Japanese agriculture is a family-farm-dominated industry. Farms have been transferred from generation to generation by inheritance. Recently, Japanese farms have faced difficulty in transfer of management to succeeding generations, resulting in an increase in the number of ageing farmers and in idle farm resources. The problem is mainly characterized by such factors as underdevelopment of farmland markets, a shift of the sense of commitment to and identification with groups from families to corporations, and a predominance of large organizations in the technical innovation field in highly industrialized societies. Even if family farms face the difficulties caused by highly industrialized societies and have consequently declined gradually, they still have potential for gentler treatment of the environment by family farming activities, relatively large employment capacity, and assisting in reotientation of modern societies towards family values. This potential is important worldwide in an era faced with the crisis of the collapse of modern societies. The study of the family farm will thus contribute to the development of sustainable farming and the construction of postmodern societies based on interdisciplinary and international cooperation among researchers worldwide.


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