TRANSFORMATION OF JAPANESE COMMUNITIES AND THE EMERGING LOCAL AGENDA
The rapid changes that have accompanied globalization and decentralization are forcing local governments to confront many new challenges. Under the direction of Shun’ichi Furukawa, a team of young scholars and think tank researchers was formed in 2000 to study the new demands facing local government. Research topics included the progress and challenges of decentralization in Japan; the surge of community businesses and their impact on local economies; local government responses to the growing foreign resident population; the international policies of local governments; the role of regional think tanks; the implications of local financial crises and prospects for sustainable local financial systems; and NPOs and local governance. Several workshops were held and a study trip to San Francisco was undertaken in March 2001 with the cooperation of the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).
The results of the study were published in Japanese in June 2002 and in English in April 2003 in an edited volume, Japan’s Road to Pluralism: Transforming Local Communities in the Global Era, which is available online.