, it was too late to overturn the construction plan. When residents noticed the construction plan, another developer bought out another piece of land and finished the entire due process required by the government.


Shizuka Hashimoto

Ironically, this frustrating experience rekindled a sense of impending crisis among residents and boosted their effort to formulate the plan in order to avoid unanticipated developments. In 1999, the planning board held four explanatory meetings to make sure relevant land-owners were likely to agree with the plan. The draft plan included provisions of land-use zoning, building height restriction, minimum lot area, greening and conservation/management of natural and living environment. Members of the planning board were optimistic about the reaction from land-owners because the draft plan explained at the meetings had only two minor changes from the draft formulated in 1997: a revision on landuse zoning to confirm the hospital site as an accomplished fact and deletion of the regulation on building colors. However, their efforts revealed that people had a poor understanding about the plan. Thus, in 2000, the new head focused his policy on publicity work to gain broad support for the plan. The planning board spent its first eight meetings working to improve members’ understanding of the plan, anticipating that, by so doing, members would be better able to respond to land-owners in seeking agreements. Then, the board held four explanatory meetings for land-owners in January 2001. Although the plan was not revised from 1999 at all, which meant the plan was slightly different from the 1997 draft, finally the planning board obtained written agreement from 214 out of 239 landowners by July 2001. Case of the Hotaka district, Hotaka town Hotaka town lies in the north-western part of Nagano prefecture, in an area of great scenic beauty called Azumino. The town is close to Matsumoto city, one of the regional centers of the prefecture, linked by a rail line and a national road. Though the population of the town had decreased to 19,112 by 1965, it increased steadily to 30,967 in 2001 spurred by governmental policies such as the promotion of governmental and private residential developments. As with Kakegawa, though some 45 percent of the land in the municipal area was designated as City Planning Area, a large part of it remained unzoned white lands (shiroji) except for the central district of the town (3.1 square kilometers) designated as urban use zones (yoto-chiiki). In addition, the town has permitted lots of farmland conversion since the 1960s in order to attract development and increase the population. Although most farmland has been designated as agricultural use zones (noyochi-kuiki) within which land conversion was supposed to be restricted with only a few exceptions, the town operated the regulation generously and permitted many farmland conversions. The town’s political efforts contributed greatly to the increase in population. The steep increase of the population, however, naturally resulted in suburban sprawl including tourist resort development and suburban commuter housing, against the backdrop of loose land use regulation. The government noticed adverse effects of population growth at a very early stage and established a guideline for private developments in 1975 to supervise residential developments with areas exceeding 1,000 square meters. However, the guideline did not restrain sprawl. Eventually, in 1995, the

NAs and machizukuri processes 239

Figure 11.5 New urban sprawl near the Japan Alps in Hotaka (source: author’s own photograph). Note Local leaders realized in the 1990s that unrestricted development outside the city planning area would quickly destroy the scenic landscapes for which the area is famous

town began to draft a machizukuri ordinance in order to prevent adverse developments in unzoned white land and enhance the ‘rich green environment and quality of life of the town,’ partly funded by the National Land Agency. In its process, the town conducted public opinion surveys, held explanatory meetings, and drew up a land use basic plan which specified land use of the town with nine land use zones (see Sorensen 2002: 317). The ordinance established in 1999 locates the land use basic plan as the foundation of land use regulation. It also stipulates that all developments larger than 500 square meters, or three stories (ten meters) or higher, or with a floor area of more than 200 square meters require permits from the government. In addition, the ordinance allows residents and land-owners to organize a machizukuri council in order to formulate the draft of a district machizukuri plan through public participation. The council can submit the draft to the town provided twothirds of land-owners and residents aged 20 or above approve it. Then, the government examines whether the plan is consistent with the town-wide land use basic plan before it puts the draft in force as a district machizukuri plan. The plan includes the goal, objectives, planning area, land use policy, and measures.

240 Shizuka Hashimoto Those who intend to implement a development project in the district where a district machizukuri plan is in place are required to consult with the machizukuri council about their compliance with the plan and report the result to the government for approval. To put it simply, developers need to comply with provisions of the district plan, if it exists, as well as those of the land use basic plan. As there are 23 districts in each of which a Joint Neighborhood Association (JNA) operates, the government expects that the JNA will play a central role in both organizing the council and formulating the draft. The population of districts varies largely place to place from 480 (minimum) to 3,691(maximum); 1,370 on average. As of April 2002, only one out of 23 districts had formulated a district plan, the Hotaka district, the second largest district in terms of population (3,750 people, and 1,190 households, in 1999). The Hotaka district, Hotaka ku, has an area of 326.6 hectares. Although the predominant land use of the district has been farmland and paddy field, as the district is in close vicinity to the central district of the town, it has experienced rapid population growth since the 1970s. Although the population of the district has increased dramatically from 2,390 (in 1985) to 3,750 (in 1999) as intended by the government, it triggered a great number of farmland conversions and resulted in disorderly residential developments as well as commercial developments on roadsides. The Hotaka district experienced the most rapid development in the town. Actually, the governmental investment to improve public services such as sewage disposal facilities and sidewalks did not keep up with the increasing population. Hence, in early 1997, the government of Hotaka, in parallel with formulating the ordinance, approached the head of the JNA of the Hotaka district about formulating a land use plan, as a pilot case, through public participation. The head gave a ready consent to the government after consulting with deputies of the JNA. The head and deputies played a central role in organizing a machizukuri council, with the help of a governmental official, who belonged to the department in charge of formulating the machizukuri ordinance. What is interesting is that the machizukuri council, at the outset, had a different organizational structure from that of the JNA unlike the case of the Asuka district. However, what is more interesting is the fact that the council, in the end, became an almost identical organization to the JNA in the course of organizational restructuring. In order to understand how the council was operated and how it was restructured, we start with exploring the organizational structure of the JNA and its operation. The Joint Neighborhood Association of Hotaka has a four-tiered organizational structure. Though, a JNA, in general, has several NAs just below itself, the Hotaka has five intermediate organizations (kochi), between the JNA and 11 NAs, (buraku). There are 101 neighborhood groups or lower organizations (tonarigumi) below the NAs. Every member households belongs to any of the lower organizations. There were 972 member households in 2002 when the plan was approved by the government. The JNA utilizes the nexus of the JNA (ku), intermediate organizations (kochi), NAs (buraku), and lower organizations (tonarigumi) to communicate with member households as well as the govern-

NAs and machizukuri processes 241 ment. The division of roles between intermediate organizations and their constituent NAs differs from place to place, depending on their history; not every intermediate organization or NA takes charge of the same roles. It is the JNA that takes charge of communicating with the government as well as operating various activities. The JNA of Hotaka takes full advantage of its hierarchical organizational structure in communicating with both member households and the government. The general assembly, comprised of representatives of all lower organizations (tonarigumi), has the highest authority in decision-making. By appointing representatives of all lower organizations as constituents of the general assembly, the general assembly intended to rationalize its decision-making procedure. However, even in this case, as the general assembly requires a large turnout, it holds a meeting only once a year for financial report and budget resolution. General activities of the JNA are operated by board members, composed of six representatives of intermediate organizations (all but one, Hongo kochi, can send one representative each; Hongo kochi sends two representatives by custom) and 11 representatives of NAs (all NAs can send one representative each). The JNA board holds a monthly meeting and decides how to promote annual activities and discuss or share information announced by the town. After a board meeting, representatives, especially those of NAs, explain what was discussed or informed in the board meeting to constituent households. Representatives, conversely, can bring subjects up to the JNA board meeting if there exists something to discuss in intermediate organizations or NAs. For this purpose, every NA holds a meeting, in which the head of a NA and representatives of lower organizations attend, once or twice a month, where they discuss and share information delivered in the JNA board meeting. Representatives of lower organizations are in charge of communicating with constituent residents after the meeting. The head and deputies serve two-year terms while representatives of NAs, including those of lower organizations, serve one-year terms. At the beginning, the machizukuri council had a different organizational structure though it was organized by the head and deputies of the JNA board. In organizing the council, a governmental official advised them to involve various stakeholders as well as those chosen on the ground of membership in the JNA. It was in large part because the official anticipated that board members, without any advice, were likely to employ the conventional way of representation based on the organizational structure of the JNA. Following the advice of the government, the head and deputies drew up a draft bylaw on membership of the council and appointed those who assume the important post of the following organizations as members of the council: the town assembly (councilors), agricultural committee (members), land improvement district (members), agricultural cooperative (executive and expert members), community centers (manager: every intermediate organization), farmers’ association (heads: every NA), and parents’ association (heads: representatives of every NA), totaling 34 members. A governmental official served as a secretary of the council to enhance communication among council members. The head and deputies of the JNA concurrently


Shizuka Hashimoto

assumed the head and executives of the council respectively. By so doing, they intended to identify decision-makers of the council with those of the JNA. Executive members of the council expected that representatives from NAs such as heads of farmers’ association and parents’ association would act as intermediaries between the council and residents as representatives of the JNA were expected to do. In practice they were not motivated enough to actively work for the council and did not act as they were expected. Hence, the executive members amended the bylaw to reorganize the council in 1998. The reorganized council consisted of 32 members: town councilors, members of agricultural committees, the head and nominated representatives of the NAs as well as the head and deputies of the JNA. As heads of the NAs had had an important role in JNA board, serving as intermediary between the JNA and the NAs, thereby securing communication between the JNA and residents, executive members, by appointing the head of the NAs as members of the council, intended to incorporate the JNA board (the decision-making body of the JNA), into the council, anticipating that they could enhance communications. In 1999, the government put the machizukuri ordinance into operation. In response, the council applied to the government for formal authorization of a machizukuri council provided in the ordinance. As the government official served as a secretary of the council and the government recognized the effort of the Hotaka district would be a model case of district machizukuri planning, there was no difficulty for the council to be authorized. In the following year, the council amended the bylaw. The amendment included following provisions: 1 2 3 4


the council consists of residents and landowners of the Hotaka district; the decision-making be done by the general assembly; the general assembly require attendance of a majority of representatives; representatives of all lower organizations (i.e. 101 representatives) entitled to participate in decision-making of the NAs concurrently serve as representatives of the council; the council is operated by the executive committee comprised of the head and deputies of the JNA and the head and nominated representatives of the NAs (i.e. same constituents as members of the former council).

Put simply, the council finally became an identical organization to the JNA in light of membership, operation, and decision-making. By doing so, executive members intended to rationalize the decision-making process of the council. However, it was difficult for representatives of lower organizations to speak for their constituencies in the general assembly, because most of them had no opportunity to participate in the planning process unless they served as the head or nominated representatives of the NAs. Through 1997 to 1999, the executive committee had an inspection tour of the town known for one of the best practices of machizukuri, study sessions for machizukuri and land use planning, and an opinion survey before beginning the

NAs and machizukuri processes 243 planning process, and it also conducted a field survey of the district to expand its understanding of the current situation of Hotaka. At the outset of planning, the government told the executive committee not to change the zoning imposed by the basic land use plan but to expand regulatory provisions, considering the existing zoning. In order for the executive committee to advance discussions on planning, the governmental official, who served as the secretary of the executive committee, prepared a draft which included various provisions about land use regulation such as building-to-land ratios, floor-space ratios and building heights, outdoor advertisement display, and greening of development site. The draft also included provisions for environmental management activities such as the clean-up of neighborhood, and garbage collection, and mutual friendship among residents. Members of the executive committee discussed provisions of the draft one by one, deepening their understanding about various regulatory methods. After careful scrutiny, the executive committee incorporated most of the standards into the final draft without any change. In 2000, the executive committee delivered it to every member household of the JNA before holding explanatory meetings. Although an explanatory meeting was held separately at every NA, there were only some 200 participants in total, which accounted for about 17 percent of the member households (on the assumption that every household could send one person to the meeting). Although the executive committee perceived that residents lacked interest in machizukuri, it decided to take the process one step further, directing all representatives of lower organizations to request their constituents to sign-up to the consent form of the plan. Representatives needed to explain what the plan would encompass and how it would work with the ordinance, if so requested by constituents. Though the committee was afraid of representatives’ competence for the task, surprisingly, 2,121 (84.3 percent of the entitled people, 2,517 in total) complied with the request. One of the executive members explained that the representatives were most capable of winning agreement since they already knew the residents they were representing. Since the council met the requirement of the ordinance, it submitted the plan to the government in early 2001. In response, the government scrutinized whether the plan was consistent with the land use basic plan and finally authorized it as the Hotaka District Machizukuri Plan in November of that year. The government held an explanatory meeting at every intermediate organization before putting the plan in force. However, there were only 33 participants in a total of five meetings, and, in meetings, some participants even questioned who drew up the plan. Thus, though the plan was approved by the great majority of residents and land-owners, the government doubted whether those who approved the plan understood the plan. In reality, one of representatives noted “the approval must have included a considerable number of rubber-stamps.” In summary, the machizukuri council was organized differently from the JNA, on the advice of the government, though the head and deputies of the JNA concurrently served as executives of the council. As the initial council was not effective as was expected, the executive members reorganized the council, and it became an identical organization to the JNA. The council intended to mobilize


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representatives as tools for communication with residents. However, while the head and most of the executive members remained in their post from its inception, building their knowledge and experience in planning, other members changed frequently, because the council was reorganized every year. Though the head and nominated representatives of the NAs served the council, they served only a one-year term at a time and changed on a fiscal year basis. They were unable to accumulate knowledge and experience in planning, and found it difficult to work as intermediaries between the council and residents. In the end, it prevented the council from communicating with residents. Accordingly, only the head and executive members could engage in planning. In addition, we need to remember the fact that planning in Hotaka did not start with the wide consent of residents. In order for the decision to be recognized as an official one, it should have been made by the decision-making authority such as the JNA board or the general assembly. However, the head made a hasty decision without consulting the decision-making authorities. It was, in large part, because the council, at the outset, was organized as a different organization from the JNA, though it became an identical organization to the JNA in the course of restructuring. Thus, when executive members intended to appoint the head and representatives of the NAs in 1998, some people strongly protested against engaging in planning because the planning did not start based on wide support of residents and, in addition, the plan might inhibit residents from using their land freely. In the end, some NAs took an uncooperative stance toward the council and refused to send the head and nominated representatives to the council. Insufficient consent among residents also prevented the council from obtaining broad support of residents. Since executive members knew this fact, they, as well as the government, remained skeptical about the effectiveness of the plan though it was endorsed by the large majority of residents and land-owners.

Conclusions NAs, and JNAs, widely exist across Japan with a high participation rate of residents and have engaged in various administrative and non-administrative activities for residents. They have acted as intermediaries between governments and residents; they have articulated the demands and concerns of residents and have delivered governmental information to residents, taking full advantage of their nested organizational structure in representing, communicating with, and mobilizing residents. Hence, local governments tend to rely on NAs, especially in communicating with or understanding the needs of residents. Although NAs formerly worked as local governments expected, recent surveys revealed there have been clear signs of decline in the effectiveness of their performance, such as decrease in membership, low motivation in participation, and weakening relationship among residents. Through two case studies on machizukuri efforts at different municipalities, we explored how NAs articulated residents’ views in planning. In the Asuka district, the NA, since its inception, intended to utilize its organizational structure and functions in organizing the planning board and in

NAs and machizukuri processes 245 formulating a plan. It, however, entailed various problems, combined with technical difficulties in planning and organizational structure of the NA, such as domination of planning process by aged males and inefficient communication among residents, which, in the end, prolonged the time taken for planning. In the Hotaka district, following the advice of the government, the JNA intended to organize the machizukuri council differently from itself. However, in the course of realignment aimed at enhancing the performance of the council, the council became an identical organization to the JNA. Although the council appeared to successfully formulate the plan through public participation, residents were severely uninterested in the plan. It was in large part because planning started without the broad consent of residents and the council failed to communicate with residents, thereby the planning process was dominated by a limited number of executive members. Some might argue, given the fact that the plans were formulated in a way through public participation, that NAs were effective in building a consensus among residents. However, if we take a close look at participatory processes, in particular at whether substantial participation of residents was achieved or to what extent residents’ voices were heard, it is difficult to hold that NAs would contribute to a successful participatory planning. It is true that NAs have been invaluable for local governments as they have long acted as intermediaries between governments and residents. Yet, in order to ensure substantial participation, we still need to pay special attention to how NAs operate in the participatory planning process. Although NAs have a longstanding manner of decision-making, it appears not to be readily applicable to participatory planning without modifications.

References Cabinet Office (2004) Kokumin Seikatsu Hakusho (White Paper on the National Lifestyle), Tokyo: Naikakufu (Cabinet Office of Japan). Japan Center for Cities (2001) Kinrin Jichi to Komyunitii – Jichitai no Komyunitii Seisaku to ‘Jichiteki Komyunitii’ no Tenbo (Neighborhood Governance and Community – the Perspective on Community Policy and ‘Autonomous Community’), Tokyo: Toshisenta (Japan Center for Cities). Kurasawa, Sususmu. (1990) ‘Chonaikai no Rekishi to Bunseki Shikaku’ (History and Research Perspective of Neighborhood Associations) in Susumu Kurasawa and Ritsuro Akimoto (eds) Chonaikai to Chiikishudan (Neighborhood Associations and Local Groups), Tokyo: Minerva, pp. 27–60. Ministry of Home Affairs (1981) Jichikai, Chonaikai to Jumin Jichi Soshiki no Jittaichosa no Gaiyo (Summary of the Survey on Neighborhood Associations), Tokyo: Jichisho (Ministry of Home Affairs of Japan). —— (1993) Chien Dantai Ninka Joko to Chosa Kekka (Survey on the Governmental Approval of Territorial Organizations), Tokyo: Jichisho (Ministry of Home Affairs of Japan). Nakata, Minoru. (1981) Korekara no Jichikai, Chonaikai (Future of Neighborhood Associations), Tokyo: Jichitai Kenkyusha (Japan Institute for Local Government Research).


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Pekkanen, Robert. (2004) ‘Japan: Social Capital without Advocacy’, in Muthiah Alagappa (ed.), Civil Society and Political Change in Asia: Expanding and Contracting Democratic Space, Stanford, California: Stanford University Press, pp. 223–258. Pharr, Susan J. (2003) ‘Conclusion: Targeting by an Activist State: Japan as a Civil Society Model’, in Frank J. Schwartz, and Susan J. Pharr (eds), The State of Civil Society in Japan, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, pp. 316–336. Sorensen, André. (2002) The Making of Urban Japan: Cities and Planning from Edo to the Twenty-first Century. London: Routledge. Statistics Bureau (2000) ‘Jinko no Rodoryoku Jotai, Shugyosha no Sangyo, Shokugo’ (The State of Labor Force and Employment Structure) in Kokuseichosa Kekka no Jikeiretsu Deta (Time-Series Data of Census). Tokyo: Somusho (Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications of Japan). Available online at: www.stat.go. jp/data/kokusei/2000/kako/roudou/zuhyou/ro04.xls (accessed 29 March 2006).

12 Inner-city redevelopment in Tokyo Conflicts over urban places, planning governance, and neighborhoods Sayaka Fujii, Junichiro Okata, and André Sorensen Introduction During the last ten years a boom of redevelopment of inner-city sites has occurred in many Japanese cities, and particularly in Tokyo. In many inner-city neighborhoods of small two to four-story dwellings, high-rise residential buildings (universally referred to as manshon in Japan) of 20–50 stories are being built. This has provoked intense conflicts between existing neighborhood residents and the property development companies pursuing redevelopment. This chapter suggests that while such conflicts are often seen simply as a manifestation of selfish not-in-my-back-yard (NIMBY) style opposition to neighborhood change, it may be equally valid to understand such mobilization as a legitimate case of grassroots attempts to influence patterns of urban change at the neighborhood scale. These conflicts over residential development and redevelopment in existing urban areas also provide a unique window on ongoing changes in Japanese urban governance, urban planning, community organizing, and conflicts over urban space. Understanding these conflicts provides real insights into the three main issues addressed by this book: the role of communities in creating more sustainable and livable cities, the dilemmas of citizen engagement in urban governance, and the importance and challenges of civil society engagement in managing urban change. Evans (2002) argues that communities have the greatest motivation to work toward more livable and sustainable communities. The cases examined here support his thesis. Residents in each neighborhood mobilized with great determination and energy in efforts to protect their neighborhoods from unwanted change. In that sense these cases resemble typical NIMBY efforts, as they are organizing initially to oppose unwanted development. Most feared and opposed are massive changes that are seen to have the potential to either radically transform the neighborhood or even destroy it. This reaction may be particularly strong in Japan where community ties are deep, many inner-city families have lived in the same area for generations, and exit is seen as a very much less desirable option than voice in the face of adversity. Neither preventing unwanted changes, nor implementing alternative approaches are easy though. The cases examined here give an indication of the


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significant obstacles facing groups of residents opposing large-scale redevelopment projects in their neighborhoods. Even in cases where the local government and planning authority are sympathetic to the demands of the local community, a variety of obstacles to community input to managing such urban change are common. One major problem is that in many cases planning authorities cannot legally prevent redevelopment without facing demands for compensation. Equally problematic is that local governments have strong incentives to encourage redevelopment. Such projects promise both increased property taxes, and a growing population that makes them eligible for larger transfer grants from central government. The development industry is also politically and financially powerful, and has strong incentives to support pro development forces in local government. These are not the most auspicious circumstances for local organizing. Small, ad hoc local groups are confronted by large corporations that have usually bought land, prepared plans, and applied for building permits before the community even hears of the project. The developers have not only the advantage of surprise, but also of overwhelming legal and financial power. The importance of these cases is therefore not primarily a question of whether the residents’ groups are able to succeed in blocking a particular development scheme. Rather, it is the fact that they try. They mobilize, meet, discuss, and try to gain support for their position. Their efforts are revealing of the current operation of land development control and planning frameworks in Tokyo, the balance of power between central and local government, and the avenues for citizens and residents to influence processes of urban change. These efforts are also revealing of common mobilization strategies, as diverse communities adopted a consistent set of methods to try to prevent construction. We can learn much about existing urban governance structures from their efforts, successful or otherwise. We can also learn about machizukuri from these attempts by neighborhood groups to influence urban changes in their neighborhoods. Important questions include: why and how do local communities organize to oppose manshon buildings? Who gets involved in these protests? How do they describe their goals and reasons for getting active? What problems do they encounter in organizing? The next section explains the context of recent intensification in central city areas, and why there have been so many conflicts over the building of high-rise residential buildings, focusing particularly on the urban context, housing conditions, and changing planning frameworks. Next we present case studies of four recent manshon opposition movements in central Tokyo, and we conclude with an attempt to draw out the main lessons from these cases.

The context of residential intensification since the 1990s Since the mid-1990s a boom of inner-city construction activity has occurred despite a sluggish economy and stable population, and is a result of a combination of four main factors. Particularly important was the halving of land prices during the 1990s after the collapse in 1991 of the speculative bubble of the late

Inner-city redevelopment in Tokyo 249 1980s. While many other developed countries experienced a property investment bubble at the same time, post-bubble price deflation and related financial crises were considerably faster in most other countries, and had largely been resolved by the mid 1990s (Wood 1992; Renard 1996). In Japan stronger intervention through land price controls meant a more gradual – although no less painful – decline which continued at least until 2005, when land prices (in Tokyo at least) started to increase. A major consequence has been that whereas land price inflation during the late 1980s had pushed prices so high that only office and commercial uses could be built in most central city areas, declines in land prices have once again made inner-city high-rise residential units affordable to a significant segment of the population. Developers responded to these new price conditions rapidly and massively. A second factor has been significant pent-up demand for better housing, particularly in inner-city areas where land prices had become so high during the bubble period that new residential building had virtually ceased. Most new housing during the 1980s was being built in increasingly distant suburbs, resulting in ever-longer commutes in metropolitan areas, especially Tokyo which now has over 35 million people in the functional urban area, and continues to have a highly centralized employment pattern (Wegener 1994; Okamoto 1997; Sorensen 2001). Growing affluence has also fuelled desires for better quality housing that is more spacious, with higher standards of design and fittings than older housing. A new development in Japanese cities is that after years of decentralization of population to the suburbs, inner-city locations near employment areas, shops, and services are seen as a desirable or preferred residential location by a growing segment of the population. The shift towards increased housing construction in inner areas has also been strongly encouraged by several central Tokyo wards that during the 1990s developed policies to encourage housing construction. These policies are in part a response to concerns prominent since the early 1980s about the potential for American-style inner-city problems implicit in the steady loss of residential population in their areas (Alden et al. 1994). While in Japan the main causes of inner-city population decline were the expansion of central business functions into former residential neighborhoods, and the reduction of household size as younger generations moved out to suburban areas leaving their parents in their former home, rather than wholesale abandonment of inner-city residential areas as the middle-class fled to the suburbs, as in the US, the so-called ‘donut problem’ was nevertheless a major cause of concern. Declining inner area population was seen as an indication of a loss of vitality, especially at night and on weekends, contributing to the decline of local shopping areas, and growing concerns about crime. In an effort to reverse population decline, several wards in central Tokyo introduced local ordinances for ‘housing linkage program’ (Jutaku fuchi gimu) that applied to larger developments in the late 1980s whereby incentives were provided to build housing atop new office space, the Tokyo Metropolitan Government enlarged its Floor Area Ratio (FAR) bonus for Plaza Bonus Developments (Sogo sekkei) for residential use several times since


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1983, and the District Plan to Promote Residential Use Development (Yoto betsu yoseki gata chiku keikaku) that permits larger FAR (up to 150 percent of normal FAR limit) for residential use within the district that was introduced by the revision of the Building Standards law in 1990. Perhaps the most important factor contributing both to the boom of innercity residential construction and the growth of conflicts over those projects have been revisions to the planning system by the central government. The central government has been particularly active in producing regulatory inducements for inner-city intensification in the name of economic revitalization. Such deregulations were explicitly designed to increase the profitability of urban redevelopment to aid in the financial rehabilitation of major propertyindustry actors and their main lenders, the city banks, which have been staggering under the burden of mountains of bad loans left over from the bubble, and have been a major drag on Japanese economic recovery since the early 1990s (Sorensen 2003). There are two major types of deregulation that have helped to promote intensification in inner-city areas: numerous changes to the Building Standards law (kensetsu kijun ho) allowing increased floorspace on a given site, and the Special Urban Regeneration Act of 2002. These are briefly described below. Although the measures are quite different in many ways, they share two important characteristics: they allow much larger buildings to be built on small sites than would have been allowed under previous regulations, and they are national laws, meaning that local governments cannot prevent their implementation, or negotiate their impacts. This is very significant, as in Japan most building is as-ofright, and building permits cannot legally be refused if the proposed building conforms to zoning and building standards rules. Even though local governments tend to be much more sympathetic and responsive to the demands of residents groups, in cases where the central government changes the rules, there is little they can do, as shown in the case studies. There have been many measures to weaken the Building Standards law over the last 20–30 years, most of which are not relevant here. Four measures passed during the 1990s that allowed much larger buildings than before are worth noting. The first was a change in 1992 in the regulations for calculating FAR in residential buildings. Specifically, for the first time below ground level areas (basements) of up to half of the total floor area could be excluded from the calculation of the total floor area of a new building. This seems a reasonable proposal, especially in Japan where few houses have basements, and lots are so tiny that living space is often cramped. The regulation was originally explained as being intended only for single-family homes, but as passed the regulation included multi-family housing as well. Unfortunately the regulation was vague in defining ‘ground level’ and in hilly areas developers exploited this new loophole to create very large six to eightstory tall apartment buildings that had up to six floors below ‘ground level’ at the street frontage. A second measure, in 1996, exempted all common space such as corridors, lobbies, elevator shafts, etc. from the calculation of floorspace for the FAR. This allowed much taller buildings than before.

Inner-city redevelopment in Tokyo 251 The restriction line on the street side

The changed restriction line

The changed restriction line

The application distance (t)

1.25 or 1.5 Buildings must be built in this area

Street The original slant line of the restriction on the street side


Street The changed restriction line after introduction of the application distance in 1987

The building wall sets back Distance (s) from the street


Street The changed restriction line after introduction of the set back distance in 1987

Figure 12.1 Successive deregulations of slant plane restrictions. Note Two deregulations in 1987 greatly expanded the allowable building envelope, first by making the restriction line vertical after a set distance, then by allowing the slant plane to be pushed toward the street by a distance equal to the building setback.

The third important change to promote higher (and larger FAR) developments was a series of relaxations to the regulation of permitted building envelopes. Because the width of roads in residential areas in Tokyo (and other cities in Japan) are very narrow compared to the standards in western cities, developers could not build high-rise buildings on the sites alongside of these narrow roads under the strict road setback line regulation and could not utilize the maximum FAR limit on the sites permitted by the zoning on the sites. Since the 1980s, developers put pressure on national government to relax the road setback regulation and the regulation has been relaxed again and again. Finally, with the revision of Building Standards law in 1987, the height control by setback line covers only the area within 20 meters to 30 meters of the opposite side of the road (depending on the zoning of the site) (see Figure 12.1). This deregulation in practice eliminated what had functioned as a strict height limitation, as long as the building was set back at least 15 meters from the central line of the road, and residents living on such narrow roads had to face a much higher ‘wall’ or ‘tower’ than before. The fourth major change in allowable FAR area was the result of a series of changes to the Plaza Bonus system (sogo sekkei) that had originally been introduced in the early 1970s in imitation of New York’s system (see Whyte 1980). The original FAR bonus for providing a public open space adjacent to the street was a maximum of 20 percent increase in floor area. In the 1980s under the Nakasone deregulation policies (see Hebbert and Nakai 1988) the FAR bonus was increased to 50 percent if the extra floor space was used for housing. After the Kobe earthquake a major change was introduced that doubled the FAR


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bonus to 100 percent of the basic allowance to allow rebuilding of condominiums in Kobe, but because the change was made by a cabinet order applying to the national building standards law, the change is applicable over the whole country. A final change in the Plaza Bonus system came in 2002, when it was changed from being a discretionary system that had to be confirmed by the local Building Standards Committee (Kenchiku Shinsakai) to an as-of-right system. Although that change reversed the former arrangement and made the bonus automatic, local governments were allowed to designate defined areas where the bonus would still be discretionary, and many local governments did so, some designating almost their whole jurisdiction as discretionary zones. These strategies for increasing the allowable floor area of buildings are cumulative, so where several can be used at the same time, very large buildings can result, as indicated in Figure 12.2. A further more recent change results from the passage in April 2002 of the Special Urban Renaissance law (Toshisaisei tokubetsu sochi ho) by the Koizumi

The common spaces that are not counted in the FAR

The new building envelope on the street side The restriction line on the adjacent land side The building envelope on the street side

The restriction line on the special height limit

End of slant plane determined by FAR

The planned buildings

Buildings must be built in this area Street

Commercial Category #1 zone Exclusively Medium-high Residential Zone

The building envelope before deregulation


Commercial Category #1 zone Exclusively Medium-high Residential Zone

The permitted building envelope after deregulaton

Figure 12.2 Permitted building envelopes before and after deregulation. Note Successive deregulations of the national Building Standards law have allowed super-high-rise buildings to be built adjacent to low-rise neighborhoods.

Inner-city redevelopment in Tokyo 253 government. This act established an urban regeneration office within the Prime Minister’s Office with the authority to designate Urban Renaissance Areas in which landowners (or developers or NPOs which represent the landowners) in a defined district can propose (with the consent of two-thirds of the landowners in the district) any change of the official city plan including zoning regulation and road plan within the district, or replacement of the existing city plan by a special district plan allowing much higher FAR for developments within the district. Where such proposals are made, the city planning committee responsible for the city plan in the district (in Tokyo, the city planning committee of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government is responsible for zoning regulations) has to approve or refuse the proposal within 6 months of the application. The main advocates of these measures have been the largest property development companies, who have argued that simplified planning procedures are essential if Tokyo is to remain competitive in the global property market in the face of competition from Singapore, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. The main opponents to the deregulations have been local governments and local communities, which have seen local legal powers to regulate inner-city redevelopment greatly weakened. Although the case studies below are all of buildings begun before 2002, the new legislation has provided an even greater boost to the sort of controversial projects examined here, and many more conflicts are active. The changes to the Building Standards law, and the Urban Renaissance policies both deliberately overrule local planning processes by changing national law in the former case, and by allowing as-of-right FAR bonuses for developments within designated Urban Renaissance Areas in the latter. Local governments have no discretion in how they implement these laws, so when developers approach them for building permits for much larger buildings than would have been permitted before, they have no choice but to comply. These deregulations have also made it much simpler and faster to gain approval for redevelopment of inner-city sites, while sidestepping the protests of local residents and the sometimes extended processes of public consultation demanded by local governments. It is hoped this will contribute to the high-rise redevelopment of low-rise areas of inner Tokyo, provide cheaper housing and office space to allow Tokyo to compete with other world cities, and (not incidentally) restore land development companies to profitability.

Case studies of opposition movements These case studies were carried out between 2001 and 2004 as part of doctoral research by one of the authors (Fujii 2005). The case study research included interviews with participants, interviews with local government officers, collection of participant diaries, examination of plans, building permit applications, and official documents on policies for mediation in development disputes.


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Komazawa Komazawa is located in Setagaya ward in the south-west of central Tokyo, just west of fashionable Shibuya. Suburban development in Setagaya accelerated in the 1920s with the building of Japan’s first garden suburbs at Den-en Chofu and Tamagawadai (see Watanabe 1980), that are still known as among the most desirable residential areas in Tokyo. Setagaya ward, including the Komazawa area studied here, is well known as a good residential area because of its combination of proximity to central Tokyo and quiet, leafy, stable residential neighborhoods. Komazawa Olympic Park at the center of this area was the second venue of Tokyo Olympic Games held in 1964. The park still offers a rich green environment and sports facilities for residents and makes the area more attractive. Komazawa University is nearby, and lends its name to the local rail station. The area is served by the private Tokyu Den-en railway line originally built in the 1920s to serve the garden suburbs, and the national highway Route 246 and Metropolitan Expressway 3 run through the area from east to west. Lining these two major roads are rows of mid-rise office buildings and manshon buildings of about ten stories. Building heights drop sharply farther from the two main roads, with residential areas of mid-low rise adjacent to the ten-story buildings, and a little bit further are quiet and attractive residential areas of detached houses. The site of the controversial development in this case is bordered on the south by Route 246. A part of the site was developed during the bubble economy period as an office building of ten stories. Soon after, the developer of the office went bankrupt and the building was left empty for a while. Then another developer acquired the office building and started buying houses and shops adjoining the office building. In total the developer acquired 2,500 square meters of land. The developer made a plan for construction of three rental apartment buildings including a super-high-rise manshon building of 30 stories on the southern part of the site fronting Route 246. The two other buildings stepped down, with an eight-story medium-rise building, and a low-rise building on the northern part of the site, since there were height restrictions on this part because of frontage only on a much narrower road. As shown in Figure 12.2, the changes to the permitted building envelope allowed a much taller structure than would have been the case before. There was parking space inside the mid-rise building as well. The proposed 30-story high-rise building of was far higher than any other building in Setagaya, and was one of the first high-rise manshon developed in a midto low-rise residential area. The buildings contain over 300 one-room housing units for single-person households and all units were for rent. The demolition work of the old office building started in April 1997. Noise and dust caused by the work became a problem among neighboring inhabitants. However, at that time, there was no information on what kind of building was going to be built on this site after this demolition work. Therefore the inhabitants did not take any action to organize opposition. In September 1997 the developer finally distributed information of the construction plan to the neighboring residents and held the explanation meeting

Inner-city redevelopment in Tokyo 255 (setsumei-kai). After the second explanation meeting local people established the ‘residents group to protect Komazawa’s environment’ (Komazawa no kankyo wo mamoru jumin no kai), and started an opposition movement to prevent the construction of the project. Their two main concerns were that the 30-story building was extremely high compared to the surrounding low-rise houses, and that the radical increase of single-person households would prompt a major social change in their community. The group started negotiations with the developer immediately. Their requests were as follows: to reduce the height by half, to change half the housing units to family-sized units, and to set back the building walls five meters from Route 246. However the developer rejected all of their requests, broke off negotiations, and ended the explanation meetings. The local government then stepped in to mediate the conflict, and established talks between the developer, the residents’ group, and local government representatives. Although the talks did not result in a compromise, the end of the talks was recognized as the end of the explanation process. Then in the face of continued residents’ opposition, the developer went ahead and applied for development permission. During the process of examination for development permission, the Setagaya environment council that had been established by municipal environment ordinance in 1995 pointed out several environmental problems caused by this development. The council advised the local government that the developer should be requested to: set back the building walls from Route 246 to make enough space to prevent wind and falling objects accidents; reduce the height of the tallest building; enlarge the size of each housing unit; include some facilities for local community; and continue negotiation with neighboring inhabitants until they reach agreement on the development plan. After the recommendations of the environment committee were made public, the developer opened the negotiation process again and they made some small changes in the plan in July of 1998. The changes were: to set back each building wall by one meter; to reduce the overall height of the building by 2.2 meters; to enlarge the size of each unit to 33 square meters (to pretend that these units were not only for singles but also families, but obviously one room units of 33 square meters are too small for a family); to install an emergency fire prevention water tank of 100,000 liters and a meeting room that could be used by the local community; to assess potential changes in wind patterns; and to continue negotiation. After these changes, the developer applied for building permission at the end of July 1998, and tried to hold an explanation meeting with the residents in August, but they refused the meeting with distrust. Then the Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG) tried to mediate the situation, but the inhabitants refused. In February of 1999, an investigation was carried out by the TMG in accordance with its 1978 ordinance to mediate disputes over mid- to high-rise buildings. The TMG dispute mediation committee produced a mediation proposal to reduce the height of the tallest building to 15 stories, and to change half of the housing units to family use. The proposal was in alignment with the opinions of the inhabitants. The developer, however, refused this proposal outright.


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The final stage came in April 1999 when the residents’ group applied in the Tokyo District Court for an injunction to prevent construction. The application for the injunction requested compensation for loss of sunlight and damage by wind, and the installation of a meeting room, since they thought it would be difficult to reduce the height of the building. Although many talks were carried among inhabitants, they could not initially agree on whether they would continue asking for a height reduction. However as the trial progressed, they decided that the height reduction was essential, so they included that as well. In September 1999, the judge proposed a judicial compromise. After countless talks, the inhabitants accepted the judicial compromise in January 2000. The compromise was that the developer would pay the cost of the trial as settlement, the community meeting space was included in the plan, and two wind meters were installed to assess changes to wind patterns. This was the end of negotiation and the development was completed in January of 2002. Arakawa Arakawa is located in the eastern part of Tokyo. It is a traditional inner-city area, (shitamachi), where houses and factories are densely packed together. Along the trunk roads many office buildings, the city hall, and other public facilities had been built, but away from the major roads the pattern was a traditional one of densely built up small houses and small factories. The majority of these buildings are only two stories high whereas the buildings along the trunk road are high-rise. As with many other areas in Tokyo, many sites of this area suited the intense land speculation of the bubble period. Many houses and factories were demolished and some of them were redeveloped as office buildings of 10 to 15 stories, but the site that we look at here was left behind without development after the bubble. The site had been vacant and desolate for a long time, so inhabitants around the site had never thought that something could actually be built there. In February 1998, a development company bought this site and made a development plan for a 31-story manshon of 170 housing units. It was already August before residents in the surrounding area got to know of the plan. They learned of the plan from the noticeboard that was posted on the site and an information sheet that was distributed to about 40 houses nearby. The highest existing building in this area was only 15 stories, so they were very surprised to learn that a 31-story building could be built there. In other parts of Arakawa ward, there have been several redevelopment projects of super high-rise manshons on lots where large factories moved out and inhabitants were well aware of those projects. The big difference of this development plan and the earlier projects was the size of site area. The area of this site was only 2,600 square meters, whereas the other projects were over several hectares. The area of the proposed site in this case was so small that they could not accept the plan and decided to oppose the development. The inhabitants established ‘the meeting to protect the living environment of

Inner-city redevelopment in Tokyo 257 downtown Arakawa’ (Arakawa shitamachi seikatsu kankyo wo mamoru kai) and started a residents’ movement against the development. Most of the neighboring residents participated in the group. To begin with, they negotiated with the developer and asked for a change to the plan. The developer, however, ignored their requests and applied for development permission and a building permit. The meeting members then submitted a petition against the development to the local assembly. The assembly adopted the petition overwhelmingly and after the adoption several assembly members and local government tried to mediate the situation. They persuaded the developer to talk with the residents’ group. In February 1999, the talks among four groups including the developer, the inhabitants, the assembly members, and the local government planning department were organized. In the talks, the developer insisted that the development plan would not be changed at all. The talks were proceeding with difficulty and the inhabitants came to the idea that what they really needed was a revision of the official city plan and building regulations in this area to protect their living environment. In March 1999, the inhabitants submitted a petition with the signatures of more than 5,200 inhabitants to the mayor. In the petition they requested an enactment of height regulations in the area. They suggested regulating the building height to under 15 stories and 50 meters along the trunk road to protect the living environment of the nearby housing areas and to protect a good cityscape. Since most landowners along the trunk roads were opposed, the assembly rejected the claim and the establishment of the regulation was not realized. In the talks held in May 1999, the developer unilaterally announced the start of construction. In response the residents decided to prevent construction with a picket line in front of the site. As the confrontation between the developer and the inhabitants intensified, the assembly members and local government worked harder to restart the talks. After several attempts, the talks were resumed and the developer produced a concession proposal. The proposal contained the reduction of only one meter, in total, of the building height by taking a few centimeters from each floor and the implementation of wind assessment. After three months of negotiations and wind assessments, a reduction of parking space, rearrangement of a parking lot for bicycles and plantings, and the creation of a small public open space were agreed. In September 1999 the developer announced that no further changes in the plan would be considered. So the inhabitants requested mediation by the Tokyo Metropolitan government in accordance with its 1978 ‘Ordinance to prevent and mediate construction disputes by mid-high-rise buildings’ (Tokyo-to chukoso kenchikubutsu no kenchiku ni kakaru funso no yobo to chosei ni kansuru jorei). The developer, however, rejected the mediation of the metropolitan government. The inhabitants formed a picket line again, but this time the developer warned it would take legal means to end the obstruction of construction. After several discussions, the developer forcibly continued construction and the inhabitants picketed for a third time. The developer applied to the Tokyo District Court for an injunction against the obstruction of construction. The inhabitants were shocked

Figure 12.3 The newly completed high-rise manshon building in Arakawa ward (source: André Sorensen). Note This new building is much taller than any existing structure in the area, but local residents had little success in negotiating building height restrictions.

Inner-city redevelopment in Tokyo 259 by the summons to appear in court, since most of them had had no experience with a court before, and at that point the residents’ opposition movement backed off quickly. Finally, the local government again mediated the conflict, and the developer and the inhabitants agreed that no change in the plan would be needed but instead they would make the agreement of construction. The inhabitants made a proposal for a construction agreement containing a schedule for construction work, compensation for building damage, and a promise of frequent meetings with local residents. The developer accepted most of these proposals and withdrew the application for an injunction and started the construction in November 1999. The building was completed in February 2002. Kagurazaka Kagurazaka is a traditional commercial district located near the center of Tokyo. The main street is Kagurazaka Street that goes up a gentle slope from the outer moat of the old Edo castle towards the center of this area. On both sides of the street, narrow lanes and the tiny fragmented plots of the Edo era compose a street pattern like a maze. There are some five-story buildings along the main street, but most of buildings are low-rise one to two stories. Kagurazaka used to be a major commercial area from the 1920s to the 1960s. During that time, many Japanese-style buildings and high-class Japanese-style restaurants (ryotei) were built, and together with the labyrinthine street pattern, they formed the characteristic traditional townscape of Kagurazaka, that was famous also as a centre of traditional Japanese geisha culture, and rakugo storytelling. In 1988 the local government designated this area as a machizukuri promotion area. Then in 1991 a machizukuri association (machizukuri kyogikai) was established as a local organization to promote a townscape movement in the area. The association played a significant role in establishing a machizukuri charter for the district. In 1997 a streetscape improvement project (machinami kankyo kaizen jigyo) was carried out. As part of this project, a machizukuri agreement was made by the merchants along Kazurazaka Street. The agreement consisted of height restrictions, setback of the building wall, building design, and several activities to make the street attractive. Subsidies were obtained for putting the power lines underground, arranging street furniture, and replacing pavements. After these efforts, the machizukuri association became less active. During the bubble economy period some of ryotei restaurants and other Japanese-style buildings were bought by ‘land sharks’ (jiyageya) who were planning to redevelop the area. Some of these buildings were demolished and the sites became parking or vacant lots, while others were left as empty buildings. In most cases, the redevelopment plans were not realized and the sites were left as parking or vacant space for a long time. The case we are going to look here is a block with many such empty sites that had been used as parking for a long time. In May 1999, the developer started negotiation with local government in an effort to consolidate a number of sites.


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Their land holdings were intersected by a narrow public street fronting on which they owned almost all the sites. To consolidate their site, they requested the local government move the street to one edge of their site, where it would still provide access to the properties they did not own. After several meetings, they came to an agreement and the local government went through the official procedure. In March 2000, the local assembly made a final decision on the street relocation. During this process, only the few landowners who had frontage along the street were informed of the change, and it was completed before any proposal for development on the site was made public. With the consolidation of the several small sites in the block, a single large plot of 4,500 square meters was created. The developer proposed a development plan for a 31-story manshon with 290 residential units. As mentioned below, the height was eventually reduced to 26 stories after countless negotiations with the neighboring community, but it is still by far the highest building in the area. The neighboring inhabitants first learned of this plan at a neighborhood explanation meeting (setsumeikai) in April 2000. One of the inhabitants said, “we could not believe that it could be possible to build such a super-high-rise building in our area.” The highest building they had in the area at that moment was eight stories, so a proposal for a building of 31-stories was very shocking for the community. The inhabitants who opposed the development established the ‘Kagurazaka super-high-rise manshon countermeasures council’ (Kagurazaka koso manshon taisaku kyogikai) at once and started negotiation with the developer and local government. As mentioned, there was an existing machizukuri association in Kagurazaka, but it did not become a major element of the opposition movement. The reason for this was that the machizukuri association had already achieved its main goals and was no longer active. In addition, many of the members were small shopowners along Kagurazaka street, and with the prospect of new customers, they did not have a strong incentive to oppose the manshon construction. As a result it was natural to establish a different organization to oppose this development. To begin with, the council members gathered the signatures of 4,569 people from inside and outside of this area and submitted a petition to the local assembly requesting the assembly to stop the procedure of street replacement. Receiving this, the assembly resolved that procedure of replacement should be postponed. At same time, the council members also began negotiations with the developer. By September 2000, the plan had been changed from 31 stories to 30 stories, then from 30 stories to 28 stories. However, they did not reach an agreement, since council members felt that there was not sufficient explanation of new plans. The council also got support from planning research groups at the University of Tokyo. The researchers made building models of different types and assessments of the alternative plans. These models were shown to the public and displayed in the local assembly building. This helped to generate a consensus about the building among inhabitants and encouraged strong support from the assembly. Although the assembly had resolved to postpone the procedure of street replacement, the procedure was decided with only a few modifications by the

Figure 12.4 Newly completed manshon in Kagurazaka (source: André Sorensen). Note This new high-rise is both much taller, and much bulkier than anything nearby, and pushes to the maximum allowable envelope.


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local government and the development plans for the super-high-rise were slowly getting closer to approval. By this point the council members had gathered the signatures of 6,082 people (by the end, the number of signatures reached 8,400) and submitted a petition to stop the development to the local assembly. The assembly adopted this petition and asked the government to guide the developer to change the construction plan. In December 2000, the developer and the council members had several meetings and the manshon plan of 28 stories was changed to 26 stories. The change was not only lowering the height, but also to enlarge the building footprint so that the total amount of floor area did not change. The council members were not satisfied with this change and tried to continue the meetings, but this time the developer did not sit at the table. Then, the developer applied for building permission in February 2001 and received permission in March. In May 2001, the developer started construction. The council members who could not agree with this plan brought court cases against the local government to revise the replacement of the street, but they lost. So the opposing movement gradually died down. Some members tried to make a district plan for the area to stop further development, but the proposal was unsuccessful. Others participated in the meeting to plan a small park inside the development site. The only achievement was a water tank for fire under the park. The building was completed in February 2003. Kunitachi Kunitachi is one of the most influential cases in terms of machizukuri movements, townscape improvement movements, and planning systems in Japan. The opposition movement against the development discussed here was probably the biggest and most sophisticated ever, but the citizens’ movement was still unsuccessful in its attempt to change the building plan and this may indicate the limit of this kind of machizukuri movement in Japan. Kunitachi is located in the western suburbs of Tokyo. The Japan Railways Chuo line forms the northern border of the city and the JR Nanbu line runs through the middle of the city. The area between these two railroads is known as a well-planned residential area and was originally developed as a railway garden suburb by Hakone Estate in the 1920s. As with several other such development schemes of the period, a focus of the development was a large university campus, now occupied by Hitotsubashi University, one of Japan’s best. The area consists primarily of low-rise detached houses with a systematically arranged street pattern. The main street is named the University Street (daigaku dori) and is a beautiful boulevard with rows of cherry and ginkgo trees on each side. Long before the controversial development discussed in this chapter, there had been active citizen movements involving preservation of this famous streetscape (see also Chapter 2, this volume). The site of the development that caused controversy is located along the University Street. Unlike most large-scale trunk roads, there is a strict building

Inner-city redevelopment in Tokyo 263 regulation applied along the University Street, with a floor area ratio (FAR) of only 1.0 and a 10 meter absolute height limit along the street and the only exceptions are 1.5 for the site of the university and adjacent schools and 2.0 for the site in question, which also had no absolute height limit. The reason this site had a higher FAR is that an office building already existed on the site when the current zoning system introduced by the major City Planning law revision of 1968 and the Building Standards law in 1972 was applied. The developer at first planned a manshon building of 18 stories and 53 meters in height with 441 housing units. This would have been by far the highest building among low-rise buildings along the street and would have towered over the street trees. As discussed below, after several months of negotiation the developer changed the plan to 14 stories and 341 units. It would still change the streetscape radically. When they first announced their plans the developer announced to the neighboring inhabitants that they were not going to have any explanation meetings or negotiations at all. As soon as the inhabitants learned of the project they established the ‘Association to Consider the Environment of University Street’ (Tokyo kaijo atochi kara daigaku dori no kankyo wo kangaeru kai). This Association was a newly established group to oppose the development, but 19 existing groups that were acting to protect the streetscape supported this opposition movement. They had been already concerned about what kind of the development project would be made at the time when the site was bought by the developer and had mentioned their concern to the local government informally. The Association members gathered 1,447 signatures opposing the development and submitted a petition to the local assembly to stop the development project. The number of signatures increased to over 50,000 by the end of the movement. The assembly processed the petition promptly and adopted it. In response to the inhabitants’ request and the assembly’s decision, the local government requested the developer to hold explanation meetings with neighboring inhabitants. They told the developer that the development could not progress until the procedure of the urban environment ordinance was completed. The government also advised the developer to change the development plan and preserve the trees along the sidewalks. However the developer did not agree and brought forth a counter-argument. After several months of negotiation, the developer finally decided to hold an explanation meeting. It was already November when the first meeting was held. After the first meeting the developer suddenly changed the development plan from 18 stories to 14 stories and reduced the number of housing units from 440 to 340. Since a 14-story building was still much higher than the height of the street trees, the government asked the developer to change the plan again so that the building harmonized with the 20-meter high ginkgo trees along the street. However the developer refused to make further changes to the plan. In order to stop the construction, the local government and the inhabitants started discussions to introduce a district plan to regulate building heights to lower than 20 meters along University Street. Eighty percent of the inhabitants


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of the district were agreed on the introduction of the new regulation and the local government started the formal procedure for establishing the district plan. When the developer learned of this he applied for a building permit immediately. The building permission was issued just before the establishment of the district plan and the developer started the construction as soon as they received permission. Then the inhabitants applied for an injunction to stop the construction but they lost the case and the building was completed in December 2001. So they sued the developer for damages in the Tokyo District Court and got a historic judgment in December 2002. The judgment supported the inhabitants’ claims, supported the strong local value of the University Street streetscape that had been created and protected over decades and respected by all other land-owners in the area, and ordered the demolition of that part of building higher than 20 meters. The ruling cited the fact that the local residents had protected and enhanced the townscape over many generations, and had developed and followed a clear consensus that no buildings should be higher than the ginkgo trees along the street. This judgment encouraged many other machizukuri movements all over Japan as it seemed to set a strong precedent in favor of townscape preservation. The developer immediately appealed and after two years a higher court reversed the order to remove the part of the building over 20 meters. The argument was carried into the Supreme Court and finally in March 2006, it rendered its judgment that upheld the proposition that landscape value is a property right that can be protected by the civil law. It also decided that in the Kunitachi case the height of the building could not be proven to have damaged the streetscape because there was no formally (officially) expressed plan nor standards relevant to the building height on the site when the developer started construction (Supreme Court of Japan: Decision Number 364, March 30, 2006). This has been interpreted to mean that where plans exist, whether district plans, zoning, local ordinances, or even written agreements among property owners, those can be defended by law. It remains to be seen how this will influence development patterns in practice.

Discussion and conclusions As is clear, the cases examined here are a very particular type of citizens movement, set in motion by proposals for large-scale high-rise buildings in what have hitherto remained low-rise areas, and winding up when that particular conflict is over. They are not, therefore, typical machizukuri processes, which tend to be longer term in outlook, and more constructive in nature. Still, these cases represent an important aspect of attempts by residents’ groups to influence patterns of change in their neighborhoods, and are revealing of a number of issues inherent in such attempts. Four points stand out: first, central to all the cases was the element of shock – that such a large-scale building could be built in otherwise low-rise areas. The proposed buildings represented a threat to the residents’ image of their community. The objection is not to change per se, as Japanese neighborhoods are constantly changing, buildings are replaced frequently, and

Inner-city redevelopment in Tokyo 265 businesses open and close. The objection is to dramatic, qualitative change that promises to suddenly change the very nature of the place. It seems safe to suggest that in any of the developed countries similar movements in opposition would have developed in such circumstances. Second, the changes to building regulations noted above were clearly the central problem. These deregulations were unknown to most people, as they were obscure technical changes to the national Building Standards law, representing a sort of invisible tear in the web of planning regulations that had formerly provided a certain degree of stability and certainty to local environments. Sites that formerly would have allowed the construction of a mid-rise building at best suddenly became eligible for 30-story super high-rise residential projects. Local opponents were objecting to the fact that the tradition of neighborhood stability that had prevailed was suddenly terminated, without notice. How much that stability is valued can be measured in the depth of anger aroused, and the thousands of hours spent in opposing the new developments. Although it is easy to dismiss such movements as simply selfish NIMBY, it seems fair to suggest that that is an unfair characterization. The movements examined here are not merely in opposition to a development, even if that is the trigger. They are more fundamentally movements in favor of an idea of stability and continuity in environmental management and townscape. Third, for all the time and energy invested in opposing these developments, the opposition movements achieved little. Some slight height reductions here, a community meeting space there. The developers had the upper hand, and they knew it. Local governments, while expressing a willingness to listen and to mediate, were not a great help. National building laws trump local ordinances, and each of the proposed buildings was not only legal under the revised building standards, but also as-of-right. Once the building permission had been applied for, local governments could attempt to negotiate, but had little real bargaining power, as they are required by law to issue a building permit within 21 days if the proposal conforms to the law. Fourth, is worth noting a few patterns common to the cases examined here. The strategies of the residents’ groups were consistent: they organized meetings; they collected signatures on petitions; they met the developers to present their grievances and ask for modifications to the plans. In none of the cases were existing neighborhood associations of any help whatsoever. In all the cases the local government and TMG relied on a strategy of negotiation, persuasion, and mediation, in the hope that talking would lead to conciliation. This strategy reflects both long-established traditions of governance in Japan, in which ‘consensus’ is valued, and government ‘administrative guidance’ (gyosei shido) is considered to carry considerable weight. The 1978 TMG ordinance to prevent and mediate construction disputes also clearly contributed to this pattern, as it established mediation and consensus building as the solution in such cases. Unfortunately for the community groups in these cases, the developers do not seem to be as concerned with achieving consensus as they are with profitable projects. It is true that these cases are in some ways exceptions, as the majority of


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construction projects do not provoke opposition movements. Although these cases may represent particularly intransigent developers, however, that qualification is of little consolation to the citizen opposition movements, and there are many more such cases happening throughout Japan today. This is a systemic problem of citizen engagement in managing shared spaces, not just an exception. Finally, it does seem that these cases indicate one sort of limit to the possibilities for machizukuri practice. It is clearly not at all easy to directly challenge the rights of market actors. Too much is at stake for developers to be willing to negotiate serious reductions in their building rights. Although in some cases it has been possible to create binding regulations on built form in advance, through district plans, those require very high levels of consent by all property owners in the area. It is still unknown what impacts the Supreme Court challenge of the Kunitachi case will have, or what the longer term outcomes of the new Landscape law (Keikan ho) that the Kunitachi case inspired will be.

References Alden, Jeremy D., Hirohara, Moriaki, and Abe, Hirofumi. (1994). The Impact of Recent Urbanisation on Inner City Development in Japan. In Philip Shapira, Ian Masser, and David W. Edgington (eds), Planning for Cities and Regions in Japan. 33–58. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. Evans, Peter. (2002). Livable Cities? Urban Struggles for Livelihood and Sustainability. Berkeley: University of California Press. Fujii, Sayaka. (2005). Manshon funso no kozo to kiseishigaichi koshin kontororu shuho ni kansuru kenkyu (The Mechanism of Manshon Conflicts and the View for a New Planning System). Unpublished Ph.D. thesis. Tokyo: University of Tokyo. Hebbert, Michael and Nakai, Norihiro. (1988). Deregulation of Japanese Planning. Town Planning Review. 59(4): 383–395. Okamoto, Kohei. (1997). Suburbanization of Tokyo and the Daily Lives of Suburban People. In Pradyumna P. Karan and Kristin Stapleton (eds), The Japanese City. 79–105. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky. Renard, Vincent. (1996). Land Problems and Cycles of Real Property in Japan. Sogo Toshi Kenkyu (Comprehensive Urban Studies). 58: 97–110. Sorensen, André. (2001). Subcentres and Satellite Cities: Tokyo’s 20th Century Experience of Planned Polycentrism. International Journal of Planning Studies. 6(1): 9–32. —— (2003). Building World City Tokyo: Globalization and Conflict over Urban Space. Annals of Regional Science. 37(3): 519–531. Watanabe, Shun-ichi. (1980). Garden City, Japanese Style: The Case of Den-en Toshi Company Ltd. 1918–1928. In Gordon E. Cherry (ed.), Shaping an Urban World. 129–144. London: Mansell. Wegener, Michael. (1994). Tokyo’s Land Market and its Impact on Housing and Urban Life. In Philip Shapira, Ian Masser, and David W. Edgington (eds), Planning for Cities and Regions in Japan. 92–112. Liverpool: Liverpool University Press. Whyte, William H. (1980). The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces. Washington, DC: The Conservation Foundation. Wood, Christopher. (1992). The Bubble Economy. New York: The Atlantic Monthly Press.

Part IV

Conclusions Making livable places

13 Conclusions A diversity of machizukuri processes and outcomes André Sorensen and Carolin Funck

The chapters in this book have covered a wide range of spatial settings: rural areas, regional cities, cities which experienced a special impact like a natural disaster, new and old towns on the urban fringes, and the centers of the great metropolitan areas. In all these contexts, citizens are engaged in processes attempting to make their neighborhoods more livable and to protect existing aspects of livability, and have employed a variety of strategies and organizations, the main ones being traditional neighborhood organizations, machizukuri councils, environmental movements, and NPOs. In drawing out the main findings of the studies collected here, two notes of caution should be raised. First, machizukuri and other citizens’ movements spread and grew enormously in a period of economic stagnation during the lost decade-and-a-half since 1990. In 2006, Japan’s economy seems to have picked up again and land prices started rising in some urban areas for the first time after 15 years of continuous decline. New growth dynamics may emerge that could restrict the ability of citizens to gain greater influence in managing urban change. It is impossible to know what impacts changing economic conditions will have on citizens’ movements engaged in attempts to play a role in managing change in places where they live. Our focus here is on understanding the meaning and extent of past developments. Second, there is an enormous diversity of machizukuri activity now ongoing, and the roles of government and citizens in space management, and the openness of local and regional governance regimes to greater citizen engagement varies greatly. The national and local levels also interact in complex ways to create different possibilities for citizens’ movements in different places. The fact that we are studying what is at heart a local activity means that diversity is a fundamental characteristic, and it will make little sense to expect the kind of clarity that might be found, for example, in studies of national government policy and policy change. We see that diversity as an indication of vitality and innovation. The huge diversity of actors, goals, settings, and processes that are all referred to as machizukuri is, however, clearly a significant obstacle to attempts to understand recent public participation in environmental management in Japan. Everything from the most bottom–up activities to relatively traditional government-led development projects to voluntary social welfare service is proclaimed


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to be machizukuri. Our concern here is primarily with processes in which the priorities and strategies are determined by local people, not the many processes in which priorities were determined elsewhere and participation is only in achieving consent or smooth implementation. The great diversity of models, as well as the huge numbers of different projects and processes, renders pointless any simple generalizations about contemporary Japanese machizukuri based on the limited number of cases presented here. We do, however, have some rather rich case study material with which to begin to answer the three major questions advanced in the introduction: are machizukuri processes really contributing to more livable and sustainable cities? To what extent are new actors gaining voice in local governance? To what extent are machizukuri processes contributing to the growth and maturation of civil society in Japan? First is the issue of creating more livable and sustainable cities. Although the insight of the Local Agenda 21 process initiated at the Rio Earth Summit, that local action involving local people is key to the transformation of today’s clearly unsustainable socioeconomic systems into more sustainable patterns still appears valid, it would be quite a stretch to claim either that issues of long-run environmental sustainability were a top priority of most of the cases presented here, or that any great advances toward those goals had been made. While there have been a significant number of LA21 processes engaged by local governments and citizen participants in Japan since 1996 (see Barret and Usui 2002), and those have undoubtedly contributed to current ideas about environmental management and machizukuri, few machizukuri processes are explicitly founded on ideas of either global or local sustainability. Much more important are attempts to participate in managing changes to shared spaces, attempts to make places more livable, and conflicts over development and redevelopment. That is, they are about local issues of place and livability. The process most explicitly related to environmental sustainability was that of the citizens’ movements to protect water environments. Asano showed in his chapter that the environmental movement’s emphasis has shifted from the possible negative impacts of pollution on human health to a broader concern with ecosystems as a whole. Perhaps just as significant in the long-run is that a whole generation of young students (and their parents) is learning about the importance of water habitats and natural ecosystems through their participation in projects like that to revive Lake Kasumigaura north of Tokyo. Also important seems the spread of new concepts like biotopes in parks, the regeneration of rivers and streams in urban areas, and the building of new community centers based on ecological principles such as the ‘House of Wind’ in Kobe discussed by Funck and Ito. These processes simultaneously make some contribution to environmental goals, provide hands-on experience for those involved in achieving such goals, and create new institutions and organizations dedicated to furthering those goals. Most of the other machizukuri processes presented here were concerned more with livability issues than larger sustainability questions, with the most promi-

A diversity of machizukuri processes 271 nent livability issues for citizens’ groups being public green space, preserving historic environments, and the construction of large-scale apartment buildings in low-rise neighborhoods. The roles of urban parks in urban environmental sustainability has been little researched, but their importance to livability seems clear. In the reconstruction process in Kobe, although residents actually opposed the construction of large parks because it would translate into a higher proportion of area reduction for each plot of private land during reconstruction, they did become very involved in park planning and management, as shown by Ito. Historic preservation of urban built environments has been directly related to environmental sustainability by those using life-cycle approaches to the study of resource consumption and waste generation in the construction industry. Designing buildings to last longer, and historical preservation and the adaptive re-use of existing built fabric is widely seen as being more sustainable than the traditional ‘scrap-and-build’ approach of the Japanese construction industry. However, the conservation of historic buildings and districts has a very low priority in an urban planning system that considers districts with a high density of old buildings mainly as a possible hazard area, a problem to be solved through redevelopment. The case studies on issues of historic districts by Murayama and Nunokawa both show an increasing awareness of citizens once the historic surroundings have begun to be lost. But both also show that the city planning system remains relatively insensitive to public pressure to protect historic assets, particularly in ordinary areas without either historical significance or splendid buildings. Plans for new roads and infrastructure approved in the 1960s have proven virtually impossible to revise, and coalitions of local landowners and the municipal administrations in charge of planning continue to push redevelopment projects forward. In response, machizukuri groups turn to preservation and reuse of individual buildings or to resurrection of the lost townscape through art or literature. It is clear that for many people, the history and texture of the ‘ordinary places’ where they live is of great value, and worth great investments of time and energy to protect. It is precisely this sort of activity of valuing, understanding, and improving particular small spaces in the city, and the values they embody for the people living there that is the great potential of machizukuri and the great blind spot of traditional urban planning, with its exclusive emphasis on ‘large area’ concerns. Large-scale redevelopment projects both by the state and by private capital currently form one of the biggest threats to many existing neighborhoods in Japanese cities. Examples of public projects are comprehensive redevelopments to reconfigure existing road systems (as in Fukaya), or to eliminate crowded areas of narrow streets (as in Kobe reconstruction projects), or to build city planning roads, or large-scale infrastructure building on the urban fringe. Much more numerous are private projects to intensify inner-city sites for office or residential use. Details vary according to location, for example the replacement of historically typical machiya townhouses by condominium buildings in Kyoto, of lowrise neighborhoods by high-rises after the earthquake in Kobe or the rapid spread of super-high-rise buildings in Tokyo. Through the new Landscape law

272 André Sorensen and Carolin Funck (Keikan ho) implemented in 2005, municipalities may finally have a legal means to create height regulations diverging from national urban planning law. However, in most cases residents have had limited success in fighting high-rise developers, who have continued to benefit from the special loopholes, incentives, and deregulations granted by national government described by Fujii et al. It seems clear that no consensus currently exists on what would be a more sustainable urban environment. The solutions commonly prescribed in Europe and North America of higher population densities and more mixed-use areas to encourage greater public transit use and less auto-dependence make less sense in Japan, where all cities are comparatively compact, thoroughly mixed-use areas with excellent and heavily used public transit systems (see Sorensen et al. 2004). The possibility that machizukuri processes may still contribute to sustainability goals in other ways is discussed further below: here the point is that sustainability does not appear to be a major goal or motivation in most machizukuri processes. Rather, the pressing issues are about managing contested processes of change in places where people live, and attempts to make high-density, rapidly changing cities more livable. Those priorities come through in so many of the cases discussed here, from the early efforts of ‘fighting Maruyama’ and Mano described by Watanabe, to the rebuilding efforts after the earthquake in Kobe described by Funck and Ito, to the participation of residents in rural development control processes examined by Hashimoto, to the contested process of planning for downtown regeneration detailed by Murayama, and the attempts to oppose super-high-rise condominiums in central Tokyo described by Fujii et al. These livability issues are created in part by the dynamism of Japanese economic growth during the postwar period, but were exacerbated by the weak planning and development controls that allowed continuous and often unexpected changes, and set very low standards for the provision of public facilities, public space, and public services in urban areas. Those issues come through particularly strongly in Ishida’s chapter, which provides an intimate glimpse of the strong social networks and organizing abilities that allowed Japanese communities to survive, and even thrive in newly developing suburbs where governments provided almost no social services. People came together and ‘grew up’ with their community through voluntary citizen-based activities at the neighborhood scale, creating a livable community primarily through their own efforts. Here the failure to provide adequate public facilities was tempered not only by citizens’ voluntary efforts, but also by the presence of relatively progressive and supportive local governments in Yokohama City and Kanagawa prefecture, but also by a relatively sophisticated development company in Tokyu, that was engaged over the long-run. This brings us to the second issue identified in the introduction, the question of local governance, and the changing roles of, and relations between, citizens and the state in managing shared spaces. We asked: to what extent are new actors gaining voice in local governance and to what extent have local communities gained political leverage in their attempts to create more livable neighborhoods? In some ways Ishida’s chapter shows clearly the old model of

A diversity of machizukuri processes 273 Japanese urban governance, that was so central to the developmental state approach to industrialization and urbanization: the state facilitated economic growth; most investment and development was left to the private sector relatively unhindered by government exactions or regulations; and local communities were largely left to cope by themselves, organizing their own community services on a voluntary basis. In this model, machizukuri is simply communities dealing voluntarily with issues and services that government and markets failed to provide. On the other hand, several of the cases presented here do show some changes to the relationship between communities and the state in place governance, from a situation where planning was largely a ‘black box’ process carried out by local planning departments, national ministry officers, and politicians to one where organized citizen activities can influence outcomes in some cases. For example, the environmental movements described by Asano were instrumental in the cancellation of plans for the desalination and land reclamation of Lake Nakaumi. Similarly, widespread public opposition to massive public works projects in the 1990s as well as growing deficits led to a major review of such projects by the Koizumi administration, and a number of planned projects were cancelled. In Fukaya, the Master Plan participation process described by Murayama clearly had a major impact in transforming the planning process from one that occurred behind closed doors in the city planning office in consultation with higher levels of government and local property owners, to one in which quite different priorities and approaches by citizen participants had to be considered seriously by the local government. Significant public support for historical preservation instead of wholesale clearance and renewal of the downtown historic district was revealed by a questionnaire sent to all households in the municipality, and ‘conservation and utilization of historic environment’ was included as a basic policy of the downtown regeneration part of the Fukaya Master Plan, to which later city planning decisions must (in theory) conform. This was clearly a victory for the Downtown Regeneration Group, as the city planning department was forced to acknowledge that other approaches to planning the downtown area were possible, and had public support. It must be admitted, however, that to a great extent the old top–down city planning system remains intact, and peculiarly rigid in its application. The case of Fukaya shows the problem clearly. Even though there is strong enough support for ideas of historic preservation and incremental renewal of the downtown that those ideas had to be included in the Master Plan, the city planning department has no legal authority to revise the current plan to carry out Land Readjustment (LR) in the remaining downtown area, including the historic core of the area along the feudal era Nakasendo highway. That plan was approved some 30 years ago and became government policy when it was legally confirmed by the Ministry of Construction. Local governments have no powers to revoke or revise such plans, even though they may no longer be relevant or desired. This is just one example of a much larger problem nationwide. There are literally thousands of such plans, particularly for City Planning Roads (Toshi

274 André Sorensen and Carolin Funck keikaku doro) projects for multi-lane arterial roads through existing urban areas. With tight municipal budgets and rising land prices most were never built, and now determined opposition movements are often organized when it is announced that they will finally be begun. Although it might seem a simple matter for the central government to cancel a plan that is no longer needed or wanted – and there is no indication that either the Fukaya planning department or the downtown landowners wish to cancel the urban renewal plan for Fukaya – in fact it is not so easy to cancel such plans. As city planning projects – including both LR projects and city planning roads – put some legal restrictions on allowable building activity, the government is concerned that cancellations of plans that were approved in the 1960s and 1970s might prompt massive compensation claims from affected landowners. No city planning roads have yet been canceled. All the contributions to this volume agree that openings to influence basic decisions of this urban regime are few. And while several instruments for wider citizen participation like district plans, master plans, and machizukuri councils have been introduced to urban planning law, and have given political and regulatory leverage to a wide range of livability projects, urban planning projects decided under the “old regime” are irreversible, even if the initial planning decisions were made more than 30 years ago. Although large-scale public works projects such as dams and highways have seen a review process under the current government, very few projects have been cancelled completely. As Feldhoff shows, the politicized system of public work projects has not experienced substantial changes. In terms of local governance, and the roles of citizens and the state in managing shared spaces, therefore, while there have been changes, the basic top–down system remains largely intact. Although livability is clearly a major issue for many urban residents, as suggested by the amount of energy and participation in machizukuri processes, and local groups have been effective in making sure their voices are heard in many cases, the huge power of central government, and the institutions of top–down planning have in fundamental ways changed very little. Catastrophic changes at the scale of the neighborhood are the routine byproduct of state projects, and as Fujii et al. show, the state continues its creative deregulation to support the profitability of – and make it hard for local government to block – private development initiatives that while usually smaller in impact, are more threatening because they are more numerous. It is also important to note that the power balance between national and local governments is currently in flux, as powers are rescaled through the neoliberal administrative reforms of the Koizumi government, the decentralization of planning powers and legal authority to local governments, and the widespread mergers of municipal governments (called the ‘Heisei daigappei,’ literally the ‘great Heisei era municipal merger’) (see Rausch 2006). As most mergers took place in the years between 2003–2005, it is too soon to attempt to evaluate their impacts. However, this rescaling of municipalities will tend to relocate decisions from the local level to a wider area. Most papers in this volume have shown the

A diversity of machizukuri processes 275 important role of the local (municipal) level of administration in planning decisions and as main opponent or partner of citizens’ movements. It remains to be seen how administrative reform, municipal mergers, and the outsourcing of administrative functions to the private sector will affect these relationships, but it looks unlikely that machizukuri will soon achieve any significant democratization of the formal city planning system. The third major question to which this volume contributes is: to what extent are machizukuri processes contributing to the growth and maturation of civil society in Japan? Here there is somewhat more room for optimism. Continued growth in the numbers of machizukuri processes and activities demonstrates their ability to involve very large numbers of people in voluntary, organized participation processes. This represents an enormous process of education in grassroots civic engagement on issues that clearly matter greatly to many people. Machizukuri processes and organizations, simply by their numbers, constitute an important arena for the development of civil society in Japan. Many of the chapters here have identified a widening range of participation across age groups, genders, and levels of involvement. In contrast to traditional neighborhood associations, where participation is restricted to households, citizens’ movements of the 1990s – apart from formal machizukuri councils in the context of urban planning projects – are open to everybody who is interested and actively aim to enlarge their support base through events and information. As shown by Sorensen, conceptions of legitimate process, participants, and power have changed considerably in the postwar period. There appears to be a long-term shift from traditional structures of representation at the local and neighborhood scale, such as neighborhood associations, to newer patterns of mobilization and action. In particular, the NA was always a geographically bounded space, and had rigid membership and participation rules that structured not only the nature of participation, but also ideas of what issues could be engaged, who was important, and what solutions could be imagined. The power of the institutional frameworks of NAs in structuring the taken-for-granted ideas of legitimate governance of place at the neighborhood scale, and the standard operating procedures of relations between neighborhood and local government are seen in the surprisingly resilient and enduring presence and participation in NAs in virtually every community throughout Japan, despite the enormous upheavals of the last century. As Hashimoto shows so clearly in his case studies, those institutional frameworks are so deeply entrenched that even attempts at introducing new, more participatory governance processes based on machizukuri models ended up reproducing the structures and operating procedures of the NA model, in a striking example of isomorphism of the new institutional forms with those they were meant to be replacing. Although NAs surely represent a form of civil society, not all civil society structures are equal, and NAs as an institution of place management were so closely allied to the developmental state that they were particularly weak in countering either the projects of the state, or private development interests, even while they had other great strengths. The most convincing indication of change in the legitimate institutions of


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governance of shared places is the spread of alternative institutional frameworks of local organizing. Newer patterns of organizing, including but not limited to machizukuri processes and legally registered NPOs, are employing more diverse organizational structures, with broader communities of interest drawn from wider areas coming together to work on issues of concern, as shown by Funck, Murayama, and Asano. The old narrow geographic basis of neighborhood associations has been transcended, and new organizations can draw interested individuals from across the city and further in a process of rescaling of political action at the grassroots level from the neighborhood to the city and region. Groups are creating new processes of deliberation and organizing, new ideas, and new rules for local engagement and involvement. New membership rules have allowed many more women to participate and to take on leadership roles, as shown by Funck. There seems little doubt that recent growth of machizukuri movements attempting to make cities more livable have played a major role in the growth and strengthening of civil society in recent decades, particularly through their diversity, and by creating new institutional frameworks separate from established institutions. Opportunity structures for social movements have also widened on several levels. The Great Hanshin Earthquake gave a strong impetus for wider participation, as administrations had no choice but to rely on volunteers and machizukuri councils to promote disaster relief and reconstruction. This event also influenced the creation of the NPO law in 1998. As Watanabe points out, through the introduction of NPOs as a legal form and of district and master plans in urban planning law, such opportunities have been firmly built into the system of urban governance. Intermediary NPOs such as CS Kobe and Tokyo LANPO support other groups with knowledge of available funds, organizational structures, and other resources for successful activities. Many prefectures and cities have set up volunteer or NPO centers and provide information on groups through the internet. NPOs are taking over many of the tasks the public sector is outsourcing, which gives them a source of revenue as well as social recognition, but also creates new dilemmas of setting priorities and problems of co-optation, as noted by Funck (and see Mayer 1998). Finally, the revision of public works projects, although only in a minority of cases, also offers a new opportunity for environmental movements to promote their arguments. This does not mean that civil society actors are suddenly powerful in urban governance arenas, but it seems clear that there has been a huge growth of civil society capacity and activity in Japan during the last decade. The increasing legitimacy of voluntarism since the Great Hanshin Earthquake, the huge growth of registered non-profit organizations since the passage of the NPO Law in 1998, and the spread of new forms of organization for local management of shared spaces with open membership rules, open geographic boundaries, and more democratic decision-making processes are all indicators of real strengthening of civil society roles in local governance in Japan. These changes suggest that measured optimism about the future is warranted. This also is, in the longer term, perhaps the greatest contribution of the kinds of machizukuri movements

A diversity of machizukuri processes 277 discussed in this volume to larger issues of environmental sustainability. The growth of the strength, resources, and political influence of civil society actors seems the most likely route to a serious challenge to the construction-state prioritization of development and the pouring of concrete as the solution to all problems, whether environmental, economic, or political. When, or even whether Japanese civil society will be able to act as a check on the power of state and economic interests is unknown, even if the studies here suggest a small movement in that direction. It is worth asking what it means when scholars such as Watanabe and Murayama suggest that machizukuri represents a ‘paradigm shift’ in planning. Among Japanese urban planners and planning scholars the idea that machizukuri does represent a paradigm shift from the old system of top–down city planning is very widespread. It springs from a new analysis of the issues and demands of planning which incorporates ideas of sustainability and taking a longer-term perspective that puts a greater weight on environments and natural habitats than the earlier growth-first ethos. The new perspective also sees great possibilities in an increased role of civil society in planning and the management of shared spaces more generally. So even though it is certainly true that there are still many obstacles to real change in local governance and city planning, as shown by many of the chapters collected here, and great diversity in the processes that claim to be machizukuri with many still showing strong signs of the ‘old paradigm,’ it seems correct to suggest that there really has been a paradigm shift occurring in planning ideas. It should not be surprising that negotiating the new paradigm with other political and economic actors is a more difficult and conflicted process. Finally, perhaps the most important point revealed by all these studies is that local qualities of place are tremendously important to many people in Japan. So much so that they are willing to spend enormous amounts of time and energy in organizing collective institutions for managing changes and improvements to the places that they value. Doubtless the process of getting together is valued for itself as a social activity and way of getting to know others in the neighborhood, as with park maintenance activities. In large part these activities are about neighborliness and being involved in activities together. But it is also the fact that creating place with others is meaningful, and good places can make a great difference in people’s quality of life. Many Japanese people demonstrate an enormous willingness and talent for working together with their neighbors in common projects. It is also significant that small-scale place making can actually be achieved with little support from the state, and little financial outlay. People do it all the time: by frequenting certain areas and greeting familiar faces; by joining local clubs; by participating in existing festivals, or inventing new ones; by working with others to clean the local park or plant some flowers. But at a minimum, they also need at least benign neglect from the state, and some measure of stability of environmental regulations, so that even if there is urban rebuilding and redevelopment, those can be anticipated, and the scope of change is known.


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In both these ways Japanese cities are considerably more difficult places to make livable than those in most other developed countries. The state has continued to carry out transformative public works projects, and private developers have enormous freedom to redevelop existing urban areas to new patterns. Protecting valued spaces has been a major motivation for organizing the new approaches to managing shared spaces called machizukuri. There is little doubt that NAs played a huge role in facilitating collective action and community belonging, and making normal the process of local organizing for action. They also still perform many useful roles, but society has grown more complex, and people’s values and life-experiences are more diverse, and the old institutional structures of the NAs have been unable in many cases to change enough to accommodate that diversity. NAs very often became a part of a system that destroyed the small places and communities that are most valued. Their rules and linkages often catered to the needs of leaderships and local elites rather than to the issues of urban change and livability that concerned local people engaged in machizukuri activities. This appears to have been a major reason that these new institutional frameworks for managing shared spaces have been created in recent decades. The NAs were still stuck in the nested hierarchies of the developmental state period, and were not much use in facing contemporary challenges. Certainly, Japan faces huge challenges in coming decades, and continuing to improve urban livability and environmental sustainability will be one of the most difficult ones. Japan has a low and still declining birthrate, a rapidly aging population, and faces major population decline over the next century. Japanese population grew from 43,847,000 in 1900 to 127,687,000 in 2004. As a result of steadily declining fertility over the last 40 years, population is expected to peak in 2006 or 2007, and then decline to 117,580,000 in 2030, and 100,593,000 in 2050. Although Japanese population has continued to grow until the present, the demographic aging of Japanese society is already well advanced, with the share of the population over 65 having increased from 4.9 percent in 1950 to 19.5 percent in 2004, and expected to rise to 29.6 percent in 2030 (Japan Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications 2005). Population decline on the scale projected for Japan during the next century has never been seen in a developed country. The Japanese government has rejected the option of large-scale immigration, even though the OECD recommended in the mid 1990s that Japan should allow a rate of about 200,000 immigrants per year in order to stabilize population levels. Population decline will certainly have major impacts on all settled areas, but those impacts are likely to be quite different in different parts of the country with some places facing much greater challenges than others. Many rural areas have seen continuous population declines for decades, as have many older industrial towns such as Muroran in Hokkaido, or Kitakyushu in Kyushu that face the added burden of heavily contaminated environments. Other towns have only recently started to see population decline, but have been coping with the problems of aging populations for years, with closures of schools, shops, and other public facilities, and

A diversity of machizukuri processes 279 real difficulties providing adequate care to increasing numbers of elderly with decreasing numbers in the workforce. Almost all local governments face huge fiscal deficits built up during the public works spending spree of the 1990s (Shirai 2005; Schebath 2006). The challenges of avoiding self-reinforcing spirals of decline, particularly in less advantaged places, will be enormous. If ever there was a time for a paradigm shift in Japanese planning governance, new ideas, energy and participation from civil society, and new values of place management for livability and environmental and social sustainability, this is it.

References Barret, Brendan and Usui, Mikoto. (2002). Local Agenda 21 in Japan: Transforming Local Environmental Governance. Local Environment. 7(1): 49–67. Japan Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. (2005). Statistical Handbook of Japan Chapter 2 Population. Vol. 2005. Tokyo: Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. Mayer, Margit. (1998). The Changing Scope of Action in Urban Politics: New Opportunities for Local Initiatives and Movements. In Richard Wolff, Andreas Schneider, Christian Schmidt, and Philipp Klaus (eds), Possible Urban Worlds: Urban Strategies at the End of the 20th Century. 66–75. Basel: Birkhauser Verlag. Rausch, Anthony. (2006). The Heisei Dai Gappei: A Case Study for Understanding the Municipal Mergers of the Heisei Era. Japan Forum. 18(1): 133–156. Schebath, Alain. (2006). Fiscal Stress of Japanese Local Public Sector in the 1990s: Situation, Structural Reasons, Solutions. In Carola Hein and Philippe Pelletier (eds), Cities, Autonomy, and Decentralization in Japan. 81–100. London: Routledge. Shirai, Sayuri. (2005). Growing Problems in the Local Public Finance System of Japan. Social Science Japan. 8(2): 213–238. Sorensen, André, Marcotullio, Peter J., and Grant, Jill. (2004). Towards Sustainable Cities. In André Sorensen, Peter J. Marcotullio, and Jill Grant (eds), Towards Sustainable Cities: East Asian, North American and European Perspectives. 3–23. Aldershot: Ashgate.


access to information 79 activists 60; against developments 190, 203 administrative activities 10, 27, 108, 150, 226, 244; delegated 227t, 275; guidance 67, 99–100 aging community 123, 125–6, 147, 164, 184, 207, 278 agricultural region 23, 117, 129, 193, 207–8, 231–3 American communities 42, 47; inner-city problems 249; urban renewal program 43 anti-pollution movements 73–4, 76, 190–2, 194, 202 Aobadai 126; childcare group (kodomo wo mamoru kai) 123–4, 133n28; development plan 126 Aoba-ku urban master plan 125, 127, 131 apartment buildings 144, 177–8; new 138, 179f, 214 Arakawa 256; high-rise manshon 258f Arnstein, Sherry 18–19 associations 67; repressive control over 61, 65 Asuka District, Kakegawa 232, 234–5; planning 237 bidding, competitive 107 bid-rigging 77–8, 91, 99–101, 104 biotopes 196; under Hanshin expressway 146f blockage of construction 248, 263 bubble economy 7, 11, 13, 25, 216, 231, 248, 250, 254–6, 259; collapse of 65, 77–9, 82, 91, 174, 210, 235; post-bubble era 39, 96; price deflation 249 building 47, 101, 120, 259; covenants 132n20–1, 133n23; infrastructure 94; legal restrictions 274; permits and permission 250, 253–7, 262–5 building as-of-right 250, 252, 265; Bonus system 249, 251, 253 building regulations 253, 262; changes to 265; height limitation 251, 263, 272; new 264; permitted envelopes 252f; Urban Buildings law 46 Building Standards law 61, 120, 250–3, 263, 265 business 10, 104; leaders 49; local 219 cabinet-ministry system 60, 252

central city areas 238, 240, 248–9; sub-center 164–5 central government 2, 7, 10–12, 40, 46, 65, 71, 102, 200, 250, 274; bureaucracy 48, 78; control 95; dominance 11–12; ministries 13, 67–8 change 13, 21, 65, 265; obstacles to 277; patterns of 60; processes of 80, 82–3; resistance to 8, 110 Child of the Sun, The 174, 183 citizen engagement 1, 13, 247, 269 citizen movements 3, 8, 42, 108, 116, 121, 137, 142, 190–4, 196, 203–4, 262, 264; environmental 25–7; influencing outcomes 273; against pollution 72 citizen participation 18–19, 27, 125, 138, 140, 157, 161–4, 210, 221, 274; increased 139; in planning 71, 76, 108; in policy formulation 109 Citizen Planning Group (CPG) 210–11, 222; meeting 213; proposals 210, 216, 259 citizens 4, 43–4, 130, 145; demands of 50; opinions 79; power 18; self-management 80; sub-groups 210; urban 97; voluntary groups 126 citizens’ campaigns 121, 124, 128; veterans of 123 citizens’ groups 13, 128, 200; on childcare 122; competence 149, 152, 243; representatives 154 city officials 150, 211, 216, 222 City Planning 56, 65, 68, 79, 82, 115, 128, 157, 175–6, 182–5, 212; Area 117, 238; Committee 48–9, 70, 125, 253; functions 75; policies 129; Roads 183, 273; Standards 47; statutory 39–43; master plan 222 City Planning law 16, 24, 232; Act 1919 46–7, 61; Act 1968 46, 73–4, 117, 127, 206, 210; Amendment 1992 52; New 17; revision 79, 263 civic movement 221–2; for place management 56 civil society 40, 158–60, 203, 247; achievements 61, 124; actors 3; development 275–6; organizations 23–7, 78–9, 206; roles 3, 21–2, 71, 76, 83, 137 clientelist state 98; structures 110 collaboration with government 193, 196 collective action 18–19, 44, 81, 278 commercial district 208, 259; revitalization 211–12 Committee of the History of the Cove 180, 181f, 184

Index communal facilities 46, 121, 208, 226, 272, 278 communication 160, 226–8, 240–2; with residents 236–7, 244 Communist Party 74–5, 203 community 4, 7, 146, 160–4, 235, 264; activities 124, 148, 167, 169, 228; business groups 152; facilities 115, 130, 159; governance 229; organization 45–6, 158, 224; relations 154; role of 247; structure 143; studies 170; walking 52; welfare 40 commuting 117, 121 compensation claims 15, 248, 256, 259, 262–4, 274 conflicts 28, 83, 129–30, 247, 250, 264, 270 consensus 153, 212, 245, 260, 265; building 22, 206 conservation 95, 192; of historic environment 216 construction 93–4; agreement of 259; of bridges 200; delays in 122; lobby 92, 97, 107, 110; permits 99; plan opposed 148; projects 266 construction industry 77, 95t, 271; local 108; scandals 100; structural reform 110 construction investment 92, 93–4f, 101; wasteful 99 construction state 25, 57–8, 91–2, 95–9, 103, 110, 277; stability of 100; supportive legislation 101 consultants 97, 142, 147, 151, 177, 210, 221; Expert Dispatch System 51 cooperation 64, 128, 130, 149–51, 153, 202; between associations 160; in building projects 115, 177 coordination and cooperation 141; institutions of 61 corruption 78, 82, 102; political 77, 106; structural 98–9, 101 Council of Social Welfare (CSW) 42, 45 crime concerns 249 crisis period 57, 65, 82, 84; third major 77 criticism of public projects 91, 93, 100, 196, 200 dam construction 108–9, 190, 202 day care facility 148f, 153–4 debts 96f, 104, 107–8 decentralization 3, 12–13, 49, 75, 78–9, 109, 164, 274 decision-making 69, 101, 227, 242, 245; by consensus 81; failure to consult 244; powers 48, 50 delegated functions system 48, 68, 116 democracy 57, 67, 82, 102, 109, 157 Den’en Toshi line 116–17, 133n30; opening of 122 deregulation 250, 251f, 265 desalination 193, 195, 198–200; project stopped 203 developed countries 21, 23, 249 development 50, 172; assistance 20; controversial 254, 262–4; industry 4, 15, 248; management 61; permission 255–7; permits 75; urban 8, 200, 208 developmental pathways 59, 83 development plans 64, 260; agreement on 255; changed 263; and projects 137; unchanged 257 development projects 20, 128–9; adverse 237, 239


disaster and fire prevention 166, 169, 180, 226 District Planning 41, 47, 50–1, 120, 176, 250, 264 downtown 138, 234; property owners and retailers 212, 214–15, 222; regeneration 27, 216–19, 272–3 Downtown Revitalization Group 211–12, 215–17, 222; draft plan 216; members 213 earthquake 139–40, 146, 151–5, 164–5, 170 economic conditions 269; crisis 155; recovery 108, 250; stagnation 235; stimulus 200 economic expansion 1, 5; state role in 14 economic growth 21, 69–72, 77, 92–5, 272; rapid 26, 40, 47, 158, 231; slowing 74; state facilitated 273 ecosystems 189; disruption of 199; wetland 190, 200 elderly people 138, 143, 162, 165, 185, 231; in Aoba-ku 133n32; associations 224; increasing 279; living alone 123; post-earthquake problems 163 electoral system 98, 102 employment 9, 93–4, 231, 249 environment 9, 26, 40, 95, 149, 277; activism 72–3, 75–6, 142, 197; local 5, 56, 83; management 1, 10, 12, 23, 42, 202, 243, 270; preservation of 127 environmental crisis 11, 15–16, 25, 64–5, 70, 82, 191 environmental destruction 96, 127; protests on 194 environmental groups 196f; non-cooperation 192 environmental issues 59, 190, 199; alternative policies 189; conservation 45, 102, 196 environmental movements 15–17, 23, 74, 76, 189, 196, 199, 202–4, 269, 273; local 204 environmental problems 6, 96, 143, 198, 255, 145 environmental sustainability 2, 4–5, 7, 101, 277–8 eutrophication 193, 195–6 explanation meetings 235, 238–9, 243, 254, 260–3 Fair Trade Commission 104 farmer and fishermen’s movement 196, 202 farming 4, 124, 127–30; and fishing 14, 195, 199–200 farmland conversion 199, 238, 240 fatalities and disease 15, 162t, 165 financial crises 249, 279; fiscal restraints 101 Floor Area Ratio (FAR) 249, 251, 263; bonus 252; for developments 253; in residential buildings 250 former common property, rights on 144 free-riders 18–19 Fukaya City 206–7, 214; Citizen Planning Group 217; Nigiwai Kobo 217–19, 222; redevelopment scheme 208, 209f, 221; Town Management Organization 211–12, 215; Urban Master Plan 27 funding 143, 154, 206, 239; general account 104; government 107, 218; public 96, 197; source 225 garden suburbs 116–17, 254, 262 gender issues 137, 139, 141, 184



general assembly 234, 241 globalization 5, 7–8, 39, 191; property market 253 Golovnin Incident 180 governance 1, 10, 57, 60–1, 84; local and regional 269; participatory 21–2, 76; rescaling 3, 13; selfgovernance 161, 224; urban 7, 9, 56–7, 65, 78, 248 government 14, 53, 67; administrative guidance 265; centralized 60; debts 91; domestic policies 73; emergency response 162; officials 243; pressures on 206; spending 25, 92, 96, 240; support 77; transfer of resources 99; trust issues 163, 165–6 grassroots organizations 72, 74, 76, 80 Great Hanshin Earthquake 1995 25, 77, 82, 137–8, 142, 157, 161–3, 175, 206, 276 Great Kanto Earthquake 1923 63 green 143, 154; networks 151 gross domestic product 93, 96, 105t growth coalitions 8–10, 19; United States 15 Guriin 122–4, 129–30, 134n35 Hanshin expressway 145–6; Public Corporation 104 Hanshin Green Net 141–2, 151 Haruho, Fujii 107 Hayabuchi-gawa river 132n12 health and healthcare 2–6, 16, 58, 90; hazards 191; problems 15, 73; vaccination campaigns 62 hierarchical structure 234, 241; vertical 80 Higashide machi 172–3, 183; foundry 182, 184–5 Higashikawasaki 7 Chome 178f, 180 high-rise buildings 27–8, 165, 230, 247; development project 263, 272; redevelopment 253; in Tokyo 271 historic assets 27, 178–80, 271, 273; awareness of 26, 182–4; conservation 76, 177, 211–12, 217–19, 222; destruction of 208; institutionalism 57–9, 81–3 Home Ministry 48, 60, 62–3, 67 Honjo-Koku problem 199–200 Hotaka district 232, 238, 240; Joint Neighborhood Association 240–1; Machizukuri Plan 243–4 House of the Wind 167, 168f, 270; Club 170 household 249; low income 138; single-person 255 housing 8, 12, 45, 121, 138, 170, 175–7; cheaper 253; destroyed 165, 256; deterioration of 158; exclusive 120; high density 72; land supply 129; long row 144; projects 142; reconstruction 166, 169; single-family 230; for workers 70 Hyogo-tsu 142, 172–3 Imperial Family 192 Imperial Rule Assistance Association (IRAA) 67–8 industrial development 15, 59; on reclaimed land 144 industrialization 96, 158, 194, 231, 273 industries 70–2, 207, 231; uncompetitive 109 information 63, 157, 234; distribution 254, 256

Information Disclosure Act 78–9, 102 infrastructure 6, 10, 14, 58–61, 70, 92, 94, 100, 109, 116, 121, 130, 213–14; development 99, 271; future needs 97; projects 47, 74, 210; regional 48, 50; spending 11–12, 102–4; urban 46, 63, 80 injunctions 256–7, 264; application withdrawn 259 inner-city neighborhoods 27–8, 247, 248–50, 256; problems 139, 157–9, 162–3, 178, 180 institutional change 58–60, 82–3, 237f institutional framework 22, 62, 74, 276, 278 intermediary 236, 244; organizations 80, 141, 152, 276; role failure 235 international trade 173; competition 94; GATT 9 investment 2, 5, 8–9, 70, 91–9, 101, 102, 104–6; inefficiency 104 Irie 180–1, 182f, 183 iron triangle 1, 11, 25, 69, 91, 98f, 100–1, 108–10, 112 Ishida, Yuko 115, 130, 134n33 Japan Highway Public Corporation 104 Joint Neighborhood Associations (JNA) 63, 81, 228, 242–4; general activities of 241 Kagawa, Toyohiko 174 Kagurazaka 259; completed manshon 261f kick backs, system of 99 Kitahama 173f, 174–5; childhood memories 183–4 knowledge accumulation 162; prevention of 236, 244 Kobe 44, 51–2, 137, 141–2, 182; community hall 144f; Community Support (CS Kobe) 80, 141, 152–3, 156, 276; disaster area 163; earthquake 11, 26, 53, 78, 189, 251, 271; Green Net 23; machizukuri 151, 164; Master Plan 165; municipal authorities 139, 175–7, 180, 183, 185; population changes 138f; reconstruction plans 146; underground world 174; urban society 155 Kobe Shinbun 181, 183 Kohoku New Town 128, 131n7 Koizumi, Prime Minister Junichiro 102, 107, 109–10; government 250, 252, 274 Komazawa Olympic Park and University 254 Kondo, Yasuhiro 182–5 ko-sodate 122–3 Kunitachi 41, 262, 266 labor union 45, 203; weak 10 Lake Conference, World, 1995 195 Lakes Nakaumi and Shinji 190, 193, 194f, 197, 202–3 Lake Nakaumi Land Reclamation 198, 199f, 200; movement against 204; problem 201f Lake Kasumigaura 27, 190, 193–4, 202; management of 195f, 195–7, 200, 204; location 194f land development 118, 163, 253; control 12, 15, 70; for housing 208; and local zoning 75 land prices 122, 248–9, 232; rising 233, 269, 274

Index land readjustment 120, 132n9, 132n22, 139–41, 273; projects 115–16, 125–9, 163–9, 210–19; system 117–18, 131n8 land reclamation projects 109, 192, 194, 198; for agriculture 200; movement against 202 land speculation 233, 256 land use 119t, 177, 208; control 47, 51; plan 2, 7, 79, 239–40, 243; regulations 120, 232–4, 238 landowners 44, 47, 71, 150, 237–8, 257; associations 116; local 14, 271; ownership 132n18 landscape 151, 167; law 266, 271; value 264 leadership 69, 71, 82, 159; active 44–5; female 147, 276; park management group 167–8 legal and taxation powers 10, 248, 253 Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) 1, 11, 16, 69, 73–5, 78, 91, 97, 102; LDP-led coalition 100–1 lifestyle histories 41, 174, 184–5, 192 livability 21–3, 115, 121, 124, 129–30, 270–2, 274 livable and sustainable cities 2–4, 6, 9, 270, 278 Living City 213, 217 living environment 7–8, 44, 137, 158–9, 166, 169; improvement 177–80, 226, 233; sustainable 24, 229 local action involving local people 8, 81, 270 Local Agenda 21 (LA21) 2, 4–6, 8; process 270 local assembly 260; members 49 local associations 146, 149; cooperation with 145 local bosses 68, 70 local community 7, 40, 157, 273; organizations 2 local elites 44, 64, 72, 108 local governance 2–4, 7; structures of 84 local government 4–7, 11, 13, 17, 21, 40, 56, 61–2, 68, 73, 196, 224, 228–9, 248, 250, 255, 259–60, 270, 279; development manuals 75; district plan 264–5; liaison committees 64; links to 74, 169; reliance on NAs 27, 244–5; representation 63, 275 local history 172, 181–2, 185; and festivals 169 local initiatives, pioneering 218 lower organizations 241; representatives of 242–3; responsibilities of 228 machi-sodate 25, 53n1, 115–16, 122–3, 126–28, 130–1 machizukuri 1, 2, 4, 16, 20–8, 39–46, 50, 54n2, 57, 64, 76, 81, 115–16, 125–31, 137, 149, 153, 161–2, 168, 172, 175, 184, 224, 235–6, 248, 259–60, 271–3, 277–8; activities 53, 147, 157, 218, 269–70; community theme 151; conference 180; council agreement 52; district planning 239–40, 242; focus on parks 165; layering 59, 83, 147; legalization 51; membership 142; movement 6, 13, 229, 262–4, 276; network 78; ordinances 76, 138, 140, 145, 176, 233–5, 239; citizen participation 165, 219; processes 3, 7, 14, 19, 21, 25, 56, 80, 84, 183, 232, 270, 275; residents lack of interest 243–5; structural obstacles 7, 10; studies 170; thematic sub-groups 169, 146 Machizukuri Councils 26, 41, 77, 140–1, 150, 164–6, 172, 176–7, 180, 185, 240, 269;


executive members 169, 242–4; fixed term system 236–7; Nishisuma Assembly 145–7; post-earthquake 142–3 machizukuri groups 17, 142, 154; female members 143; registered 140t; neighborhoods 150, 226 Machizukuri Plan 176–7, 183; doubts about 182 Mano 45–6, 52, 162 market 21, 40, 53, 58, 175, 206 Maruyama 45–6, 52, 72; ‘fighting’ 44 Master Plan 52, 79, 115, 177, 216; citizen-based 125; participation process 273 media 1, 101, 189, 202; censorship 61; free press 67 mediation 255; local government 259; rejected 257 Meiji period 1, 60–1, 207; Restoration 39 membership dues 168, 170, 225 Minatomachi Line 176–7, 180, 183 Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries 97 Ministry of Construction 56, 69, 190, 273 Ministry of Education 122 Ministry of Finance 78 Ministry of Health and Welfare 42; scandal 78 Ministry of Home Affairs 225 Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport 97, 104, 108, 176 mobilization 75, 228, 275; of representatives 243; of residents 226, 247; of resources 16; strategies 248 modernization 46, 61, 159; of industry 191 municipal governments 10, 42, 47, 51–2, 210, 226–9, 232, 272; administration 42–4; authority 45, 49; boundaries 47; budget 274; planning department 14 Nagoya 71; city planning 43 Nakata, Takeji 182, 185 Nakauchi, Ko 174 Narita Airport 14, 71, 196 National Land Agency 16, 239 national laws 16, 250; urban planning 272 national resources 61, 71; mobilization of 65 natural disasters 137 natural ecosystems 144, 270; destruction of 97 natural environments 125; changing 130; devastation of 91, 108, 127 nature conservation 200–3; movements 189–92 Nature Restoration 198; law 2002 195 negotiations 46, 260; with developers 255, 257, 263; with local government 259 neighborhood 4, 83, 154, 160; activities 137, 228; factories 181, 184; groups 240, 248; institutions 80; residents 28, 254; sanitation committee 62–3; self-governance 64, 81; social solidarity 69 Neighborhood Associations 14, 22–4, 27, 62, 64, 70, 73, 76, 80–3, 142, 157–61, 173, 228, 245, 269, 275–8; abolished 68; activities 226t; boundaries 166, 233; decline in effectiveness 224, 232; elderly members 169; government support 69; local 72–4, 144; municipal leagues 63; participation rate 225, 229–30



Neighborhood Associations governing board 63; dominated by aged males 142, 230, 242, 245; general assembly 227; meetings 227–8, 241; members 229, 236–7; rotation of officers 169 Neighborhood Associations organizational structure 227, 230, 235, 240; sub-organizations 234; traditional 26, 139, 169, 275 Neighborhood Associations representatives 243–4; basis of participation 62, 69, 81, 225, 236; dual appointment 236; heads of household 139–3, 155; member households 227–30, 234, 240–1; status 63–4 nested hierarchies 62, 64, 68, 74, 80–1, 228, 278 networks 159–61; hierarchical 62; society 23, 189 New City Planning Law 46, 48–50 new residents 129, 228, 230 Nishide machi 172–3 Non-Profit Organizations 3, 40, 109, 141, 146, 157, 217, 221, 229, 269; schools 196, 198f; 149, 153–5; increase 155; law 23, 53, 71, 79–80, 137, 206, 276; new membership rules 276; support centers 152 Okamoto 149–50, 155–6 Old City Planning Law 46–9, amendment of 50 opposition 25, 72, 97, 108, 139, 146–7; to central plans 15; to changes 27, 71; to deregulations 253; to development 194, 200, 256; from landowners 129; movement 255, 260, 262–3, 265–6, 274; NIMBY 19, 247; obstacles to 248, 254; parties 75; public 273; to reconstruction decision 163 ordinance 264; to mediate disputes 255 organizations 159; intermediate and lower 240–1; local 62; state sanctioned networks 67 paradigm shift 28, 207, 221–2, 277, 279 parks 120, 127–8, 168–9, 214; creation 153; proposal blocked 143; Hiehara 167f; management group 166–7; planning 271; and public spaces 154 participation 18, 42, 45–6, 49–50, 53, 63, 75, 80, 115, 152–4, 167, 196, 212; in events 145; incentive for 18, 231f, 248; literature 20; public 102; rate of 224, 229, 244; timing 19–20; younger people 150, 230 path dependence 58–9, 81 personal networks 150, 159, 161 petition 257, 260, 263, 265; adopted 262 picket line 257 place governance 66, 83, 172 place management 1, 174, 275; institutions of 22; local 172; systems of 78; urban 56 planning 24, 28, 51, 59, 71–3, 78, 130, 238, 275; authority 248; collaborative 18, 82, 206; Committee 125, 210, 216; consultants 45, 77, 125; delegated 74; distinction 118; by NPO 53; opposition to 126; technical complexity 235–7, 245

planning board 235, 237, 244; members 234, 238; organizational structure 210, 236 planning powers 46–8, 82; community 160; devolution of 83; environmental 5 planning process 49, 58, 222, 235; government dominated 21; participatory 18, 76–7, 79, 242; pre-war 48; regulations 265; sub-groups 211 planning system 52, 102, 262; revisions to 250 Policies of Downtown Planning 213–14, 215f policy-making 12, 19, 218; citizen participation 102 political campaign donations 98; illegal 106 political economy 1, 8, 11, 69, 99–100, 102, 110 political power 7, 45; competing centers 67; leverage 272; mobilization 74; opposition parties 75, 100; parties 73; rescaling of action 276 politicians 42, 97; campaigns 79; conservatives 76; construction tribe 98–9; elected 14; hereditary 103; influence 11; lobbyism 98, 103; road tribe 107–8 politics and society 13, 17; activities 68; avoidance of affiliations 16; change 59, 84; influence of civil society 277; processes 58; resources 83; reform 3 pollution 26, 70, 82, 143, 153, 202; damage 15; environmental 45, 189–91; impact on health 270; regulations 15–16, 72–3; responsibility for 192 population 4, 138; decline 278–9; increase 117, 123, 225, 230, 238–40, 248; non-agricultural 231–2 ports 172–3, 175, 184 postwar period 9, 11, 23–5, 39–40, 56–7, 61, 69, 92, 103, 174; change in society 231; development projects 163, 190; economy 97; occupation 1, 6, 64–5, 67–8, 82; reconstruction 14, 39, 192 prewar period 57, 61, 65, 68; centralized government 191; family system 224–5; town planning 176 Principles of Downtown Regeneration 213 private developers 234, 278; companies 64, 137 Privatization Committee 107 professionals 141–2; administration staff 147 property development 12, 28, 77, 247, 253 property owners 59, 154, 219, 221 protest movement 65, 148, 192, 196, 200; local residents 237, 253 public corporations 106; privatization 103, 110 public finance system 102, 110 public good 18, 71, 73, 92 public hearings 49, 73 public opinion 190–1; surveys 230, 239 public participation 20–1, 40–1, 52, 73, 233, 239–40, 245; in planning 14, 17–18, 22 public services 42, 45, 50 public works 11, 92, 96–8, 101–2; budget allocations 200; conflicts over 108–9; planning 110; projects 77, 101, 190, 194, 197–8, 204, 271, 274–8; spending 78, 99, 105t; 100, 109–10; wasteful 93

Index qualities of place, local 277 quality of life 2–6, 10, 16, 153, 206, 217–18, 226, 239 Ramsar Convention 2005 200 rapid growth period 56, 68–9, 70–1, 96 rebuilding 252, 277; after the earthquake 147, 272; guidance for 177 reconstruction 138, 155; citizen led 139; after the earthquake 145, 162–3; machizukuri 157, 164, 170; plan 165; process 161–2; of spaces 172 redevelopment 26, 43–4, 139, 140–1, 259; of innercity sites 247, 253, 256; projects 164, 271 referendums 97, 101; local 109 reforms 39, 146, 191; blocked 107 regional development 92–4, 100, 103, 109, 192–4 regulations 149, 266; building height 263; central city area 232; expansion of 243 representatives 177, 227–8, 241–2; from households 224, 234–5; one-year-term 236, 244 residential area 120; crowded 164; development 118, 208, 238–40; high-rise 265; improvement 177–8; redevelopment 247; sub-divisions 194 residents 44, 149, 247; group 255, 265; ideas and suggestions 166; insufficient consent of 244–5; land use plan 233; movements 257, 259; opinions 165; organizations 68, 159, 161; participation 51, 158; relationships 170, 230f; sharing information 169 resources 197; consumption and waste 2, 95, 121, 133n25, 271; financial and human 219; local 218; misallocation of 96 retail industries 126, 207; decline of local shopping areas 249; distribution 174; shopping street associations 140, 147, 149–50; shop-owners 149 retired public corporation executives 104, 107 rice riots 184 Rio Earth Summit 1992 2, 4, 270 river engineering 190, 194, 203; Maintenance Division 127; regional improvement project 202 road construction 107–9; and improvement 104; investment 105t, 106t3; pedestrian oriented streets 118–20, 128, 214; sector 92, 103 roads 3, 43, 166, 169, 176–8, 254; arterial 146; classifications 106t4, 118; law 104, 108; Nakasendo 210, 216–17; narrow streets 147–9; planning of 118; in residential areas 251; ringroad 126; traditional 256; trunk roads 262 Rokkomichi Station North District 164–5; Meeting Place 167; Park Management Group 166 rural areas 62, 69, 95, 118, 192, 278; declining 94; densely settled 71; development control processes 272; remote 93; traditional landscape 233f Sakae-Higashi 43–4; citizens’ movement 115 Sakagami, Chikao 183 Sakuradai-danchi 124 scale model workshops 214–16 schools 121–4, 133n26–7; schoolchildren 123


Setagaya suburban development 254; environment council 255; Ward 52 shared spaces 12, 22, 23, 26, 58–9, 62, 82, 234; management of 13, 21–4, 56, 63, 80–2, 168, 266, 270–7; semi-public 154; urban 13, 247; valued 279 Shiba, Ryotaro 180 Shibusawa, Eiichi 207 shipping 173 shipbuilding 175, 182, 185 small area 40–3, 45–7, 50–2; social system of 40 social change 1, 255; rapid 158 social movements 15–16, 174 social relationships 18, 22, 72, 160, 230; loss of 158 social welfare 9, 92, 161; voluntary 269 space management 25, 65, 269; institutions 57 street 147; environment 211, 217; network 126–7; preservation 180; relocation 260, 262 streetscape 259, 262; University Street 263–4 structural reforms 91, 108–9; in governance 139 subsidies 218, 225, 228, 259 suburbanization 158, 208, 249 Sumiyoshi 142–4, 156 super-high-rise manshon building 254 support centers 141, 153 Supreme Court 264, 266; IHEN 1973 196 Survey of Historic Buildings 218, 219 sustainability 4–5, 95–6, 103, 169, 206 Takadaya, Kahei 180 Tama Den’en Toshi area 127 tax revenues 9, 12, 104, 106t tokenism 49, 230 Tokunaga, Takuma 175, 183 Tokushima Natural Observation Society 108 Tokyo 41, 98; City bylaw 63; dispute mediation committee 255, 265; District Court 256–7, 264; green belt 116; LANPO 23, 80, 276; Metropolitan Government 249, 255; Prefecture 62; Urban Area Improvement law 46, 50 Tokyu Den’en Toshi 25, 118, 120–3, 130, 134n38; project 125–7, 129 toll road 116; fee discount 106; revenue 104, 107 toshi keikaku 24–5, 39–41, 43–4, 46, 48–52, 128 tourism industry 199, 238 townscape 150, 170, 259; preservation 264 traffic 160; problems 103f, 126, 143, 147 transportation system 50, 103, 117, 121, 207, 216; door to door 126; public 232, 272 Tsuchiura City 196 Tsukimiyama association 145–7, 149, 156 Tsukuba Academic City 194, 196 unemployment 97, 155 university 149; Hitotsubashi 262; research unit 210, 221; Tokyo 260 unwanted development, prevention of 82, 247 unzoned white land 232, 238–9 urban areas 69; high density 71, 208



urban change 17, 56, 58; crisis 21; decline 159; influencing 248, 264, 269; and livability 278; managing 7, 12–13, 39; patterns 247 urban environment 2, 5–6, 10, 23, 211; ordinance 263; problems 80; sustainable 19, 24, 247, 271–2 urban growth 9, 199; rapid 206–7 urban management 2, 7, 77, 218; changes in 8 Urban Master Plans 206, 210–12, 217; staff 215, 221 urban planning 4, 10–15, 19, 80, 116, 125, 163, 247, 250; city-wide 130; governance 28; network of 141–2, 151; projects 137, 274; restrictions 164; Section 210–11, 221; system 271; Western 53 urban policies 73, 128, 221; advance knowledge 63 Urban Redevelopment Project areas 163–5 Urban Renaissance 218, 252–3 urban renewal 101, 128; plan for Fukaya 274 urban social movements 14, 17, 22 urban sprawl 231, 233, 238, 239f urbanization 4, 64, 96, 144, 158–61, 193; Control Areas 117, 127–8; Promotion Areas 125, 128–9 vacant land-lots 148, 256 victims of pollution 72, 190, 193; relief for 191 voice 56–7, 176, 245, 247; in government 3, 13, 24; of local groups 274 voluntary citizen-based activities 69, 122, 137, 141, 151–2, 272; associations 61, 159–61; organizations 80, 83; participation processes 225, 275 volunteer groups 157, 165, 189, 229; members 169; non-partisan 196; private 71; support for 152 volunteers 24, 28, 41–3, 52–3, 78, 124–5, 210–11, 227; in disaster relief 276; turned professional 147–52

voters 109; Green Party 203; survey on 203 waste management 2, 4, 63, 121; industrial 142 waste of public money 94, 104, 108 water environments 193, 270; movements 192, 203; problems 190, 193f; protection of 26–7 water pollution 193, 199 water quality 189–90, 200, 202; control 193 water resource development 127–8, 193–5, 200; criticism of 202; protests against 195 water supply 10, 21, 72, 196; reservoirs 193; for Tokyo Metropolitan Area 194–5 welfare 141, 146, 149, 152, 155; cutbacks 74, 130; systems 16; workshop 124 Western countries 53, 60; industrialized 92 women’s associations 150, 224, 229 women’s participation 16, 26, 142; leadership 276; in machizukuri 137, 139, 151; in NPOs 147–8, 152 women working 122, 148–50; shop-owners 150 wooden houses 164, 179f; rebuilding of 178 workers 183, 207, 231; skilled 5 working-class neighborhood 175, 178 workshops 52, 154, 168; for the handicapped (Guriin) 122–4, 129–30, 134n35; town walking 211 Yamoto-gawa River 134n39 Yanase Warehouse 218, 220; activities in 221f Yokohama City 116, 122, 124–6; nature park 130 zero-growth period 78 zoning systems 47, 120, 251, 263–4