Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2016, Vol. 7 ›› Issue (2): 137-143.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2016.02.009

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The Failure of Cooperative Farming Development Policies in Tōhoku, Japan

MIYAKE Yoshitaka*   

  1. Department of Geography, University of Hawaii at Mānoa, Honolulu, HI 96822 USA
  • Received:2015-08-17 Revised:2016-01-05 Online:2016-04-12 Published:2016-04-12
  • Contact: * E-mail:
  • Supported by:

    The Center for Japanese Studies at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa funded this research


In the context of agricultural globalization, many national governments have instituted policies, such as cooperative farming, to help farmers improve their profitability, competitiveness, and the sustainability of their agricultural practices. This study focused on the Multi-Product Management Stabilization Plan developed in Japan in 2006, which aimed to adapt the agricultural practices in the country to globalization by focusing on cooperative farming, and assessed its effectiveness for developing and incorporating cooperative farming in the Tōhoku region in the 2000s. The results suggest that regional and prefectural agents experienced significant difficulties when attempting to develop cooperative farming. Although New Institutional Economics’ theories suggest that these policies reflect the norms for developing agriculture more profitably and competitively, Japanese farmers did not regard the policies as relevant, practical, or sustainable, and they obstructed them.