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Business meets natural, local heritage

The Japan Times launched the Satoyama Consortium in January to promote the efforts of local practitioners in what is known as “satoyama capitalism.”

The term satoyama refers to a shared woodlot used and maintained by area residents. This capitalism utilizing satoyama is used to describe the creation of new forms of revenue by taking advantage of natural resources that do not necessarily have monetary value.

The concept, which became widely known following the release of the book “Satoyama Capitalism” in 2013, is said to have revitalized regions by stimulating the use of previously overlooked natural resources and creating jobs for area residents. It is believed to help contribute to a sustainable society, complementing conventional capitalism.

However, the significance and results of these efforts have not been well promoted, meaning the understanding of, and support for, these activities is not widespread. This led The Japan Times to create the consortium for further promotion of the activities, especially in English, by relevant parties across the country.

With this consortium, The Japan Times has organized various events, including the Satoyama Cafe seminars that invite individuals who have been active in the relevant fields, in addition to a symposium in February to commemorate the launch of the consortium.

It also plans to organize exchange events with local satoyama practitioners, as well as study tours to sites where these activities are taking place across Japan.

As part of its consortium efforts, The Japan Times hosted the inaugural symposium on May 16 in Tokyo.

This supplement covers the symposium, consisting of three sessions in which advocates, representatives from municipalities and satoyama practitioners discussed their ideas and engagements in their respective fields. The supplement also covers some of the consortium’s activities to give relevant parties and readers a clearer picture of its initiatives.

The consortium is headed by Minako Suematsu, chairperson and representative director of The Japan Times. The consortium’s secretariat chief is Yuto Yoshida, former mayor of Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, and current guest researcher at Waseda University’s Environmental Research Institute.

Kosuke Motani, chief senior economist at the Japan Research Institute Ltd., Kyosuke Inoue, executive producer of NHK Enterprises, Inc., and Tadashi Mitachi, senior adviser of The Boston Consulting Group K.K., are on its advisory board. The management committee of the consortium is chaired by Tadashi Matsushima, representative director of Setouchi Jam’s Garden Co., while Eikei Suzuki, governor of Mie Prefecture, and Masataka Ota, chief consultant of JTB Tourism Research & Consulting Co., serve as vice-chairmen.

<em>Satoyama</em> in Japan and beyond

| Jun 4, 2018

Satoyama in Japan and beyond

by Minako Suematsu

We believe there are many clues in the activities of municipalities and practitioners engaging in the revitalization efforts through utilization of satoyama, or rural communal woodlots that are shared and maintained by local residents, that could resolve various issues that not only Japan, but ...

Tourism 'flavored with history'

| Jun 4, 2018

Tourism 'flavored with history'

At the inaugural Satoyama Consortium symposium organized by The Japan Times on May 16 in Tokyo, municipal leaders discussed the possibilities of economic activities stemming from efforts involving "satoyama capitalism," a concept recently promoted in Japan to take advantage of natural resources in satoyama, ...

Women's panel shares insights

| Jun 4, 2018

Women's panel shares insights

by Maiko Muraoka

Three women practitioners engaging in satoyama and satoumi-based activities discussed their thoughts during a panel discussion at the Japan Times Satoyama Consortium symposium in Tokyo on May 16. The term satoyama has evolved to refer to caring for, and capitalizing on, natural resources in rural ...

Co-authors discuss <I>satoyama</I> push

| Jun 4, 2018

Co-authors discuss satoyama push

by Masaaki Kameda

Five years after the release of the book "Satoyama Capitalism," its co-authors spoke about the background behind its publication and shared their thoughts on the ensuing developments at a symposium in Tokyo on May 16. The authors ? Kosuke Motani, chief senior economist at the ...

Island community draws visitors

| Jun 4, 2018

Island community draws visitors

The Japan Times Satoyama Consortium has been engaged in various activities to promote municipalities and local companies representing the beauty and excellence of deep Japan. The forerunner of the consortium held such activities, hosting a two-day study tour from Oct. 22 at Suo Oshima Island, ...

Ocean restoration rooted in seaweed

| Jun 4, 2018

Ocean restoration rooted in seaweed

The fourth Satoyama Cafe, titled "Message from the Satoumi: Promoting Satoumi and Satoyama brands," was held March 2. The keynote speech was made by Takehiro Tanaka, executive director of Satoumi Zukuri Kenkyu Kaigi (or the Nonprofit research council on building satoumi). Satoyama historically refers to ...

Download the PDF of this Satoyama Consortium Special