Saturday, October 27, 2007

New Life

Congratulations to my little sister and her husband who found out recently that they are going to have a baby!!!! Youngest in the clan is setting the bar. Good job you two, wish you the best.

My fieldwork is sort of non-existent at this point. I've contacted one village where I would like to do research, but haven't heard back from them yet. The village is called Otaki and it's located at the base of one of Japan's volcanoes, called Ontake. The village only has about 1,000 residents and about a third of them are over 65. I've been reading a report on their website from last year that details their plan to gain fiscal independence. It's really quite sad. At the national level there has been a move to amalgamate 3,500 municipalities that existed in 2004 to less than 1,000. At the same time there is a movement towards decentralization, which is partly a reflection of larger trends in Asia. The situation is bleak for villages like Otaki because they have very little economic resources for tax revenue. However, according to their website, the government in Otaki is suggesting a return to their natural resources as a source of income. The question however is how effective forest resource use can be. The situation reflects a post-war history of government supports for agriculture and forestry despite national level movements towards food and timber imports.

See, I got the questions, just need to go find somewhere to get some answers.

Gotta run.

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