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Redefining the borders between public, social economy and for-profit organizations in the provision of public services: The case of Japan

Shinichi Saito (), Munenori Nomura (), Fumitoshi Smizutani () and Francis Rawlinson ()
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Shinichi Saito: University of Shimane, Japan
Munenori Nomura: Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan
Fumitoshi Smizutani: Kobe University, Japan
Francis Rawlinson: formerly European Commission and Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan

Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Fumitoshi Mizutani

Chapter 4 in Providing public goods and commons. Towards coproduction and new forms of governance for a revival of public action, 2018, vol. 1, pp 75-91 from CIRIEC - Université de Liège

Abstract: Japan’s public services including public utilities have traditionally been provided by the public sector with strong government involvement through regulation or ownership. In this chapter, we look at the current situation and the issues surrounding institutional reform in the field of public services. Although private participation is a possible option in some cases, the underlying market conditions are a determining factor. Some rural areas are facing major difficulties in maintaining public services and public infrastructure. Are there alternative ways of maintaining services and infrastructure in such areas? We describe options such as restructuring and the foundation of “social businesses”. The options discussed extend the former concept of PPP from the relationship between private operators and the public sector to one involving beneficiaries including local residents as well. Such social enterprises, which are independent both from the private commercial companies involved in service provision and of the public sector, are one means of regenerating local communities. The contribution thus indicates the shifting roles of the public sector from direct service provider towards a supporting intermediary.

Keywords: Public Private Partnerships (PPPs); public infrastructure; social enterprises; rural areas (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H54 R48 R51 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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