Demographic and Societal Change through the Japanese Lens

IAFOR’s Chairman & CEO, Joseph Haldane will be conducting a featured interview with Joseph Coleman of Indiana University Bloomington, United States, titled “Demographic and Societal Change through the Japanese Lens” at at The 14th Asian Conference on the Social Sciences (ACSS2023) and The 14th Asian Conference on Arts & Humanities (ACAH2023).

To participate in the event as an audience member, please register for the conference.

This plenary will also be available for IAFOR Members to view online. To find out more, please visit the IAFOR Membership page.


Demographic and Societal Change through the Japanese Lens

Japan is an interesting case study for ageing because it is one of the most rapidly ageing societies in the world. The proportion of people aged 65 years or older is currently around 28%, which is the highest among all major developed countries. The number of centenarians in Japan is also the highest in the world, with over 80,000 people aged 100 or older, as of 2021.

Since 2011, the Japanese population has also been declining. This demographic trend in Japan is due to a combination of factors, including a low fertility rate, a long life expectancy, and a lack of immigration at the levels seen in North America or Europe. These factors have important implications for various aspects of Japanese society, such as healthcare, social welfare, the labour market, and economic growth. Furthermore, Japan has implemented various policies and programs to address the challenges posed by its ageing population, such as promoting active ageing, increasing the availability of nursing care services, and encouraging immigration. These policies have important implications for other countries that are also facing ageing populations.

This interview will look at how these trends have affected Japan and Japanese society, and draw on comparative and contrastive cases from other countries as it is often seen as a canary in the coal mine. Japan might be in front, but it is certainly not alone, and there are many parts of the world with similar demographic trends looking closely at Japan as a model and anti-model, in particular looking at issues relating to an ageing workforce in both the US and China.

Speaker Biography

Joseph Coleman
Indiana University Bloomington, United States

Joseph Coleman, Indiana University, United StatesJoseph Coleman is the Roy W. Howard Professor of Practice in Journalism at Indiana University Bloomington's Media School, where he teaches newswriting, immigration reporting and foreign correspondence. Coleman, 59, has reported from some two dozen countries in a 30-year reporting career. He worked for United Press International in Panama City and Bogotá, Colombia in 1988-90, and reported for 18 years for the Associated Press in the United States, France and Japan, where he was Tokyo bureau chief from 2004 until he moved to IU in early 2009. His book, Unfinished Work: The Struggle to Building an Aging American Workforce, was published by Oxford University Press in 2015. Coleman is a 2022-23 Fulbright U.S. Scholar based in Japan, where he is researching immigrant communities in Tokyo. He lives in Bloomington with his wife, Kyoko Ichikawa.

Posted by IAFOR