Vol. 37, No. 1, Spring /Summer 1999- "The Pennsylvania Geographer"


NORTHERN JAPAN, 1980 – 1995

Shawn Banasick

Department of Geography and Geology

West Virginia University


This paper examines the changing spatial pattern of electrical machinery industry employment in northern Japan. Japanese manufacturing in the early postwar period was spatially concentrated in the Tokaido Belt located along Japan's Pacific coastline. In the early 1970s, manufacturing employment began to decentralize to peripheral areas of Japan. Tohoku, a peripheral region in northern Japan, experienced dramatic employment growth in the electrical machinery industry. Industrial district level manufacturing data was used to examine local changes in electrical machinery industry employment. The results reveal that the strengthening of the Japanese yen in the late 1980s, and the economic downturn of the early 1990s, led to a substantial transformation of the spatial pattern of employment in the electrical machinery industry in Tohoku.

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