中国地理科学 ›› 2020, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (6): 1111-1128.doi: 10.1007/s11769-020-1146-8

• 论文 • 上一篇    

Intraregional Agricultural Characteristics Critical in Explaining Farmland Abandonment: Evidence from Chugoku and Shikoku Region of Japan

SU Guandong1, TOMOZAWA Kazuo1, OKAHASHI Hidenori2, CHEN Lin3   

  1. 1. Department of Geography, Graduate School of Letters, Hiroshima University, Higashihiroshima 7398522, Japan;
    2. Department of Geography, Faculty of Letters, Nara University, Nara 6318502, Japan;
    3. School of Geography, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
  • 收稿日期:2019-10-17 发布日期:2020-06-23
  • 通讯作者: CHEN Lin.E-mail:chinlin20@gmail.com E-mail:chinlin20@gmail.com
  • 基金资助:
    Under the auspices of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) (No. 18H00771, 16K16956), part through the Hiroshima University TAOYAKA Program for Creating a Flexible, Enduring, Peaceful Society, funded by the Program for Leading Graduate Schools, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

Intraregional Agricultural Characteristics Critical in Explaining Farmland Abandonment: Evidence from Chugoku and Shikoku Region of Japan

SU Guandong1, TOMOZAWA Kazuo1, OKAHASHI Hidenori2, CHEN Lin3   

  1. 1. Department of Geography, Graduate School of Letters, Hiroshima University, Higashihiroshima 7398522, Japan;
    2. Department of Geography, Faculty of Letters, Nara University, Nara 6318502, Japan;
    3. School of Geography, South China Normal University, Guangzhou 510631, China
  • Received:2019-10-17 Published:2020-06-23
  • Contact: CHEN Lin.E-mail:chinlin20@gmail.com E-mail:chinlin20@gmail.com
  • Supported by:
    Under the auspices of Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) (No. 18H00771, 16K16956), part through the Hiroshima University TAOYAKA Program for Creating a Flexible, Enduring, Peaceful Society, funded by the Program for Leading Graduate Schools, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

摘要: Since the 1980s, Japan has witnessed an unprecedented decline in agriculture chiefly due to farmers' aging, depopulation, and unfavorable socio-economic conditions. This development has resulted in an increase of farmland abandonment (FLA) across the country. However, it remains unclear as to how and to what extent FLA is influenced by intraregional agricultural characteristics. As such, this article discusses the issue of FLA by taking a closer look at the Chugoku and Shikoku region, as it has experienced the highest FLA rates in Japan in recent years. For this analysis, a total of 25 indicators retrieved from the census of agriculture and forestry at the former municipalities scale were selected to describe intraregional agricultural characteristics. We employed principal component analysis (PCA) to evaluate agricultural characteristics, while multiple linear regressions (MLR) was applied to explore their correlations with FLA and spatial variations. First, there are strong intraregional differences in the agricultural characteristics across the Chugoku and Shikoku region, with eight different principle components (PCs) describing their characteristics. Second, variables measuring agricultural characteristics explain nearly 52.8% of the variation in FLA in our sample. The sales orientation and scale of agriculture have the strongest negative correlation to FLA in the region, while the status of agricultural succession displays the strongest positive correlation to FLA. Third, in areas where agriculture is more stable and easier to maintain, FLA is more strongly influenced by changes in agricultural characteristics than by geographical variations. We argue that localized approaches and policies for future management need to take intraregional differences in agricultural characteristics and FLA into account. Our findings help to explain spatial variations in agricultural characteristics and FLA in regional contexts, suggesting the need for better-informed farmland use policies to mitigate further abandonment.

关键词: intraregional agricultural characteristics, farmland abandonment (FLA), Chugoku and Shikoku region, Japan

Abstract: Since the 1980s, Japan has witnessed an unprecedented decline in agriculture chiefly due to farmers' aging, depopulation, and unfavorable socio-economic conditions. This development has resulted in an increase of farmland abandonment (FLA) across the country. However, it remains unclear as to how and to what extent FLA is influenced by intraregional agricultural characteristics. As such, this article discusses the issue of FLA by taking a closer look at the Chugoku and Shikoku region, as it has experienced the highest FLA rates in Japan in recent years. For this analysis, a total of 25 indicators retrieved from the census of agriculture and forestry at the former municipalities scale were selected to describe intraregional agricultural characteristics. We employed principal component analysis (PCA) to evaluate agricultural characteristics, while multiple linear regressions (MLR) was applied to explore their correlations with FLA and spatial variations. First, there are strong intraregional differences in the agricultural characteristics across the Chugoku and Shikoku region, with eight different principle components (PCs) describing their characteristics. Second, variables measuring agricultural characteristics explain nearly 52.8% of the variation in FLA in our sample. The sales orientation and scale of agriculture have the strongest negative correlation to FLA in the region, while the status of agricultural succession displays the strongest positive correlation to FLA. Third, in areas where agriculture is more stable and easier to maintain, FLA is more strongly influenced by changes in agricultural characteristics than by geographical variations. We argue that localized approaches and policies for future management need to take intraregional differences in agricultural characteristics and FLA into account. Our findings help to explain spatial variations in agricultural characteristics and FLA in regional contexts, suggesting the need for better-informed farmland use policies to mitigate further abandonment.

Key words: intraregional agricultural characteristics, farmland abandonment (FLA), Chugoku and Shikoku region, Japan