Answers for declining birth rate, aging population sought at seminar

February 22, 2016

A slight rise in Japan’s birth rate in the past decade is no cause for celebration but instead reflects the “tempo effect” resulting from couples choosing to marry later in life, Sasakawa USA’s Director of Programs and Senior Fellow Daniel Bob said while introducing a seminar February 9 on the aging population in Japan.

“That tempo effect means that even though Japan’s birth rate is increasing, barring larger social changes, it’s really not going to have much of a chance to rise to the 2.1 rate needed to stabilize the population,” Bob said, referring on the “twin phenomena” of declining birth rates and an aging population. Based on the current birth rate, the population in Japan is expected to drop from 127 million today to 92 million in the next 40 years.

E-Ageing as a new U.S.-Japan Partnership Issue,” an event co-hosted by U.S.-Japan Research Institute and the Embassy of Japan, explored aging issues and their effects in areas such as social disparity and rising medical expenses and pensions. Speakers at the event zeroed in on ways the bilateral relationship can be harnessed while seeking to resolve these challenges.

Speakers at the event included Kanji Yamanouchi, Minister for Economic Affairs at the Embassy of Japan in the United States; Toshio Obi, Professor at Waseda University; Naoko Iwasaki, Associate Professor at Waseda University; and Matthew Goodman, William E. Simon Chair in Political Economy and Senior Adviser for Asian Economics at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.



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