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  4. Maglev Line Opening: Impact and Challenges of Stimulating Nonresident Population

2018 Vol.4
Maglev Line Opening: Impact and Challenges of Stimulating Nonresident Population


Population flows are occurring over a wider area and are becoming more active as travel times between regions have shrunk with advances in high-speed transportation networks such as expressways and Shinkansen bullet train lines. The non-resident population is set to increase in the future as plans for the maglev and other bullet trains come to fruition, as the expressway network is expanded through the Shin-Tomei Expressway and Shin-Meishin Expressway, and as more foreign visitors come to Japan, mainly from Asia. This promises to boost demand for intraregional consumption and stimulate regional economies. On the other hand, the population decline already underway is accelerating, and the accompanying decreases in the non-resident population and consumption are forecast to exacerbate the slump in regional economies. This paper estimates the future non-resident population in Aichi Prefecture in light of gross domestic product (GDP), population decline (household numbers), and opening of the maglev train line, and calculates the resulting economic ripple effects. As a result, it is estimated that the non-resident population will shrink until 2028, when the decline stops following the launch of the maglev train; and, by 2040, visitors from outside the three Tokai prefectures will increase by roughly 1.43 million per year versus 2018. These results were used to analyze economic ripple effects. Even with the same non-resident population numbers, differences in their quality (e.g., day-trippers versus overnight visitors) can alter regional economic ripple effects by more than a factor of three, or a difference of roughly 250 billion yen annually. The economic ripple effects from increased non-resident population numbers amount to a maximum of roughly 310 billion yen per year, but this may not be enough to compensate for the negative impact on regional economies from the decrease in consumption (around 400 billion yen) due to population decline. It is necessary to promote initiatives that enable regional economies to sustainably and effectively reap the benefits of increased non-resident populations stemming from the opening of the maglev line.