Japanese land reform in the new era?: Farmers’ wellbeing and sustainable farmland management

Nishi, Maiko, (2022). Japanese land reform in the new era?: Farmers’ wellbeing and sustainable farmland management. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, n/a-n/a

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  • Sub-type Journal article
    Author Nishi, Maiko
    Title Japanese land reform in the new era?: Farmers’ wellbeing and sustainable farmland management
    Appearing in Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space
    Publication Date 2022-11-16
    Place of Publication London
    Publisher SAGE Publications Ltd
    Start page n/a
    End page n/a
    Language eng
    Abstract This paper examines farmers’ responses to the state initiative of reforming the farmland tenancy institution in Japan. In 2014, Japan’s government launched a new intermediary mechanism for farmland tenancy, called Farmland Banks (FBs), in an attempt to revitalize the farming sector and redress farmland abandonment. FB agencies, established as regional semipublic organizations, promote tenancy on large farms to generate economies of scale: the utter opposite of the post-1945 land reform that undid the prewar landlordism. The study explores why and how farmers have adopted the FB program. Recent studies attend to social and cultural factors influencing landowners’ decisions on land use rather than individual maximization of net economic benefits. However, it remains unclear how farmers negotiate their needs and interests in the process of governing farmland, which involves multiple other actors. Taking the case study approach to one pioneer case of the program adoption, the study expounds that farmers individually and socially negotiated multiple dimensions of wellbeing to accept and tailor the new tenancy arrangements introduced through the FB program. While contributing to the attainment of the national goals, the program adoption reformed the local agricultural landscape, whereby farmers’ tangible and intangible connections to farmland became drastically minimized. This has posed a threat to sustainable farmland management by increasingly disconnecting people from farmland. The study suggests that closer attention to the social and cultural dimensions of farmers’ wellbeing would complementarily remedy the current agricultural policy that skews toward economic and technical dimensions.
    Keyword Farmland management
    Copyright Holder The Authors
    Copyright Year 2022
    Copyright type All rights reserved
    DOI https://doi.org/10.1177/23996544221138711
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    Created: Thu, 24 Nov 2022, 18:56:20 JST by Hanna Takemoto on behalf of UNU IAS