On the Occasion of the Establishment of the Japan Society for Local Empowerment Greetings

 The current state of Japan’s regions is characterized by a declining population and an aging population, which has weakened the motivation of the people who live and work in them, and has also weakened the underlying strength of the communities year by year. It is not easy to break out of this situation immediately. What is important is the concept and realization of “community development” and “people development” that we can do by ourselves.

 Therefore, research and theory on regional development and the conception and realization of specific projects are urgent issues. In addition, the training and retention of local leaders and producers is indispensable for regional development. Regional creation in Japan must first uncover characteristics through analysis of the five senses (emotion), connect them with local key industries, and study them carefully. Under these circumstances, the Japan Society for Regional Innovation was established on August 26 this year with the aim of creating regional innovation through holistic optimization and “Five Senses, Six Cultivations” thinking to generate hope and vitality for the future, and to conduct academic research, make policy proposals, and put them into practice. The purpose of this organization is to foster human resources and build a network of key persons who will lead the future of the region. Japan’s prosperity begins with the creation of regions. Regions have industry, history, and culture. Regions have sincerity, jo (generosity), and ambition.

 In order for a region to regain its luster, we ourselves must first become aware of what we know, take action, and use our knowledge as wisdom to make each other shine. With passion, we must change “I can’t” into “I can! and not isolate those who will realize the vision. The Japan Society for Regional Innovation is an opportunity (place) to further sharpen this brilliance. For this purpose, it is essential to connect various people from industry, academia, government, finance, and the public sector. It is important for people to listen to each other, to listen to each other, and to interact with each other. It is important for various countries to understand and cooperate with each other. In preparation for the next year’s conference (August 25, 2018), we will aim for early incorporation, project conception and realization of the regional creation project, training and retention of human resources, and establishment of qualification systems and other systems related to regional creation.

 We invite you to join the Japan Society for Local Empowerment, and together with sincerity, jo (jo), and ambition, let us create and realize a new culture of friendship and hope for the realization of regional development in Japan, and let us create and disseminate it both at home and abroad.

August 26, 2017

Toshiaki Kimura, President, Japan Society for Local Empowerment (Professor, Tokyo University of Agriculture and City Manager, Cabinet Secretariat)


Purpose of Establishment of the Society

 The main objectives of the Japan Society for Local Empowerment are to conduct academic research and make concrete proposals concerning regional development, such as the conception and implementation of the “Five Senses Rokuiku” project, and to train and retain the human resources who will be responsible for regional development, in order to fully utilize the characteristics of each region of Japan and bring dreams, hopes, and vitality to each region in the future. Japan’s prosperity begins with regional development. In order for regions to regain their luster and people to be full of vitality again, it is important to have a story based on indicators (measures) from a perspective that emphasizes listening, listening, dialogue, practical learning, and onsite experience, as well as holistic and optimal thinking. Through information sharing, role sharing, and cue creation, this project aims to realize “community development” and “people development” through collaboration of local communities.

Established: August 26, 2017

Chairman: Toshiaki Kimura, Professor and PhD (Business Administration), Tokyo University of Agriculture

Secretariat: Japan Society for Local Empowerment

E-mail: chiiki@jsle.jp


Main Business Plan

1. background

 After World War II, Japan was able to achieve a remarkable recovery. Each region of Japan has developed a unique history and culture, and has created cities full of vitality. Agriculture, fishing, and forestry industries were booming, and factories in the automobile, consumer electronics, and textile industries took root in each region, creating an abundant economic power. Infrastructure development also flourished, and as seen in the “Theory of the Remodeling of the Japanese Archipelago,” aggressive public works projects created prosperity in the region.

 However, agriculture, fishing, and forestry gradually became declining industries, and with the collapse of the bubble economy around 1990, depopulation and decline of the region began at once. Subcontracted manufacturing plants, which had supported the local economy, were often relocated overseas, and the local economy took a hit. In addition, public works projects also began to decline due to tight national finances, and the region lost its former vitality.

 In addition to a declining population, the aging of the population and declining birthrate have resulted in a thinning of the local workforce, and the decline of the region has continued.

 In an attempt to overcome this situation, the Japanese government enacted the “Town, People, and Work Creation Act” in November 2014, and in December the Cabinet approved the “Long-Term Vision for Town and Work Creation” and the “Comprehensive Strategy for Town, People, and Work Creation.

 Creating a weakened region is no easy task. Research and theory on regional development and the creation of concrete business concepts are urgent issues. In addition, the development of human resources to take charge of the region is also indispensable for regional creation. This project aims to develop new regional creation through the concept of five-sense, six-sense education.


Main Activities

A. Research, survey and practice on regional development
B. Training of human resources for regional development
C. Support for regional development activities and regional industrial promotion
D. Interaction with individuals, companies and organizations involved in regional development
E. Dissemination of information on regional development

A. Research, survey and practical activities
  Promotion of members’ research, presentation of research, and practice
  Establishment of research and survey department
  Implementation of commissioned surveys, commissioned research, and commissioned projects
  Proposals and suggestions to the national government, local governments, and private sector

B. Human Resource Development for Regional Development
  Awarding qualifications related to regional development
  Regional development leader Attendance at regional development leader training course + submission of report
  Class A Regional Innovation Leader Master’s Program in Regional Innovation
  Class S Regional Creator Class A Regional Creator + certification exam

C. Support for regional development activities and local industries
  Consulting activities for local governments, organizations, and companies
  Support for activities aiming at practical results

D. Interaction among individuals, companies, and organizations
  Holding study groups and exchange meetings
  Planning of training events and study tours (domestic and international)

E. Information dissemination
  Dissemination of information through websites, SNS, and media
  Building local information websites
  Lecture activities
  Publication activities