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Impacts of Modernization Policy on the Management of Commons Forests in Japan: A Statistical Analysis of Individual Data

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Takahashi, Takuya; Matsushita, Koji; Yoshida, Yoshio; Senda, Tetsuji
Conference: Practicing the Commons: Self-Governance, Cooperation and Institutional Change
Location: Utrecht, the Netherlands
Conf. Date: 10-14 July
Date: 2017
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10535/10361
Sector: Forestry
Region: East Asia
Subject(s): common pool resources
Abstract: "After World War II, Japan's policy makers believed that common forests were underutilized because of their legal status under customary iriai type ownership and that modern ownership in the form of group ownership, such as forest producers' cooperatives, or as individual separate ownership, would improve the situation. Thus, the Commons Forests Modernization Act of 1966 was enacted, following successive modernization policies since Meiji Restoration in 1868. We evaluated the impacts of the past modernization policies on the management of commons forests by statistically comparing the performance of modernized and non-modernized forests based on the 2000 Forestry Census. The performance measures for comparison included planting, weeding, thinning, and harvesting activities among others. We found less modernized, customary holdings are more active in tending activities such as weeding and thinning, while modernized holdings may have an advantage in timber sales."

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