Imploding Populations in Japan and Germany

A Comparison


This book provides a comprehensive overview of the impact of low birth-rates and population decline on Japan and Germany. Experts from both countries examine a broad range of issues, from demographic change, social ageing, family policies, family formation, work-life balance, domestic and international migration to business perspectives and labour market issues. Focussed on Japan and Germany, two highly developed countries with extremely low fertility, the chapters of this volume also refer to several other countries for comparison. In the absence of war, famine and pandemics, rapid population decline is a new phenomenon. Japan and Germany are struggling with this reality, but many other countries will follow their example.
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Biographical Note

Florian Coulmas, chair of Japanese Studies, Duisburg-Essen University, and director of the German Institute for Japanese Studies, Tokyo. He has published extensively in Japanese Studies, most recently Population Decline and Ageing in Japan – the social consequences, London (2007), and Die Illusion vom Glück. Japan und der Westen, Zurich (2009). He is co-editor of the Trilingual Glossary of Demographic Terminology (Brill, 2007) and The Demographic Challenge. A Handbook about Japan (Brill, 2008). Ralph Lützeler studied Geography and Japanese Studies at the University of Bonn (Dr. phil. 1993, habilitation degree 2006). He was senior research fellow at the German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ), Tokyo (1993–98, 2007–10), and at the Department of Japanese Studies, University of Bonn (1998–2007). He is affiliated with the Centre for Interdisciplinary Regional Studies (ZEFIR), Ruhr-University of Bochum. He has published extensively on demography, human geography and urban society of Japan.

Table of contents

List of Tables and Figures List of Contributors List of Abbreviations Population Implosion: Coping with the Unknown, Florian Coulmas and Ralph Lützeler Part I Societies of Population Decline Confronting the Demographic Trilemma of Low Fertility, Ageing and Depopulation, Shigemi Kono Europe’s Demographic Future Reiner Klingholz Flexible Employment, Flexible Families, and the Socialization of Reproduction, Wolfgang Streeck Economic Globalization and Changes in Family Formation as the Cause of Very Low Fertility in Japan, Shigesato Takahashi Income Inequality in a Rapidly Ageing Society, Japan: Focusing on Transformations in the Structure of Households with Elderly, Sawako Shirahase Ageing Societies: Present Challenges and Models for the Future, Gertrud M. Backes Part II Fertility Decline and Policy Implications Japanese Family Policies in Comparative Perspective, Makoto Atoh Promoting Gender Equality, Birthrates, or Human Capital? Germany, Japan and Family Policy Discourse, Martin Seeleib-Kaiser and Tuukka Toivonen Child Care and Work-Life Balance in Low Fertility Japan, Barbara G. Holthus Actors of Social Policy Making in Japan: A Look at the Individual Level, Axel Klein Growing Up in a Shrinking City: The Impact of Residential Segregation on the Qualitative Reproduction of Urban Society, Klaus Peter Strohmeier Part III Challenges and Chances of Ageing Business Implications of Demographic Change in Japan: Chances and Challenges for Human Resource and Marketing Management, Florian Kohlbacher Silver Employment in Germany: Trends and Consequences for the Management of an Ageing Workforce, Christiane Hipp and Birgit Verworn New Housing Options for the Elderly in Japan: The Example of Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward, Maren Godzik The Political Economy of Health-Care Migration: A Japanese Perspective, Gabriele Vogt Care for the Elderly and Demographic Change: Ageing and Migrant Nurses in the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia, Jens Friebe The Power of Address: Age and Gender in Japanese Eldercare Communication, Peter Backhaus Japan’s Adult Guardianship System: Statutory guardianship and civil guardians, Junko Ando Japan’s Adult Guardianship Law: Current Status and Issues, Makoto Arai Part IV Regional Aspects of Ageing and Depopulation Demographic Change and Challenges from a Regional Perspective: The Case of Germany, Franz-Josef Kemper Recent In-Migration to Peripheral Regions of Japan in the Context of Incipient National Population Decline, Yoshitaka Ishikawa Rural Depopulation and Economic Shrinkage in Japan: What Can Affected Municipalities Do About It?, Volker Elis Demographic, Economic and Institutional Shrinkage – from the Perspective of Rural Areas in Germany, Stephan Beetz Left Behind in the Global City: Spaces and Places of Ageing and Shrinking in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area, Ralph Lützeler References Index of authors cited Index of subjects


A resource for students of Japanese Studies, but should also be of interest to scholars and policy makers beyond Japan and Germany.