Japan island depopulation: lessons for Scotland

This research report - commissioned from a team based at Scotland's Rural College - explores policy approaches to depopulation on Japan's islands, and proposes a series of recommendations to the Scottish Government which may help inform the development of future island depopulation.

Appendix 1: Interview Guide (English translation)

Research on Island Depopulation in Japan – Information sheet for Local Case studies of Island Depopulation initiatives

Project Background

A research team from Scotland's Rural College (SRUC), Newcastle University (Centre for Rural Economy), Akita International University and Tokyo University for Agriculture and Technology is carrying out research for the Scottish Government's Migration and Population Division in the External Affairs Directorate. The research is exploring the shared challenges and policy responses to island depopulation in Japan and Scotland.

The Scottish Government's Population Strategy contains a commitment to engage internationally to share learning and best practice on addressing demographic challenges and to carry out further evidence gathering and analysis on existing policies and literature to identify further areas of exploration.

The findings of this project will be used to inform the development of the Scottish Government's Population Strategy, the delivery of policies to support sustainable population profiles in Scotland's islands, and future engagement with Japan around shared challenges.

Aim and structure of the interview

We are carrying out in-depth explorations of depopulation initiatives on case study islands and the purpose of this interview is to find out more about the initiative(s) you are/have been involved in and the impacts that they have achieved in terms of responding to demographic challenges?

The interview will include questions relating to:

  • Please can you provide some contextual information about the island/s? (e.g. location, distance from mainland and methods of travel to/from the mainland, key economic sectors, governance arrangements (e.g. level of administrative autonomy, island-only local government or part of mainland local government, etc.)
  • What have been the main population and migration trends over the last 20-30 years and what is the current demographic situation (e.g. in terms of in- and out-migration by different age groups, age structure of the population, etc.)?
  • What kind of intervention/s has been introduced? Why was this particular approach tried? When was the intervention launched? Who introduced it and drove it forward? How much autonomy has been afforded locally to address demographic challenges?
  • Who are the key stakeholders involved? Do you think there are some stakeholders that should have been involved but were not? How have the stakeholders worked together, and what have their key roles been?
  • What did the intervention set out to achieve? Has/have the intervention/s achieved this? What have been the main successes? How has this been measured/assessed?
  • What have been the main barriers or obstacles experienced during design and delivery of the intervention? How have these been overcome, or why have they not been overcome?
  • What do you anticipate will happen in future regarding the intervention? Will it need to be changed, and if so why?
  • What are the main lessons that can be learned from this/these intervention/s, and for whom?

It would be very helpful if you are able to point us to any relevant literature, documents, data, etc. to add further to our understanding of the local context and the intervention. Thank you.

The interview will last for no longer than one hour. With your permission, the interview will be recorded so that we can take detailed notes afterwards. The recordings will be stored securely with password protection and will only be available to the research team and will be destroyed after one year.

In the interview we are asking you to comment in a professional capacity. While we may use direct quotations from the interviews in our report these will be anonymous; individuals' names will not be used.

If you have any questions about the project, please contact: jane.atterton@sruc.ac.uk or ldilley@aiu.ac.jp


Email: population@gov.scot

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