- International comparative research on community organizations
- NPOs and community organizations and the reestablishment of local governance
- Foreign workers in present-day Japan and the sustainability of local industries
- Globalization and changes in urban-rural relationships in East Asia
- Local communities and disaster management regime in post-3.11 Japan
- Wide-scale evacuation resulting from nuclear accidents and the logic behind disaster relief in local communities
My areas of specialization are regional sociology and urban sociology. There are many problems in today’s local communities that cannot be solved by the government and corporations alone. While citizens and residents have been frequently observed to collaborate with one another to tackle such problems, not all communities take such action when faced with challenges. What is the process by which the mechanism for voluntary problem-solving—what we might call “community power”—is developed? Facing an identical problem, why is it that residents in some communities collaborate with one another to solve it, while those in other communities fail to do so? The central goal of my work is to shed light on these questions through fieldwork.
Studying local communities may not make sense to some people. Some may not understand the exact nature of the research, while others may question the value of focusing on local communities when globalization is advancing quickly in the modern world. However, findings from contemporary regional sociology inform us that there is even greater value in paying attention to local communities, in order to understand what is happening in modern society and to predict how it will change in the future.