Types of forest
The total area of forested land in Japan is about 25 million ha and has been stable since the 1960s. The composition ratio of natural forest and planted forest has not changed since the 1980s. The main species of planted forest are Cryptomeria japonica (Japanese cedar), Chamaecyparis (Japanese cypress) and Larix kaempferi (Japanese larch), with the former two species having the desirable features of fast growth, straightness and ease of processing.
The expansive afforestation measure, which aimed to replace broad-leaved forests with coniferous trees, was implemented by the Forestry Agency mainly from the 1950s to the 1970s. The Forestry Agency encouraged Japanese cedar, Japanese cypress, Japanese larch, Sakhalin fir and Japanese red pine for new planting, even introducing subsidies for this purpose, because of their fast-growing characteristics and straightness.