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Contents

About this book: Why is seeing the world today as  a geographer so important?

4

Enquiry 1:

Living in Japan

8

Why isn’t Yuna able to play the sport she loves?

Enquiry 2:

Holes in the landscape

Why should we be concerned about sinkholes?

Enquiry 3:

Is fracking all that it’s cracked up to be?

Is fracking a sustainable solution to the UK’s energy security challenge?

Enquiry 4:

Almost Armageddon!

Why did the earth nearly die at the end of the Permian period?

Enquiry 5:

Disasters and risky places

Are Haiti and the Philippines risky places to live?

Enquiry 6:

Don’t snatch!

How is so-called ‘land grabbing’ affecting Africa?

Enquiry 7:

Olympic spirit

Where should the 2022 Winter Olympics be held?

26 42

58

74 92 110

Glossary120 Index124 Acknowledgements128

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Geographical Enquiry

1 Living in Japan Why isn’t Yuna able to play the sport she loves? Yuna has been working in Osaka in Japan as a software engineer for four years. Osaka is the thirdlargest city in Japan after Tokyo and Yokohama and together with Kyoto and Kobe forms a metropolitan area of nineteen million people.

8

Geographical Enquiry Book 1

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S e a

Asia

o f Ostrov Kunashir

O k h o t s k

Wakkanai

Kitami

H o k k a i d ß

RUSSIA

Asahikawa

Asahi-dake 2290

Azer.

SYRIA ISRAEL JORDAN IRAQ

IR AN

KUWAIT

SAUDI ARABIA

BAHRAIN QATAR

JAPAN

S. KOREA

TAJIKISTAN

Tomakomai

NEPAL

OMAN

IN DIA

Samani

Muroran Mori

CHINA

PAKISTAN

U.A.E.

YEMEN

N. KOREA

KYRGYZSTAN

AFGHANISTAN

Kushiro

Otaru Sapporo

MONGOLIA

UZBEKISTAN

TURKMENISTAN

Hakodate

BHUTAN

TAIWAN

BANGLADESH

-k

LEBANON

Obihiro

KAZAKHSTAN

GEORGIA

aik

rv

TURKEY CYPRUS

MYANMAR (BURMA) LAOS

Ts u

THAILAND

Aomori

PHILIPPINES

VIETNAM CAMBODIA

SRI LANKA

ga

Hachinohe

Hirosaki

BRUNEI

Noshiro

M AL AY SI A

Miyako

SINGAPORE

Morioka

Akita

INDONESIA

Kamaishi

EAST TIMOR

Ichinoseki Sakata

Niigata

Sea of Japan

Fukui

o

Oki-shotß

Maizuru ªgaki

Tottori

Kyßto

Matsue

ªsaka Okayama

g

Hi

Nagasaki

Kßchi

Se to -

Nagano Maebashi Ueda Oyama Tsuchiura Sakura Saitama ShiraneTßkyß Chiba san Kßfu Kawasaki Fuji-san 3192 Yokohama 3776

Gifu Numazu Nagoya Shizuoka O-shima Toyota Suzuka Hamamatsu Tsu

H

Matsusaka Sakai

Ise Wakasawan

Wakayama

Maizuru

Tottori

Biwa-ko

Kujv-san

Kumamoto

Kyvshv

Takamatsu Tokushima

Wakayama

Matsusaka

Suzuka Tsu Ise

uid

Shikoku

Sakai Kii-s

Miyazaki

Nagoya

H o n s h v ªsaka Kßbe

Okayama

1788

ªgaki Gifu

Kyßto

Shikoku

Kurume

Hitachi Mito

Sasebo

Tokushima

OCEAN

ui

ß id -su h i Kita-Kyvshv s a Iki

Shimonoseki Matsuyama

Takamatsu i-s

Tsushima

i ika na

Kßbe Ki

Hiroshima

Fukuoka

Utsunomiya

s

Road Railway Airport Capital city

Kßriyama Iwaki

n

Toyama Kanazawa Yariga-take 3180 Komatsu Matsumoto

PA C I F I C

Fukushima Aizu-wakamatsu

Nagaoka

Kashiwazaki Jßetsu

(East Sea)

Sendai

h

Sadoga-shima

3000 – 5000 m 2000 – 3000 m 1000 – 2000 m 500 – 1000 m 200 – 500 m 0 – 200 m

Yamagata

v

J A PA N

Ishinomaki

ß

Kagoshima

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Yuna shares a rented condominium in the city with two friends. She joined a software design company straight from university and at 27 years old is currently earning US$39,000 a year. She enjoys her work but the hours can be very long – sometimes up to fifty hours a week. Yuna also finds that being a software engineer can be highly pressurised, particularly in the run up to meeting tight deadlines for clients. The one thing that Yuna finds can really help with the stress, as well as keeping her fit, is to play tennis. She has always loved tennis, right from the very first time she played it at school. Now, although she has the time in the evenings and at the weekend, she doesn’t get to play much.

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Living in Japan 11

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1.1  Why isn’t Yuna playing much tennis? Look at the images of urban Japan. What clues are there here to help explain why Yuna finds playing tennis difficult even though she has the time? Make a list of possible reasons. What is the connection between lack of living space and the price of available land? What do you think the law of supply and demand means?

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The key reason that Yuna isn’t playing the sport she loves is that playing tennis at clubs and centres throughout Japan is very expensive. At the Utsobo Park Tennis Club in Osaka where Yuna likes to play, each player has to pay US$26 an hour for a court. Yuna finds that even though she is earning a decent salary this is too expensive for her to play very often. A two-hour game plus the cost of travel to and from her home in Ikuno-Ku is well over US$78. In fact, tennis is not the only sport that is expensive in Japan. For example, if Yuna’s passion were golf then she would have exactly the same challenge. At the semi-public golf courses in Japan it is possible to play for US$78 but many courses charge much more than this. In fact, many Japanese golfers find it cheaper to fly to Hawaii or Thailand to play golf than to do so at home. Japanese investors have financed numerous golf courses in Malaysia, Indonesia, Hawaii, Thailand and Singapore to cater for Japanese golfers who can’t afford to play regularly at home.

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1.2  So why is playing sports such as tennis and golf so expensive in Japan? Three-quarters of the land area of Japan is mountainous. With a population of 128 million, this means that population density is generally very high (the average for the whole country is 336 people per km2) but this rises to 5500 per km2 in parts of the Tokyo-Yokohama megalopolis along the east coast of the island of Honshu, where thirtyfive million people live. As a result, flat land for building, farming and providing sports facilities is in short supply. Because land that can be developed is scarce, its price rises: this is the law of supply and demand. Figures from www.globalpropertyguide.com show that during 2013, the average price of land in the Osaka Metropolitan Area, where Yuna lives, increased by 2.3% to US$1287 per m2. The average price of a new two-roomed condominium in Osaka is now US$5283 per m2. It is not uncommon for a two-roomed condominium in Osaka to cost over US$840,000.

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Take a look at the range of properties on offer in Osaka at: http://www.century21 global.com

• Of the available condominiums in Osaka, what is the cheapest per square metre rate available? • How does location within Osaka affect prices?

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