The Future of Japan Municipal Research Center: Our Conversion to a Public Interest Incorporated Foundation
Japan Municipal Research Center previously managed the Japan Center for Cities Assembly Hall and conducted research in order to contribute to the financial and administrative operations of cities throughout Japan. When the three laws that reformed the public interest corporation system came into effect on December 1, 2008, we ceased managing the Assembly Hall, and applied to convert it into a public interest incorporated foundation specializing in research and studies of urban policy, administrative management, and local government systems. After the prime minister granted us authorization, we converted to a public interest incorporated foundation and made a new start as Japan Municipal Research Center Public Interest Incorporated Foundation on April 1, 2012.
The history of the Foundation dates back to when the Japan Association of City Mayors and the National Association of Mutual Aid for Municipal Property Damages decided to establish a central facility for urban collaboration to contribute to the advancement and development of cities throughout Japan. Japan Municipal Research Center was established at our present location in Hirakawa-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo , in February 1959 with joint financing from the two associations.
Since then, we have engaged in comprehensive and effective research, producing studies that integrate theory and practice so as to contribute to enhancing urban policy, such as by improving the financial and administrative management of cities.
The principal research project of Japan Municipal Research Center has been the Investigative Study on the Administrative Organizations at City Offices, which was launched in 1964 and has continued to this day. What is more, while advancing our research and studies, we were the first organization in Japan to develop a concept of “city management,” and have made proposals connected to both regional brand strategies for consolidated municipalities and the systems of local autonomy districts.
It is envisioned that in the future, Japan’s falling population,, the further declining birthrates coupled with an aging society, , —and globalization will bring about changes to the social structure. In the midst of all this, our Decentralization Policy Center for Cities, which was established in collaboration with the Japan Association of City Mayors, will continue to advance research and studies on how systems for urban autonomy should be arranged. This center has also been tasked by urban municipalities with performing ongoing research and studies related to regional, especially community policies.
To be able to meet these expectations, we will continue to work diligently on our research and study activities by serving as a go-between for cities and scholars. In addition, we offer the results obtained from these efforts via both printed publications and our website, and will undertake activities befitting a public interest incorporated foundation.
As always, we would like to thank you for your continued support and cooperation.