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Highlighting JAPAN

June 2015

Rural Renaissance

Cover June 2015

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Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of the 1955 Asian African Conference (Bandung Conference)
United States Visit
7th Pacific Islands Leaders Meeting

Rural Renaissance


Nurturing Towns by Bringing Unique Regional Characteristics to the Fore
Interview with Kurashiki Mayor Kaori Ito

As interest in regional revitalization rises throughout Japan, the city of Kurashiki is maintaining its path of developmental growth even as it attracts crowds of visitors from other parts of Japan and abroad. We asked Mayor Kaori Ito, the driving force behind this success, to talk about regional appeal and Kurashiki's initiatives, as well as the keys to making regional revitalization work.

New Growth from Compacting the Urban Sprawl

Toyama City was caught in a vicious cycle― depopulation, aging society and falling residential density― until it began staging a comeback using the "compact city" concept centered on a light rail transit system.

A Town Reborn through IT Connectivity

While the town of Minami in Tokushima Prefecture once struggled with aging and depopulation, it has succeeded in persuading multiple corporations to open satellite offices in the area, drawing attention as a prime example of regional revitalization.

Bringing the Bustle Back to a Shopping Arcade

Learning from the bitter lessons of decline, Osu Shopping District has been reborn as a popular and lively center of commerce. Its saucy hodgepodge of appeals is the legacy of shopkeepers who aren't afraid to change.

Island Charms through the Lens of a Young Foreign Photographer

Initiatives across Japan are utilizing regional development teams to support local growth. American photographer Patrick Tsai is part of the team helping to internationalize and revitalize an island called Shodoshima.

A Real Taste of Rural Japan in Every Issue

Tohoku food producers are communicating with consumers through a magazine accompanied by samples of their agricultural produce―and the concept is spreading throughout the country.

A Human Circle Enfolding Past and Present

The Okuri-ie Project bridges regions and generations, bringing them together through Kanazawa's historic townhouses. As they are renewed through modern hands, the city's symbolic buildings paint the streets with fresh color.

A New Drink Brings Big Dreams to a Small Town

Tracing the tracks of Kiyosato's potato shochu from hard-fought beginnings to its modern-day boom.


Unlocked with a Look

A new authentication technology from Fujitsu makes smartphones even smarter― and a lot more secure.

Stage of Existence

Noh scholar and actor Diego Pellecchia came from Italy to explore the essence of Japan's ancient performing art.

Finishing Touch

Yukako Fukushima's realistic prostheses and counseling give people missing parts of their bodies the courage to venture out and rejoin society.

Nagasaki Kaido―Kyushu's Sugar Road

First used as medicine, sugar only began to have a real impact on Japan's taste buds when it came in on the ships of foreign traders and traveled on what became known as Sugar Road.