Japanese Journal of Human Geography Vol.67 No.3 (2015)

Vol.67 No.3 (2015)



Regional Differences in Willingness to Pay and Work : Socioeconomic evaluation of cultural properties and landscape in Miyazu City,Kyoto Prefecture, Japan (1)


A Survey of Geographical Studies in Japan, 2014 (21)

Research Note

Diversification of the Taxi Industry’s Services in Kyoto City (66)

Book Reviews (81)

Meeting Reports

282nd Regular Meeting (85)
54th Research Seminar of Metropolitan Area Study Group (88)

News (93)


Regional Differences in Willingness to Pay and Work : Socioeconomic evaluation of cultural properties and landscape in Miyazu City,Kyoto Prefecture, Japan

Fuculty of Humanities, Hokkai-Gakuen University
UESUGI Kazuhiko
Faculty of Letters, Kyoto Prefectural University

This study aims to evaluate conservation policies pertaining to cultural properties and landscape in Miyazu City, Kyoto Prefecture, in Central Japan. It adopts a contingent valuation approach to examining the residents’ willingness to pay (WTP) and willingness to work (WTW) for conservation. In particular, it explores the factors underlying regional differences in WTP and WTW by estimating geographic and socioeconomic determinants. Data were collected using mail surveys measuring WTP and WTW among Japanese and foreign residents aged 20 years and above. WTP and WTW functions were estimated using a grouped data regression model and negative binomial regression model, where residential district, age, sex, household size, and household income functioned as dependent variables. The results of this study reveal that both WTP and WTW are high in Fuchu and Miyazu districts, where cultural properties and landscape visible through landmarks are preserved. On the other hand, in the Yoshizu district, which includes places where cultural properties and landscape visible through landmarks may or may not be preserved, WTP is low and subject to the ‘neighborhood effect.’ In this way, many factors contribute to the valuation of cultural properties and landscape conservation. However, even if WTP or WTW are zero, the value of cultural properties and landscape conservation can still be influenced by other factors. The results of the analysis of responses whose WTP or WTW are zero show that cultural properties and landscape conservation are sometimes seen as worthwhile to those who have less money or who are older, even if they do not have WTP or WTW.

Key words: CVM, WTP, WTW, mail survey, Miyazu City, Kyoto Prefecture

Diversification of the Taxi Industry’s Services in Kyoto City

Graduate Student, Department of Geography, Kyoto University

This paper focuses on the impact of deregulation in 2002 on the taxi industry in Kyoto City. By examining the diversification of the taxi industry’s services as a reaction to this policy change and the relationships among taxi companies, the local government and local communities, the author investigates the industry’s ability to solve existing problems associated with local residents’ mobility and transportation facility supply. To pursue this investigation, the author conducted interviews with major taxi companies in Kyoto City, the taxi association of Kyoto Prefecture, and the city’s bureau in charge of transportation.
The main findings are summarized as follows: First, the diversification of taxi companies’ services in the city has been motivated by hopes for improving the working environment of employees at the companies and contributing to local communities through solving the above mobility/transportation problems. New services include airport shuttles, long-distance flat fares, operation focused on people with limited mobility (i.e., the elderly and physically handicapped) and advances in the deployment of buses to areas with poor public transportation. Such services are also intended to compensate for decreased revenue in the taxi business but not to make a huge profit. Second, the taxi companies have participated in both sustaining conventional transportation modes and supporting new needs, regardless of profitability. This suggests that these services can be convincing solutions to the problems. Third, Kyoto City as a local government has supported those services by creating an operational environment, especially where local areas suffer transportation problems, leading to a point of contact between the city and the taxi industry. Although the government has regarded autonomy of the companies and local residents as important, both the government and the residents acknowledge the taxi companies’ contributions to local communities through supplying these new helpful services.
The above findings suggest that the taxi companies in the city have successfully responded to the deregulation policy by diversifying their services and improving their businesses. The significance of this study can be viewed as follows: First, the case taken up here is a good example of ‘industry supporting general life and movement’ advocated by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, which calls for the development of new comprehensive mobile services covering diverse needs. Second, the positive attitudes of the taxi industry and involvement of the local government in the industry, mainly as embodied in institutional structures, can be applied to other cities where similar mobility/transportation problems are found.

Keywords: deregulation, taxi companies, public-transportation-poor area, movement-limited people, industry supporting general life and movement, Kyoto City

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