My name is Tomohiro Ichinose, President of the Association of Rural Planning, Japan. This association was founded in 1982 and will celebrate its 40th anniversary in 2022. It is made up of about 900 members and organizational members, and includes many practitioners and community activists as well as professors and students. They cover a wide range of fields related to rural areas, including social science, economy, law, architecture, civil engineering, landscape architecture, geography, and environmental science. Although the name of the association says “rural,” fishing villages, mountain villages, and cities are included in the scope of us.
The Association of Rural Planning holds its conference in the spring and fall and publishes five issues of the association’s journal a year, one of which is a special issue of the fall conference. Papers published in the special issue will be presented at the conference in the fall. In addition, we hold an annual exchange seminar with the Association of Rural Planning, Korea, which is held once every two years in Japan. Other activities include district seminars, online seminars, workshops, young member’s networks, commissioned research, advocacy to the government, and publishing projects.
We welcome the participation of anyone interested in rural areas and the rural environment. In the past, research was focused exclusively on rural areas in Japan, but now the scope of research has expanded overseas, and the topics covered are not necessarily limited to agriculture. It also actively disseminates the various achievements of those working in practice and in the community. I think the appeal of this interdisciplinary association is that it brings together experts from a variety of fields to interact with each other. We hold a general meeting in conjunction with its spring conference in April each year, and the executive members are elected once every two years. I was sworn in as the 20th President in April 2020 for a term ending in April 2022. The Directors, Auditors, Advisors, and Trustees are listed separately on the website. In April of this year, we launched a new committee called the Disaster Response Committee. In the wake of the Great East Japan Earthquake, we established a Special Committee for Reconstruction in 2011 and have been conducting a variety of activities since then, and in fiscal 2020, which will mark a milestone year, namely ten years since the Great East Japan Earthquake, and in light of the fact that disasters have been occurring in many parts of Japan in recent years, we established an ordinary committee for the first time to respond to issues.
The 20th period began in the confusion of the spread of new coronavirus. As of the end of April 2020, the debate on after COVID-19 or with COVID-19 has already begun. I don’t know how this situation will play out at the moment, but I would like to discuss with many of you the state of rural planning in these rapidly changing times.
Dr. Tomohiro Ichinose (20th President: 2020 – 2021)
29th Apr., 2020