Japan seems to be finally rising out of the so-called “lost decades”. The turn-around is result of a completely new economic policy. Japan must change its social institutions, and perhaps values, in order to complete the transition. The change also requires Japan to go boldly where no society has gone before by building new economic and political institutions. Japan has the lowest fertility rate in the world, and the highest life expectancy. This implies it is aging faster than any other nation on earth. However, the country’s social systems were established in the years immediately following World War II and suited a very young and growing population. Continue reading
Demographic phenomena have often been cited as causes of poverty, environmental damage, resource depletion and other social and economic crises. One of the latest examples of this is the attempt to explain problems associated with the sustainability of welfare systems, such as rising old-age dependency, pension and healthcare costs and tax burden, with reference to population ageing. To what extent is this conceptualization of population ageing as a societal threat – a “time bomb” that would threaten the long-term viability of our society and economy – a valid one?