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Rice policies for long-tail market-creating innovations: empirical study on consumers’ cognition and behavior in Japan


Although rice production adjustments were officially abolished in 2018, they still exist in the form of game equilibria and customary institutions in Japan. However, market-creating innovations are considered to be able to change the culture of the entire society, including the cognition of producers and consumers towards rice, rice products and rice cultivation. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to clarify the necessity of rice policies for long-tail market-creating innovations in Japan. Specifically, structural equation modeling (SEM) and cognitive map analysis were introduced in a questionnaire survey of Japanese consumers. The following analytical results were obtained. First, rice policies that promote consumers’ independent orientation for rice consumption including their potential needs about rice such as information, environment, packaging, safety, health, and various ways of eating, etc. are required. Second, Japan’s rice market needs to be transformed from a short tail to a long tail through market-creating innovations. Finally, rice policies to promote the businesses conducted in partnership with consumers and local residents for “Creating Shared Value” through organizational learning and stakeholder management are also required.

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Fig. 1

Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications “Family Income and Expenditure Survey”, “Consumer Price Index”

Fig. 2
Fig. 3

Source: Price (2019) is collected from NUMBEO HP. (2020/12/28 Accessed. Quantity of consumption (2018) is collected from FAO HP “FAOSTAT New Food Balances”. (2020/12/28 Accessed. GDP per capita is collected from World Bank “World Development Indicators”. (2020/12/28/ Accessed)

Fig. 4

Source: Same as Fig. 3

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  1. Consumer innovator is defined as a person who had innovated in software products or physical products from scratch or improving an existing for non-work purpose within the last three years.

  2. OECD Review of Innovation Policy (

  3. See for details.

  4. Creating Shared Value (CSV) is the idea that a company creates social value by working to solve social needs and social problems, and as a result, economic value is created. See Porter and Kramer 2011 for details.


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Table 7 Simple tabulation results for choice questions in consumer surveys (%, N = 1387)
Table 8 Results of free-form questions in consumer questionnaires (%, N = 1805)

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Kiminami, L., Furuzawa, S. & Kiminami, A. Rice policies for long-tail market-creating innovations: empirical study on consumers’ cognition and behavior in Japan. Asia-Pac J Reg Sci 5, 909–931 (2021).

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  • Market-creating innovation
  • Long tail
  • Rice policy
  • SEM
  • Cognitive map
  • Japan

JEL Classification

  • O31
  • Q18