Biodiversity / Food / Water

April 14, 2009


News Company and Forest Association List Japan's Top 100 Villages to Preserve

Keywords: Ecosystems / Biodiversity Non-manufacturing industry 

The Asahi Shimbun Company, one of Japan's major newspaper companies, and the Forest Culture Association released a list of Japan's top 100 villages that are rich in nature and considered to be of great value to pass down to future generations. The villages were chosen from 4,474 entries received from across the nation between January and March 2008. The final list was decided by a selection committee chaired by movie director Yoji Yamada after narrowing down the group of candidates and conducting on-site evaluations.

The villages were evaluated for a settlement and its surrounding environment such as farmlands, grassy fields, beaches and waterways, as well as "satoyama," a traditional Japanese settlement landscape rich in nature. The selection was made based on three criteria: landscape, biodiversity and lifestyle.

The selected villages include following six spots: the Yambaru forest in Okinawa Prefecture, an area inhabited by many rare species; Kitaura Town in Miyazaki Prefecture, known for a small inlet with deeply-indented coastlines and seine fishing; the Nakayama area on Shodo Island in Kagawa Prefecture, where people grow rice in terraced paddies using spring water and have handed down a performance of their traditional famer's Kabuki over the generations; the Yasato area in Ibaraki Prefecture, where thatched houses dot the foot of Mt. Tsukuba; the Shinden area in Aomori Prefecture, where a watermill over 100 years old still grinds buckwheat; and Hamanaka town in Hokkaido, where people are engaged in agriculture and fishing while conserving the marshes.

The Asahi Shimbun will introduce these villages widely on TV programs and at events in order to promote the importance of satoyama, conserve biodiversity, and encourage more thought about global warming prevention and sustainable use of natural resources.

Asahi Shimbun Asia Network (AAN)

Posted: 2009/04/14 06:00:15 AM