Potentially Extinctive Municipalities

I am Yoshida, president of Yamada Shusei Ltd., a professional apparel garment repair group in Nagaoka City, Niigata Prefecture.


On April 24, the Population Strategy Council, a private-sector group of experts, released an analysis that defined municipalities with a 50% or greater decrease in the number of women in their 20s and 30s over the next 30 years until 2050 as “municipalities with the potential to disappear,” meaning that they may eventually disappear.


As a result, the number of municipalities with the possibility of disappearing reached 744, a slight improvement compared to the 896 analyzed in 2014, but it remains a serious problem.


This issue of potentially disappearing municipalities is also a major challenge for small business owners. This is because a decline in the population of a municipality can have a direct impact on the local economy, especially for small and medium-sized businesses, which may find it difficult to secure a customer base and workforce.


However, even in this situation, positive measures can be taken to improve the sustainability of companies.


Community-based business model: By providing services and products that meet local needs, you can contribute to the local community and build strong bonds with your customers.


Expansion into the online marketplace: By leveraging the Internet to offer products and services nationally and globally, you can mitigate the effects of a declining local population.


 Adopt innovation and technology: Adopting new technologies and business models can increase productivity and help you stay competitive.


Human Resource Development and Job Creation: Actively hiring and training local youth, women, and others can help revitalize the community and promote company growth.


Regional partnerships and cooperation: By partnering with other companies and organizations and undertaking joint projects, you can enhance the attractiveness of the entire region and attract new customers.


Sustainable Management Strategies: Through environmentally responsible business practices, you can fulfill your social responsibilities and enhance your brand value.


These approaches will not only help the region cope with a declining population, but will also contribute to the long-term success of the company.


As a small business owner, it is important to always be flexible to change and identify new opportunities. Taking even a single step forward into the future by working more closely with local communities and building sustainable business models will give us hope for tomorrow.