Chapter 10: Development of Regional Plans and Economic Base Strategies for Sustainable Development in Japan
Takashi Onishi REGIONAL PLANNING PRACTICE IN JAPAN A new regional planning strategy was introduced in Japan with the National Land Formation Plan Law, which became effective in 2005 by the amendment of the former National Comprehensive Development Law. Regional plans were also made in 11 regions throughout the country under individual laws linked with the former law. The new law is making regional plans for eight regions except for Hokkaido and Okinawa which have special laws for the development of their prefectures. It is the fundamental law for most of regional plans, although individual planning laws for three metropolitan regions are still effective at present as well. Since the decentralization of administrative function was one of the main purposes of the reform of national development policies, the new regional planning was expected to incorporate a decentralized system in the planning process. That is, an overall regional planning council is organized to discuss a plan and to propose it to the minister in charge. A regional council also met several times to evaluate the Chubu Region plans, which have been made four times so far. It did not, however, work well, because all the plans were initiated by the central government. The council (consisting of governors of prefectures, mayors of metropolises, and representatives of economic organizations and heads of regional offices of national government in the respective region) were established after the mid-2008 national plan. The Ministry of Land Infrastructure and Transportation (MLIT) serves as the secretariat of the councils, so...
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