Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
3-3-6 Kudan-Minami, Chiyoda-ku, Tōkyō 102-0074
The lecture will be given in English. It will take place on Thursday, April 11, 2002 at 6.30 p.m. at the DIJ. Admission is free, but please register by April 9 with Ms. Dinkel at the DIJ.
A New Capital for Japan? The Construction Industry and the Geography of Power.
April 11, 2002 / 6.30 p.m.
Winfried Flüchter (Professor, University Duisburg)
In 1992 the Japanese Diet passed the ‘Act for the Relocation of the Diet and Other Organizations’ thus opening the way for the ‚national project of the century’. What has happened so far? What are the requirements concerning the new capital? What kind of interests do the decision makers have? What kind of correlation exists to urgently needed structural reforms?
The thesis is: the relocation of capital functions from Tokyo to areas outside of the national capital region is a phantom which is based on legislation but remains virtual nonetheless. This situation is a result of the political system of Japan: the centralism, the structures of power involved, and the significance of the notorious ‚Iron Triangle’ for the construction industry. In this context sustainable regional development means: functional decentralisation (transfer of authority) is preferable to a geographical one (transfer of the capital).
W. Flüchter is professor of Human Geography at both, the Institute of Geography and the Institute of East Asian Studies, Duisburg University, Germany. His research focuses on economic, social and political geography of Japan, urban and regional development and regional policies. He is editor of Japan and Central Europe Restructuring. Geographical Aspects of Socio-economic, Urban and Regional Development and has published extensively in English and German.