Futuribles Journal n° 321

Population

Japan as a World Testing Ground for Ageing

In 2004 and 2005 Futuribles, in partnership with the Aleph group of the French Commissariat général du Plan, published a series of articles about public futures studies in various countries. In one of these, Évelyne Dourille-Feer discussed the Japanese arrangements (no.303, December 2004). Here she goes further, focusing on one particular aspect of public policy in Japan: how to cope with an ageing population. This research was carried out under the auspices of the Aleph group and then updated for Futuribles (the Aleph group no longer exists following the restructuring of the Commissariat général du Plan).
The author describes how far Japan typifies what happens when there is a rapidly ageing population, and then discusses the social and economic implications for the country over the long term. She goes on to outline the ways in which the public authorities are tackling the problem (pensions, dependency, etc.) and the reforms implemented in order to improve the welfare of Japanese society over the long term, given this situation.

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