Challenges in Human Resource Development for Rural Leisure Activities in Japan
On the other hand, rural revitalization is a serious issue in the management of rural areas. The Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Post and Telecommunications (Somu Sho) has established an initiative called Chiiki-okoshi Kyouryoku-tai (Supporters of Regional Revitalization). In addition, some prefectural and municipal governments have established support organizations aimed at rural activities.
This study explores a few cases in Yamaguchi Prefecture (the far west of Japan) to assess potentials and challenges. The Yamaguchi Prefectural Government is allocating some of its budget for volunteer activities in rural areas. Due to depopulation, volunteers from urban areas are increasingly needed to support rural leisure activities. However, the small number of repeat volunteers from urban areas poses a key problem in developing sustainable rural leisure programs.