The issue of “shuttered shopping streets” is a symbolic phenomenon of a declining regional economy, one of the greatest challenges for Japan, which is suffering from a shrinking population. It refers to a situation in which a shopping district that had previously been prospering changes into a depopulated area where the shutters are kept pulled down even during the daytime, as the number of closing shops increases due to customer situations or aging shop owners.
These towns will become desolate if nothing is done. However, people have started to take on efforts to revitalize them in many parts of Japan. In this volume, No. 30, the significant achievements of such efforts are featured in “New Plan for Reforming the Japanese Archipelago/Plan for Remodeling a Shuttered Shopping Street” by Yamamoto Kazumune, chief producer at Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation.
Translated from an original article in Japanese written for Discuss Japan. [September 2015]