Current Social Problems in Japan and Its Implications to the Studies of the Commons

October 12, 2018
12:00 noon, UTC +9

Japan has been facing unprecedented challenges such as declining population and birthrate, separated class society, changing household structure, aging-associated with increasing dementia patients and solitary death, deteriorating local communities, increasing unoccupied/ vacant houses, increasing number of absentee landowners, even unknown owners of the vacant houses and lands, incomplete land register investigation as well as environment, energy, resources, housing, medical, and educational problems. These challenges will soon be shared by many other countries including developing countries.

Some of the efforts to tackle and cope with these problems may contribute to preparing countermeasures for other countries in the near future. In order to tackle the problems of absentee and unknown forestland owners, Forestry Agency of Japan proposed to introduce controversial ‘New Forest Management System’ in 2017, in which management rights of unmanaged forests are transferred from private forest landowners to the local government for a maximum of 50 years, and the local governments entrust the management implementation rights such as timber harvest to logging companies for a minimum of 15 years. To cope with the problems of depopulation and aging, many other actors also have been taking various trials.

Theoretically to say, such trials are based on the concept of ‘soyu’ ownership or deformed joint-ownership that is a basis for ‘iriai’ rights. In ‘soyu’ ownership, people form organization while individual members also have independence; rights of management and disposal belong to the organization while usufructs belong to the individuals; individual members don’t have their own holdings. Contemporary ‘soyu’ ownership might serve as a framework for land management under the declining and aging population. Expected attributes of main actors under the framework of ‘soyu’ ownership will be discussed.

To attend webinar


Time information:

  • 12:00 noon, UTC +9

  • 12:00 noon presenter’s local time (Tokyo)

  • 11:00 PM moderator time (Oct 11th)

  • Use this link to calculate your own local time if needed 


To join the webinar by computer:


To join webinar by phone: 

  • US: +1 669 900 6833 or +1 646 876 9923 

  • International numbers available here   

  • Webinar ID: 641 903 707