In Japan, less-favored areas known as “marginal hamlets” have multiplied rapidly, and the continuous care of such areas has been major problem for national land-use planning. This research aims to scrutinize how the positioning and directionality of the support for marginal hamlets are defined in the National Spatial Plan, the plan’s compatibility in solving the problems of a broad area and the requests from individual marginal hamlets, and the plan’s limitations. We conducted a field survey at Monzen town in Wajima City, Ishikawa Prefecture, and carried out the study’s purpose through a comparative analysis on the future image of bottom-up and top-down processes. The analysis revealed that many residents had a strong inclination toward settlement; a majority of them stated that they would stay in the town regardless of depopulation. In contrast, farmland management had already reached its limit. When arable land near an area under cultivation was abandoned, it became clear that the resulting external diseconomy would make the idle field impossible to manage. We propose three steps to achieve a consensus among stakeholders. First, determine how much manpower and funds are needed to support marginal hamlets. Second, find out how these capital resources can be obtained from inside the depressed area. Third, if such capital resources cannot be obtained, determine the necessary revisions in the support policy for marginal hamlets.
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