An analysis of inter-municipal migration flows in Japan using GIS and spatial interaction modeling

K. Yano, T. Nakaya, Y. Ishikawa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to carefully examine the spatial pattern of human migration during the second half of the 1980s, by using geographical information system (GIS) and spatial interaction models (SIMs). It should be noted that this paper is based on the full data set of the inter-municipal migration extracted from the 1990 population census of Japan. This paper firstly uses GIS to provide the features of the Japanese migration system based on municipality units. As a result, the two major migration patterns in the late 1980s are observed: influx of population to the Keihin metropolitan area from non-metropolitan areas, and to prefectural capital cities from other cities of the same prefecture. Next, Fotheringham's competing destinations models are also applied to the inter-municipal migration flows. It is found that the spatial distributions of accessibility parameter estimates has a significantly contrastive pattern: the estimates of the origins in the non-metropolitan areas are positive and show the agglomeration effect in migration process, while the ones in the metropolitan areas are negative and show the competing effect. These results suggest that accessibility parameter estimates reflect not only the spatial configuration of origins and destinations, but also the preference of migrants for the large metropolitan areas reflecting the Japanese core-periphery structure and the business cycle in the boom period of the late 1980s.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-177
Number of pages13
JournalGeographical Review of Japan, Series B
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Competing destinations model
  • Inter-municipal migration flows
  • Japan
  • Spatial interaction model


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