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Title: Community actions against anticommons of forests in contemporary Japan: case studies of former common forests
Other Titles: 現代日本における地域社会による森林アンチコモンズへの対応: 旧・入会林野の事例研究
Authors: TAKAHASHI, Takuya
Matsushita, Koji
Nishimura, Toshiaki
Keywords: anticommons
absent owners
residents’ association
Issue Date: 19-Oct-2020
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Abstract: Over the past few decades, many Japanese forest owners and communities have suffered from the outcomes of anticommons (parcelization) phenomenon. Since the Edo Era (17th through 19th centuries), many Japanese commons forests have been subdivided and placed under private ownership. Individual owners of the subdivided small forests (carved out from former commons forests) have lost interest in forestry, resulting in unclear borders. Many owners have relocated outside the villages (absent owners) and/or have passed the land down through generations, resulting in unknown ownership. There are several ways to ameliorate the anticommons phenomenon in Japan, as illustrated by these examples, which we examined employing case study and comparative study approaches. 1) Despite the expense, a residents’ association successfully re-appropriated co-ownership land by “technically” suing the current respective co-owners. 2) Some residents’ associations collectively manage subdivided forests as one unit to reduce the damage caused by animals such as wild boars or deer. However, the units are still legally separate and owned by individuals. 3) A land owners’ association stipulated that a vacating resident owner must sell her forest to the remaining residents. These three cases show how motivations, other than profits, could help address the anticommons phenomenon. These motivations include the intent to keep the community’s holding intact in the event of consolidation at the municipality level, to protect the land against pest animals, and to keep the community’s drinking water pure.
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PREPRINT_REV_JFR_anticommons201014CORRECTED.pdfAccepted Manuscript770.59 kBAdobe PDFView/Open
kag_takahashi_202010.pdfAuthor’s Original Manuscript466.81 kBAdobe PDFView/Open

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