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외국의 지방분권 개혁은 자치단체의 광역화를 고려해서 지방제도개혁을 하고 있는데, 일본의 지방분권일괄법에 의한 지방분권개혁은 지방의 이층제도(시정촌과 도도부현)의 구조를 포함시키지 않는 것을 전제로 시작하였다. 이에 일본도 지방분권개혁의 남겨진 과제를 해결하는데에는 자치단체 규모의 확대를 검토할 필요가 있다는 지적이 있어 왔으나, 현재에는 대규모 시정촌 합병이 진행 중에 있고, 국가와 지방의 역할분담이나 세재원의 삼위일체개혁, 도주제(道州制)에 관한 논의가 진행되고 있다. 따라서 이 논문에서는 최근 지방분권개혁의 일환으로 이루어지는 도주제(道州制) 도입논의와 시정촌 합병의 과제에 대해서 개관해보았다. 도주제(道州制)의 도입문제나 시정촌 합병문제는 오로지 주민자치의 실현을 위하여 논의되어야 하는 문제이다. 일본에서도 이를 위하여 도주제(道州制) 도입문제는 주로 헌법 차원에서, 시정촌 합병문제도 주민자치의 실현을 위한 차원에서 다양한 논의가 검토되고 있다. 우리나라의 경우는 행정업무의 효율성 제고, 지방분권적 행정체제의 확립, 지역균형발전을 위한 수단, 지역갈등의 해소 등을 고려하여 지방행정체제를 개편하여야 한다고 하여 지방자치의 이념 보다는 단순히 중앙정부의 지방행정구역의 개편이나 선거구 개편논의에 불과한 논의만 있어 왔다. 이러한 점에서 일본이 1999년 7월 지방분권일괄법의 제정공포와 동시에 추진한 기초자치단체의 합병이 7년에 걸쳐 1,400여개의 단체가 폐지되는 성과를 거두었다는 점은 우리에게 시사하는 바가 크다고 할 것이다. 한편 우리나라도 역시 사회경제생활의 변화로 최근 광역행정이 증가하여 지방자치단체의 행정이 변화하였다는 점은 주지하는 바와 같다. 따라서 지방자치단체의 행정체제개편이 불가피하다고 할 것이다. 광역행정과 행정체제 개편논의에 있어 일본의 도주제(道州制) 도입문제에 관한 논의역시 우리가 참고할 사항이 많다고 생각된다.


A Study on the Recent Trends of the Local Government Mergers in Japan Kim, Min-Hoon* * MOEHRD-KRF Research Professor / Donga University The Japanese renovation of power decentralization by the Law for Power Decentralization can be said as reduction and alleviation of central government's involvement in local governments. The details of major actions of the renovation include abolition of government delegated business, establishment of local business and court delegated business, abolition and reduction of central government's involvement in the basic local governments like doh, bou. hyun, establishment of regulations for central government's involvements in local affairs and establishment of arbitration procedures to handle disputes between the central and local governments.In addition, applicable laws for reconstruction of placement regulations. abolition of local officer system, reestablishment of relations between doh, bou, hyun and shi, jung chon communities and rationalization of adjustment of government subsidized money were legislated. For adjustments of local administration systems, establishment of special model city, merges of shi, jung. chon, and activation of local parliaments were also implemented. One of the most significant alternatives was to merge the many municipalities under the Japanese regional government. Since 1999, the total number of japanese municipalities has decreased by more than 1,400 because of political and administrative mergers among them. The main purpose of this article is th draw some meaningful implications applicable to the Korean case for local consolidation in the future Japanese experiences. In this view, this article focused on discussing the characteristics and subjects of the municipalities's merger between in its process.


A Study on the Recent Trends of the Local Government Mergers in Japan Kim, Min-Hoon* * MOEHRD-KRF Research Professor / Donga University The Japanese renovation of power decentralization by the Law for Power Decentralization can be said as reduction and alleviation of central government's involvement in local governments. The details of major actions of the renovation include abolition of government delegated business, establishment of local business and court delegated business, abolition and reduction of central government's involvement in the basic local governments like doh, bou. hyun, establishment of regulations for central government's involvements in local affairs and establishment of arbitration procedures to handle disputes between the central and local governments.In addition, applicable laws for reconstruction of placement regulations. abolition of local officer system, reestablishment of relations between doh, bou, hyun and shi, jung chon communities and rationalization of adjustment of government subsidized money were legislated. For adjustments of local administration systems, establishment of special model city, merges of shi, jung. chon, and activation of local parliaments were also implemented. One of the most significant alternatives was to merge the many municipalities under the Japanese regional government. Since 1999, the total number of japanese municipalities has decreased by more than 1,400 because of political and administrative mergers among them. The main purpose of this article is th draw some meaningful implications applicable to the Korean case for local consolidation in the future Japanese experiences. In this view, this article focused on discussing the characteristics and subjects of the municipalities's merger between in its process.