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Problems of Emptying Countryside in Northern Japan (miniseries part 4, final)

6 Kes

Continuing from the part 3.

5.3. Results: slowing down the trend or trend reversal?
Some work, especially on the local level, have been successful in reversing the trend. Hokkaido targeted the retirees as potential in-migrators to the countryside. According to a questionnaire in Tokyo, 80% of the respondents had interest in living in Hokkaido and 70% of them wanted rural living instead of cities (Murakami et al., 2009). This would bring a net economic profit to the region even when the costs of increasing social security costs are counted. Initial testing period showed several hundred people from Tokyo spending extensive time in Hokkaido and benefitting the local industry (Murakami et al., 2009). Unfortunately, these kinds of successes are far and few between on the national scale.

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Problems of Emptying Countryside in Northern Japan (miniseries part 2)

30 touko

Continuing from the part 1.

3. Impact on society in Japan
3.1. Social impact on the populace

The most visibly, the flight from the countryside can be seen in oversupply of vacant homes. In 2014, already 8.2 million homes in Japan were empty and the pace is likely to accelerate further (Johnston, 2015). 40% of these were not on sale or rent, and thus can be considered abandoned. The most of these abandoned homes are in the shrinking rural communities. The empty homes decrease the appeal of the neighborhood and contributes to the reduction in the local population. Another clear sign of the trend is the increase in average age of the rural population. In 2006, the country had people with age of 65 and older, less than 1.5 times the amount of children under 14 years of age, but the ratio is prospected to increase to 3.3 by 2050 (Smil, 2007). This effect will be even more prominent in the countryside.

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Nikko

3 Maa

Ei siis se radio-ohjettavia autoja valmistava firma, vaan hieman Tokiosta pohjoiseen oleva kaupunki. Varhaisena lauantaiaamuna lähdimme puksuttelemaan junalla päiväreissulle ihmettelemään tuon mestan vanhoja temppeleitä. Nikkon kaupunki on pinta-alaltaan suuri, mutta alue on suurimmaksi osaksi vuoristoa. Populaa on alle 100 000 immeistä, joten paikalla on selvää pienkaupunkifiilistä.

Pääasiallisena kohteena oli UNESCOn maailmanperintölistalla olevat Nikkon temppelit ja pyhäköt. Muita kiinnostuksen kohteita tuolla ovat esimerkiksi Nikkon kasvitieteellinen puutarha ja Chuuzenji-järven ympäristö, joka on erityisen vaikuttava syksyllä ruskan aikaan. Koska aika oli rajottunut tällä kertaa vain yhteen päivää, ehdimme katsastamaan ainoastaan nuo maailmanperintömestat.

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