The 6th Industry: Renegotiating the Political Economy of “Regional Japan”

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The French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Japan is pleased to invite you to the next lunch seminar of the French Research Institute on Japan on Thursday, July 5.


This seminar will analyse the so-called “6th industry” – i.e. business models that link agricultural production with processing and marketing or tourism – as a focal point of gradual institutional change in Japan’s post-war political economy. The 6th industry is currently attracting public and political attention as a means of reviving the greying farm sector and Japan’s rural peripheries in general. However, similar concepts existed long before this policy trend gained momentum.


Throughout the post-war period, farmers and the cooperative organization JA were involved in linking the production, processing and marketing of agricultural products. Promotion of the 6th industry unfolds in the context of macro-institutional shifts that have been altering the political economy of “regional Japan” (Kelly 1990). Among these, the reorganization of central-local fiscal relations since the mid-2000s has forced many villages and towns to merge and has shifted responsibility for rural revitalization onto local actors.


Furthermore, deregulation and corporatization have gradually altered the once non-corporate agricultural support and protection regime. As a result, the 6th industry now often takes the form of contract farming between (incorporated) family farms and retail corporations. Corporations have also gained direct access to farmland, challenging the position of “traditional” household farms and the organization JA.


About the speaker


Hanno Jentzsch is a senior research fellow at the German Institute for Japanese Studies in Tokyo.


He received his PhD in 2016 from the University of Duisburg-Essen, where he was a member of the DFG Research Training Group “Risk and East Asia”. His dissertation analyzed the process of institutional change in the Japanese agricultural support and protection regime.

His research interests include processes of institutional change in advanced political economies, varieties of capitalism, welfare regimes, and urban-rural relations.


Date Thursday, July 5, 2018
Time From 12:30 to 14:00 (doors open at 12:00)
Venue Maison franco-japonaise (Nichifutsu Kaikan), room 601 (6th floor) 
Admission fee Free of charge (but pre-registration is mandatory)
Language English (no translation)
Deadline for registration Wednesday, July 4, 2018, 12:00

This is a brown bag lunch seminar, please bring your bento or sandwiches. Coffee is available.


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