chapter
Master Plans
The municipal Master Plan system was indirectly a product of the bubble economy period. After the peak years of land price inflation in 1986 and 1987 weaknesses in the land use planning system were increasingly criticised in the media and in public debate more generally. Particularly widespread was the accusation that weak zoning controls in residential areas had allowed shortages of office space in central Tokyo and speculation
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Districts zoned Residential had thus included a majority of the older urban areas which were characterised by high levels of mixed use, and generally the lowest provision of basic infrastructure such as roads and parks. The parts of these areas that were adja-

some local governments – such as that of Kamakura discussed below – taking the new system to heart and doing extensive public consultation in the formulation of detailed long-term goals, and others producing a simple document that merely fulfils the statutory requirement with the vaguest and least controversial of “fundamental policies”. Local governments were also slower than expected in their preparation of the first round of plans. This is partly because all local governments were required by the 1992 legislation to prepare a complete rezoning of their municipal area with a deadline of 1995, and that work was given priority. As of December 1999 some 608 local governments, or 30.1 per cent of those with CPAs, had completed their Master Plans (Ishida 2000: 12).