Sustainability Science

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 515–527 | Cite as

Quantitative assessment of the Japanese “local production for local consumption” movement: a case study of growth of vegetables in the Osaka city region

  • Yuji HaraEmail author
  • Kazuaki Tsuchiya
  • Hirotaka Matsuda
  • Yugo Yamamoto
  • Yuki Sampei
Original Article


This study aimed to assess Japan’s recent “local production for local consumption” (LPLC) movement, with a special focus on vegetables in the Osaka city region of central Japan. After collecting statistics and spatial data, we conducted a multi-scale analysis of vegetable production and consumption along with the associated energy consumption, using geographical information system software at three spatial scales along the vegetable flow paths: national, regional, and local. Vegetables consumed in the Osaka city region came from prefectures throughout Japan, and we mapped the foodshed within this region at 1-km spatial resolution, as well as the distribution of farmland, farmers’ and other markets. We also conducted a scenario analysis for reduced energy consumption through organic farming and the utilization of abandoned farmland near a city to replace food imports from distant areas. We found that the large majority of vegetables consumed in the Osaka city region currently come from remote prefectures, and that this is associated with a high level of energy consumption. Inside the Osaka city region, peri-urban vegetable farming contributes to regional vegetable provision, resulting in an approximately 70 % production/consumption ratio within an 80-km radius of the urban center; if all of the area of abandoned farmland were restored to production, this ratio would increase to approximately 75 %. Organic farming activities that bring together farmers and urbanites are emerging in many parts of the study area, contributing to increased LPLC. Scenario analysis suggested that a decrease of more than 1 × 106 GJ of energy inputs could be achieved through wider adoption of local organic farming for local consumption and complete utilization of abandoned farmland in the Osaka city region.


Foodshed Local food systems Material and energy flow analysis Sustainable city region Urban agriculture 



This research was supported by a grant from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) through the Funding Program for Next Generation World-Leading Researchers (NEXT Program: GZ005), initiated by the Council for Science and Technology Policy (CSTP).


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuji Hara
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kazuaki Tsuchiya
    • 1
  • Hirotaka Matsuda
    • 2
  • Yugo Yamamoto
    • 1
  • Yuki Sampei
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental SystemsWakayama UniversityWakayamaJapan
  2. 2.Graduate Program in Sustainability Science, Sustainability Science Global Leadership Initiative, Graduate School of Frontier Sciences, Integrated Research System for Sustainability ScienceThe University of TokyoTokyoJapan

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