53rd Congress of the European Regional Science Association: "Regional Integration: Europe, the Mediterranean and the World Economy", 27-31 August 2013, Palermo, Italy
This study examines intra-regional disparity and municipal merger in Fukuoka Prefecture. Fukuoka Prefecture (Fukuoka-ken) is a prefecture of Japan located on Kyushu Island. It faces the sea on three sides, bordering on Saga, Oita, and Kumamoto prefectures and facing Yamaguchi Prefecture across the Kanmon Straits. It is also located near the Korean peninsula. It includes two government-designated major cities: the Fukuoka city, the capital and central city in Fukuoka Prefecture, and the Kitakyushu city, a big city with a population of about one million. They include much of Kyushufs industry The history of the municipal merger is long and the municipal organization and municipality organization enforcement in Fukuoka Prefecture is started on April 1, 1889 (Meiji era). After enforcement, many municipal mergers and other self-governing bodies have so far been performed. Especially, after entering in the 21st century, it decreased about 1/3 times. Now, there are 60 municipalities (28 cities, 30 towns and 2 villages). These 60 municipalities are classified into 15 areas (Fukuoka, Chikushi, Kasuya, Munakata, Itoshima, Asakura, Kitakyushu, Onga, Kyouchiku, Yame, Kurume, Ariake, Chikuhou, Iiduka, and Tagawa). However, the possibility of municipal merger still can be considered. One of reason is the problem of low birthrate and longevity of population. The other reason is the problem of fiscal deficit. Furthermore, the federal system (Dou Shu-sei) aiming at wide area regional integration is also related. In this study, the municipal merger is considered from a viewpoint of the regional disparity. First, the income disparity of 60 municipalities and 15 areas is analyzed. Theil index is adopted to interpret evidence. It can decompose samples and investigate the factor analysis of regional disparities. In this case, it can be analyzed inter-area disparity as well as municipalities and area level disparity. Second, same analysis is conducted from industrial structure. It is divided into 8 industries (Agriculture, Manufacture, Construction, Trade, Service, Other private sector, Government sector, and Non-profit sector). For understanding the evidence, we suggest simple index which carried out indexation of the difference in a share for comparing the industrial structure between municipalities (areas). Through these evidences, it is examined whether it should unify in the area.
Fukuoka Prefecture Regional Disparity Municipal Merger