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News Release

How Can Local Economic Vitality be Enhanced?
- "Industrial Specialization Strategy" and "Local Community-based Networks" are the Keys -

January 11, 2008


The Japanese economy has been enjoying a prolonged recovery phase, but the economic disparity between regions has increased. The old pattern, whereby growth spreads from the major cities across the nation, is changing.

The factors influencing the vitality of local economies are (i) the degree of concentration of industries with a competitive advantage, (ii) population density and (iii) population size. Factor (i) is particularly important, and the fostering of competitive local industries may be considered the key to local regeneration. In this sense, "industrial specialization strategy" which involves concentrating business resources on specific industries in the area and strengthening specific fields of industry, is important.

To ensure the spreading of wealth within an area as well as further enhancing local economic vitality, the creation of networks to link locations within the area and the presence of a "core city", serving as a hub for people, materials, money, and information are important. The issue is how to achieve the shift from the "centralized networks" of the past to "local community-based networks".

For more information on the content of this report, please contact Koji Konishi, the Japan Research Institute, Limited.

Tel: 03-3288-4523

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