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Symposium: Demographic Aging in Japan and Beyond: Lessons from the World’s Most Aged Society

When: Saturday, September 22, 2018 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Where: 220 Eggers Hall

Description:

Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs

presents

Demographic Aging in Japan and Beyond: Lessons from the World’s Most Aged Society 

Demographic aging is one of the major policy challenges that advanced industrial countries face today. Improvements in longevity and low fertility rates have dramatically changed the demographic structures of wealthy democracies.  Not only is the number of those older than 65 increasing, but the number of those older than 80 is on a rapid rise. At the same time, family size is shrinking, thereby reducing the ability of family members to look after one another.  How can individuals, families, communities and governments cope with this massive societal change?

The experience of Japan, the “most aged” society, allows us to understand the causes and effects of demographic aging. Japan shows us what can or cannot slow down the demographic aging process: The slower the process, the easier it is to prepare for it.  Gender equality policies, work and family reconciliation policies, and pro-immigration policies are all known to alleviate demographic pressures.  These policies, however, require citizens' support and institutional adjustments.  On all these accounts, Japan has long lagged behind the other OECD countries.  However, the looming demographic crisis is also exerting a lot of pressures on Japan to change. The aim of this symposium is two-fold.  First, it seeks to understand the severity of Japan’s demographic problems and the adequacy of its responses. Second, it places Japan in a broader comparative context to understand the process of demographic aging and its consequences.
Program

10:00-10:30 am  Welcome and Introduction—Professors Gail Bulman and Brian Hurley, Languages, Literatures and Linguistics, Syracuse University

10:30-11:20 am  Sawako Shirahase, Professor of Sociology, Vice President, Tokyo University

Presentation: “Persisting Gender Gap in the Most Aged Society Japan”

(Discussant: Professor Yingyi Ma, Sociology, Maxwell School, Syracuse University)

11:20-12:10 pm  Mary C. Brinton, Reischauer Institute Professor of Sociology, Director of the Reischauer Institute, Harvard University

Presentation: "Japan’s Demographic Dilemma: A Comparative Perspective"

(Discussant: Professor Yingyi Ma, Sociology, Maxwell School, Syracuse University)

12:10-1:20pm  Lunch Break

1:20-2:10 pm  Ito Peng, Professor and Canada Research Chair in Global Social Policy, Department of Sociology, and Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto

Presentation: "Japanese Exceptionalism: Care and Migration Policy Challenges in Cultural and Historical Institutional Perspective"

(Discussant: Professor George Kallander, History, Maxwell School, Syracuse University)

2:10pm-3:00pm  Merril Silverstein, Marjorie Cantor Endowed Professor in Aging, Maxwell School and Falk College, Syracuse University

Presentation: “Filial Eldercare Norms in Japan and China: Intersections with Institutional and Community-Based Care"

(Discussant: Professor George Kallander, History, Maxwell School, Syracuse University)

3:00-3:45pm  Roundtable Discussions with the Panelists

(Moderator: Professor Margarita Estévez-Abe, Political Science, Maxwell School, Syracuse University)

3:45pm-4:00pm  Closing Remarks -- Professor Margarita Estévez-Abe, Political Science, Maxwell School, Syracuse University


Co-sponsored by:

Japan Foundation

Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs

East Asia Program

Syracuse University Office of Research

College of Arts and Sciences

Aging Studies Institute

Center for European Studies

Languages, Literatures and Linguistics

Asian/Asian American Studies Program

Humanities Center

International Relations Program

Department of Political Science

Women’s and Gender Studies


For more information on the Symposium, visit the event website: https://www.maxwell.syr.edu/Demographic-Aging-Symposium 

Contact Havva Karakas-Keles for more information: hkarakas@syr.edu