Japanese Challenges Towards the Sustainable Society -- the Recovering Process from the Earthquake and Tsunami, and Establishing New Industrial Relations --

Monday, July 14, 2014: 9:00 AM
Room: Booth 65
Oral Presentation
Shuji YAMADA , Bunkyo University, Japan
After the serious earthquakes and tsunami in 2011, Japanese society, mostly in Tohoku area, had been damaged horribly and the accidents of Fukushima nuclear power plant are still on-going. Japanese central government had established “Reconstruction Agency (http://www.reconstruction.go.jp/english/)” for reacting to them. The task is “leading and managing the reconstruction process”, and the role is “to accelerate structural reconstruction and revitalization in the affected areas, by supporting implementation of government policies and managing coordination of reconstruction strategy and initiatives between various branches of government at a national level and with local municipalities”. However, the reconstruction process is not sufficient for the local communities.

Following this situation, at a municipality and a community level, we could consider two distinctive changes as hints for new Japanese working features. This presentation tries to examine whether these changes will shed their skin and become new industrial relations or conditions.

The first case would be an excellent collaboration between fishermen and NPOs in Iwate prefecture. Traditionally, the cleavage between fishermen and leisure divers was deep, because of their miscommunication. Currently, a NPO is proposing a cooperation aiming at recovering the sea both for fishery and diving. Through the collaborative works, fishermen have gradually presented their positive attitudes to divers and both of them have been able to understand each philosophy of work.

The second case would be a citizens’ participation toward local administrations. For the aim at reconstructing a community, most of all municipalities are requesting citizens’ participation to set their future plan. In this case, the working style of municipality’s staff had changed to deliberative and negotiating process. Under this pressure, the staffs of municipality office have been forced to think how they can work with citizens and how they can realize the policies through deliberations.