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.


Simple English Glossary
Term Definition
Bubble Economy Period of inflated asset prices in Japan (1980s – early 1990s)
Community Cooperative Support (CCS) initiative An initiative started in 2009 by the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications providing support for people moving from urban to rural areas.
Depopulated Area Officially designated area in Japan. Often rural, these areas have experienced significant population ageing and decline.
Empty House Bank A list of properties that are underutilised in rural areas in Japan. Often managed by local government, the goal is to make it easier for prospective migrants to find properties.
Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) Area of sea where a nation state maintains certain rights related to the utilisation of resources.
Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS) A designation by the Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations.
Relationship Population A term popularised by journalist Terumi Tanaka which describes people or persons who make frequent visits to rural areas.
Remote Island Japanese islands which are not one of the five main islands.
English and Japanese Glossary
Translated Term Japanese Roman Script (where applicable) Japanese Script (where applicable)
Empty House Bank Akiya banku 空き家バンク
Bubble Economy Baburu keizai バブル経済
Community Cooperative Support (CCS) initiative Chiiki okoshi kyōryokutai 地域おこし協力隊
Depopulated Area Kaso chiiki 過疎地域
Empty House Bank Akiya banku 空き家バンク
Relationship Population Kankeijinkō 関係人口
Remote Island Ritō 離島


Email: population@gov.scot

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