S-Space Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원) Dept. of International Studies (국제학과) 국제지역연구 국제지역연구 vol.02 (1993)
지역개발 운동과 지역 주민조직 - 日本 川崎市 南部 6개 町內會를 중심으로
The Role of Neighbourhood Associations(Chonaika) in the Community Revitalisation(Machizukuri) Movements of the Southern Kawasaki City
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 지역종합연구소
- 지역연구, Vol.02 No.3, pp. 145-165
- There are two contrasting interpretations concerning the revival of neighbourhood associations (chonaikai) in postwar Japan. One is to see them as non-voluntary, conventional, obligatory organisation whose functions are essentially those supplementing administration as during the prewar years. The second view emphasizes a discontinuity between the prewar and postwar characteristics of neighbourhood associations and sees the postwar ones as voluntary citizen"s organisation of a modern sort. The difference in interpretations may reflect regional variations, but both arguments seem to need further empirical substantiation. This paper attempts to delineate characteristic features of the institut on in their contemporary setting by examining the response of six neighbourhood associations in the southern part of Kawasaki City to the newly arising and ideologically progressive "town-making" (machizukuri) or "community revitalisation" (Chiiki Katsseika) movement.
The machizukuri movement in this area is led by a recently formed citizen;" association. The membership of the association includes four main acting groups with conflicting interests: 1) the neighbourhood associations, 2) the merchants" association, 3) the city government employees" union and 4) a Korean Japanese corporation. While basically in agreement with regard to most of the machizukuri programs put forward by tae association such as enhancing security and living conditions, environmental improvement, etc., the comprising groups display considerable disagreement with regard to the question of alien residents. Both the progressive city government and the Korean Japanese corooration team are very keen on catching up the widespread national-level discourse of "internationalisation" and turning the hitherto negative image of the region as a backward alien area into a positive one by publicizing the area as one which realises the ideals of "internationalisation", It is therefore one of their key strategies to emphasize the existence of aliens and to demonstrate how different ethnic groups can live together in harmony and equality (kyosei) by strengthening the inter-ethnic communication. The neighborhood associations on the other hand adopt a more traditional attitude toward the issue, which assumes an eventual integration of all alien elements into the main stream Japanese culture and are in general opposed to the kind of drastic innovative moves of the new strategy.
The case study indicates that the neighbourhood associations in this region largely retains most of their prewar features in terms of the leadership patterns, organisational principles and decision making styles, the features that leave little room for innovation, and it is hence hardly possible to expect them to become a meaningful mobilising force in the new kind of reform movement.