Controversial Facilities in Japan, 1955-1995 (ICPSR 4725)

Published: Dec 5, 2007

Principal Investigator(s):
Purdue University

Version V1

The purpose of this study was to understand the factors that lead decision-makers and authorities in Japan to select localities as host communities for often-unwanted and controversial facilities such as nuclear power plants, dams, and airports. The dataset contains observations on approximately 500 Japanese cities, towns, and villages covering the period from 1955 through 1995. Data was collected through archival research, interviews with anti-facility activists and officials, and surveys of relevant government offices throughout Japan. This dataset is designed to investigate questions of site selection and siting success for often unwanted projects in Japan. The dataset contains only localities that meet the geographical and geological criteria for siting such facilities, such as land that is both impermeable to water and resistant to seismic shocks. Variables assessed include the number of siting attempts and successes in the locality, the town's location in Japan by prefecture and by political district code, along with information on demographic, socioeconomic, and political factors. Demographic information includes sex ratios in the locality over time along with percentage of elderly in the population. Socioeconomic status was examined through measures of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector workforces over time, including variables on the coastal, mid-range, and deep sea fishing cooperatives (where applicable). Political variables include district magnitude, presence or absence of a prime minister from locally elected representatives, number of long-term Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) representatives, and the number of members of the town council and their political party. Additional political variables include the number and percentage of representatives from all major political parties in the national legislature, the political party of the mayor, and measures of over-time support from the area for the long-dominant LDP. The dataset also contains publicly-available information on compensation provided to the communities and information on eminent domain use.

Purdue University. Controversial Facilities in Japan, 1955-1995. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2007-12-05.

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Harvard University. Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies


National Science Foundation

city, village, town

1955 -- 1995

2007 (Spring)

This dataset used an equal-shares, choice-based sampling method (King and Zeng) using politically defined localities (towns, cities, and villages) as the unit of analysis to generate 472 observations. The researcher deliberately selected observations to include the entire universe of facility host communities in which state agencies played a major role. By collecting observations where siting attempts for a nuclear plant, dam, or airport occurred (but may or may not have been completed), along with carefully matched observations where no controversial facility was proposed but which still shared the same geographic, geologic, and temporal characteristics, the researcher achieved greater analytical power with fewer total observations

The universe consisted of 500 Japanese cities, towns, and villages covering the period from 1955 through 1995.

A politically defined city, village, or town that either was or was not a host for a nuclear power plant, dam, or airport.

Archival research, interviews with anti-facility activists and officials, and surveys of relevant government offices throughout Japan.

survey data



2007-12-05 ICPSR data undergo a confidentiality review and are altered when necessary to limit the risk of disclosure. ICPSR also routinely creates ready-to-go data files along with setups in the major statistical software formats as well as standard codebooks to accompany the data. In addition to these procedures, ICPSR performed the following processing steps for this data collection:

  • Checked for undocumented or out-of-range codes.

While the dataset contained a ratio of Y=1 to Y=0 of 1:1, the actual population of cases is closer, for nuclear power plants for example, to 1:600, while for dams it is closer to 1:888 and 1:144 for airports. That is to say, when a nuclear power plant was sited in year 19XX, there were 600 other localities with the same suitable geographic and geologic criteria, which were not selected. The researcher calculated the population of ones to zeros in the actual population, i.e., the fraction of localities in Japan, which met the geographic and geologic criteria, using GIS data and existing geographic and geological maps, for each type of facility. Those estimations allowed the researchers to re-weight the dataset to create a population roughly equivalent to that found in the field. Because prior corrections require proper model specification, it is slightly disadvantageous when compared to weighting.


  • Data in this collection are available only to users at ICPSR member institutions.

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