Centre for Rural Economy

Yumi Isaka Kato

Yumi Isaka Kato

Land Transactions in Rural Areas: Comparative Analysis between the UK and Japan

Email: Y.Kato2@newcastle.ac.uk

Supervisors: Dr Carmen Hubbard and Guy Garrod

Project overview

The agricultural industry in Japan is faced with sustainability challenges, with an aging of farmers and an increase in abandoned agricultural land. One critical measure to resolve these issues is concentration of farmland use by large farms through land transactions.

This research aims to contribute to the sustainable agricultural development of rural areas in Japan in which farm management can be competitive with scale of economy, and effective farmland use can be secured, through farmland concentration by encouraging land transactions. More specifically, the thesis undertakes a comparative analysis of the social actors/channels of land transactions in different land markets in Scotland and Japan.

The objective of this study is to identify the roles of social actors/channels around the land markets in different regions, and the research questions are as follows:

  1. What kind of social relationships can be the basis of the direct transactions?
  2. What sort of intermediaries work for land transactions?
  3. Why is one channel chosen over another channel?
  4. How does each channel affect the spatial dispersion of land parcels?

To achieve these research questions, a qualitative research is employed. In addition, this research also adopts the Qualitative Geographic Information System to explain spatial aspects of land use.

Findings as regards research questions 1 to 4 will be obtained through face-to-face interviews with representative family cereal farms, landowners and agricultural organisations in selected rural areas in Scotland and Japan. As for research question 4, ArcGIS will be used to analyse dispersion level of land parcels.