Special Issue : Progress of Human Geography in Japan since 1980 Part III
Japanese Geographers’ Contribution to East and Southeast Asian Studies since the 1980s 1
A Survey of Geographical Studies in Japan, 2012 17
An Evaluation of the Zoning Effects for the Regional Holiday Schedule on Travel Demand Equalization : Finding Functional Regions by Network Analysis 66
Book Review 81
Japanese Geographers’ Contribution to East and Southeast Asian Studies since the 1980s
The purpose of this paper is to review some research trends in investigations of matters pertaining to East Asia and Southeast Asia by Japanese geographers since the 1980s. It considers large-scale interdisciplinary research projects, research institutes/centers founded, and also a study group on Asia established under the Human Geographical Society of Japan. With the advent of economic and political globalization, Japanese geographers have now been able to visit formerly closed-door countries such as China, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, and some parts of Myanmar to do joint research with the collaboration of local scholars and other local people. With regard to China and Vietnam, the research environment has drastically changed in recent years. While these two countries have a large amount of material written on them in Chinese characters, making it accessible to Japanese geographers, these Japanese researchers had great difficulty organizing field studies because of political barriers. Nowadays, going through formal channels, we can conduct field studies individually or in groups, in both urban and rural areas. Various kinds of scientific grants, including JSPS （the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science） grants as well as grants by private companies and non-profit foundations, have supported us in conducting studies abroad. This review will trace the history and prospects of these spheres of human geography from the perspective of new research trends such as transformation of rural/ urban areas, appearance of new landscapes due to globalization, man-environment systems, resource utilization, alternative tourism, post-colonial dimensions of cities, and interregional exchange.
Key words: area studies, Scientific Grant from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, East Asia, Southeast Asia, environmental issues, globalization
An Evaluation of the Zoning Effects for the Regional Holiday Schedule on Travel Demand Equalization : Finding Functional Regions by Network Analysis
Division of Social Studies Education, Joetsu University of Education
In 2008, domestic travel spending in Japan reached 23.6 trillion yen, with overnight travel by the Japanese amounting to 15.6 trillion yen （66.2%）. In contrast, domestic overnight travel by international visitors to Japan accounted for only 1.3 trillion yen （5.7%）. If overnight travel by the Japanese were to be increased, it would not only contribute to travel spending but also stimulate the regional economies. The Japan Tourism Agency proposed a plan to stagger national holidays by region to reduce traffic jams and make travel easy for people. The plan suggests the division of Japan into five zones, with each zone observing a five-day break during different weeks in May. This paper proposes zoning plans for the regional holiday schedule and investigates the zoning effects in view of travel demand equalization.
Network analysis was applied to the OD （Origin-Destination） data of the Japanese overnight travelers between prefectures published by the Japan Tourism Agency. PageRank centrality was computed to check the stability of travel flow between prefectures from January 2007 to March 2010. Functional regions were then extracted from the OD data by the community finding method to set zoning plans. A greedy search algorithm was employed for the community finding analysis. The OD data for May 2009, which included the Japanese national holiday period called “Golden Week,” was used for community finding.
The results of PageRank centrality analysis showed that the overnight travel flow was very stable for the period. Chiba Prefecture showed the highest PageRank centrality mainly because of Tokyo Disney Resort, which attracted travelers from all over Japan. Narita International Airport also contributed to the high centrality of Chiba Prefecture.
The application of the community finding method to the OD data led to two zoning plans. While one of them divided Japan into two zones – eastern and western Japan, the other divided it into three -eastern Japan, western Japan, and Kyushu. Hence, the results of the community finding method offered fewer zones than were proposed through the plan developed by the Japan Tourism Agency.
We evaluated these zoning plans in terms of travel demand equalization. Travel demand was considered to be equalized when the percentage of overnight travelers from each zone was equal. The three zoning plans that divided Japan into two, three, and five zones were compared in view of travel demand. It was concluded that the zoning plan which divided Japan into two zones was the most effective in terms of travel demand equalization.
Key words : network analysis, centrality, community finding, functional regions, overnight travel, regional holiday schedule