International Rural Development

Laboratory Websites


  • Prof.KIM Doo-Chul
  • E-mail:kim@(
  • Rural Geography, Environmental Geography, Area Studies of Korea & Vietnam

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  • Prof. UBUKATA Fumikazu
  • E-mail:ubukat-f@(
  • Southeast Asian Studies, International Development, Political Ecology, Resource Economics

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  • Assoc. Prof. HONDA Yasuko
  • E-mail:yhonda@(
  • Rural Sociology, Agricultural Economics

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Research Topics

Based on field surveys in Asia, we examine relationships between rural development and environment in contemporary globalized societies. We also explore how we can redirect ourselves toward "sustainable development" from the perspective of local communities.

Roles of endogenous self-organization in natural resource management

The commons are the cultural and natural resources accessible to all members of a community, which are not often managed by the "invisible hand" under a market system. It is the local community that uses the commons sustainably, and endogenous self-organization plays a crucial role in forming norms for sustainable resource exploitation. In this context, our research interests focus on rural communities in exploiting natural resources, with study areas including Japan, Korea, China, and Vietnam.


Political economy of natural resource development and its social impact in Southeast Asia

Recent economic growth in Southeast Asia has resulted in rapid depletion of natural resources. Yet many villagers near the resource development area have not enjoyed improvements in their lives as expected. Rather, some are even sacrificed by resource development projects and environmental conservation policies. Our research examines how relevant stakeholders, such as governments, firms, villagers, and external agencies, have interacted in certain resource development projects, such as in the palm oil industry, pulp and paper industry, aquaculture, forest conservation, and climate change adaptation, and how this interaction has affected rural societies in Southeast Asia.

Harvesting oil palm by an Indonesian plantation worker (Sarawak, Malaysia, 2011)

Conditions of participatory management of regional resources in Japan

Farmland and irrigation and drainage facilities serve as agricultural infrastructure for paddy fields and also contribute to society in other ways, for example, in reducing damage caused by heavy rains or in developing visually favorable landscapes. In recent decades, depopulation and aging of farmers have made it difficult for rural communities to properly maintain this infrastructure. Therefore, there is growing awareness that addressing this problem requires new participation in the maintenance by non-farmers. This research clarifies how rural communities actually maintain them and the factors affecting resident participation in maintenance.


Publication List

  • Doo-Chul KIM, Tuyen Thi Duong, Quang Nguyen, Hung The Nguyen (2021), “Does an Agricultural Products’ Certification System Reorganize Vegetable Farmers? A case of VietGAP in Lam Dong Province, Vietnam”, in Holly R. Barcus, Roy Jones, and Serge Schmitz(eds.) Rural Transformations: Globalization and its Implications for Rural People, Land, and Economies, CRC Press, Taylor and Francis.
  • Quang Nguyen, Doo-Chul Kim (2020), “Reconsidering rural land use and livelihood transition under the pressure of urbanization in Vietnam: A case study of Hanoi”, Land Use Policy, 99. 1-13.
  • Quang Nguyen, Doo-Chul Kim (2019), “Farmers ’landholding strategy in urban fringe areas: A case study of a transitional commune near Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam”, Land Use Policy, 83, 95-104.
  • KIM, Doo-Chul(2018)“Transnational Migration and Rural Transition along China’s Borderland”, in Valeria Paul Carril et. al. (eds.), Infinite Rural Systems in a Finite Planet: Bridging Gaps towards Sustainability, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 426-431.
  • Dinh, N. C., Ubukata, F., Tan, N. Q. and Ha, V. H. 2021. "Long-Term Improvement in Precautions for Flood Risk Mitigation: A Case Study in the Low-Lying Area of Central Vietnam". International Journal of Disaster Risk Science,,
  • Tran, H. B. C. and Ubukata, F.2020. "Understanding Local and Scientific Knowledge about Flooding Adaptations in Low-lying Areas of Central Vietnam". Journal of Vietnamese Environment 12(2): 123-131.
  • Ubukata, F. 2020."Environmentally Challenged Asia: in the Context of Backwardness and Diversity", in Goto, K. et al. eds. The Asian Economy: Contemporary Issues and Challenges. Routledge, Abingdon and New York. 233-249.
  • Ubukata, F. and Sadamichi, Y.2019. “Estate and Smallholding Oil Palm Production in Sarawak, Malaysia: A Comparison of Profitability and Greenhouse Gas Emissions”, in Ishikawa, N. and Soda, R. eds. Anthropogenic Tropical Forests: Human-Nature Interfaces on the Plantation Frontier. Springer, Singapore. 497-515.
  • Ubukata, F. and Hoang, T. Q.2019. “Local Struggles for the Coproduction of Natural Capital: Payment for Forest Environmental Services in Central Vietnam”, in Devlin, J. F. ed. Social Movements Contesting Natural Resource Development. Routledge, Abingdon and New York. 83-97.