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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Challenges of Demographic Change

Research focus 2005-2015

Demographic change is a research topic that satisfies the above-mentioned criteria for research at the DIJ. It is interdisciplinary in scope, dependent on data and sources collected and analysed in Japan, and suitable for collaboration with Japanese researchers and institutions. Demographic change, while being of particular relevance for Japan, poses great challenges for many industrialized countries. Japan is a paradigm case for studying the interaction of heredity and environment, an interaction that leads to shifts in collective behaviour and demographic structure. In the history of humanity, the spread of ageing through the population is a very recent development that has changed and continues to change society at large.

In regards to population ageing, Japan plays a special role that is of interest beyond the confines of Japanese studies. Within the timeframe of only a century, Japan has transformed itself from latecomer to frontrunner. While at the beginning of the twentieth century the average life expectancy in Japan was significantly lower than it was in Western Europe, by the end of the century it was the highest in the world. Thus, in Japan, demographic ageing and fertility decline occurred much faster than in other industrialized countries, necessitating enormous adjustments of the social, economic and political systems. The complexity of the phenomenon and the multifacetedness of its manifestations in virtually all domains of society and at all stages of the life course (from birth to death) make it a paradigm case for interdisciplinary research. Moreover, the causes and consequences of Japan’s population development invite international comparison, especially with the prosperous nations of Western Europe. While declining birth rates, rising life expectancy and growing median age can be observed in all industrialized countries, changes in the population structure as well as responses to these changes on the part of both government and market tend to be country-specific. Japan is the first real-life test case when it comes to the question of whether a rapidly ageing and, in the medium term, shrinking society can maintain its economic clout.

Since the inception of the DIJ research focus, the challenges of demographic changes in Japan have steadily gained importance. Media coverage has increased notably; the government has designed policies and passed many laws concerning population development; and civil society steps in where state actors are ill prepared or too inflexible to cope with the tasks at hand. Investigating the social, economic, political and cultural transformations brought about by and accompanying population change proved to be a worthwhile undertaking.

In addition to many research papers, three major works have been compiled by researchers of the DIJ: Trilingual Glossary of Demographic Terminology, The Demographic Challenge. A Handbook about Japan, and Imploding Populations in Japan and Germany. In addition various workshops and symposia on the topic had been held (see events)


Completed Projects

Adult Guardianship in Japan

Advertising to the Silver Market in Japan

Childcare and Work-Life Balance in Low Fertility Japan

Civil Society and Population Ageing in Japan

Communication between staff and residents in a Japanese nursing home for the elderly

Demographic Change and its Regional Implications for Municipalities in Rural and Urban Areas

Employment of the Elderly, the Ageing Workforce and HRM

Entrepreneurship and Employment in Demographically Ageing Societies

Fertility and Social Stratification

Generational Conflict and Social Disparities behind Japan’s Low Fertility Society

Glossary of Demography

Housing and living arrangements in Japan's ageing society

Knowledge Society and Demographic Change in Japan

Migration and Integration in Japan

Political Responses to Low Fertility in Japan

Population History of Japan: Past, Present, and Future

Social Aspects of Low Fertility in Japan

The Silver Market Phenomenon: Business Opportunities and Responsibilities in an Era of Demographic Change

Wandel der Entlohnungspraktiken japanischer Großunternehmen bei alternden Belegschaftsstrukturen

Recent Publications

2011
Lützeler, Ralph
Left Behind in the Global City: Spaces and Places of Ageing and Shrinking in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area
In: Lützeler, Ralph : Imploding Populations in Japan and Germany Brill. pp. 473-491.
2011
Elis, Volker
Rural Depopulation and Economic Shrinkage in Japan: What Can Affected Municipalities Do About It?
In: Lützeler, Ralph : Imploding Populations in Japan and Germany Brill. pp. 443-460.
2011
Holthus, Barbara
Child Care and Work-Life Balance in Low Fertility Japan
In: Lützeler, Ralph : Imploding Populations in Japan and Germany Brill. pp. 203-228.
2011
Klein, Axel
Actors of Social Policy Making in Japan: A Look at the Individual Level
In: Lützeler, Ralph : Imploding Populations in Japan and Germany Brill. pp. 229-245.
2011
Kohlbacher, Florian
Business Implications of Demographic Change in Japan: Chances and Challenges for Human Resource and Marketing Management
In: Lützeler, Ralph : Imploding Populations in Japan and Germany Brill. pp. 269-294.
2011
Godzik, Maren
New Housing Options for the Elderly in Japan: The Example of Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward
In: Lützeler, Ralph : Imploding Populations in Japan and Germany Brill. pp. 309-322.
2011
Vogt, Gabriele
The Political Economy of Health-Care Migration: A Japanese Perspective
In: Lützeler, Ralph : Imploding Populations in Japan and Germany Brill. pp. 323-346.
2011
Backhaus, Peter
The Power of Address: Age and Gender in Japanese Eldercare Communication
In: Lützeler, Ralph : Imploding Populations in Japan and Germany Brill. pp. 361-372.
2011
Ando, Junko
Japan’s Adult Guardianship System: Statutory guardianship and civil guardians
In: Lützeler, Ralph : Imploding Populations in Japan and Germany Brill. pp. 373-381.
2011
Lützeler, Ralph; Coulmas, Florian
Population Implosion: Coping with the Unknown
In: Lützeler, Ralph : Imploding Populations in Japan and Germany Brill. pp. 1-32.
2011
Kohlbacher, Florian
Japan – der Pionier
In: Naegele, Gerhard; Heinze, Rolf G.; Schneiders, Kathrin : Grundriss Gerontologie: Wirtschaftliche Potenziale des Alters Kohlhammer. pp. 251-273.
2011
Kohlbacher, Florian; Gudorf, Pascal; Herstatt, Cornelius
Japan’s growing silver market – An attractive business opportunity for foreign companies?
In: Boppel, Michael; Boehm, Stephan; Kunisch, Sven : From Grey to Silver: Managing the Demographic Change Successfully Springer Verlag. pp. 189-205.
2011
Kohlbacher, Florian; Hang, C. C.
Leveraging Disruptive Innovations for the Silver Market
In: Kohlbacher, Florian; Herstatt, Cornelius : The Silver Market Phenomenon. Marketing and Innovation in the Aging Society Springer Verlag. pp. 65-77.
2011
Kohlbacher, Florian; Herstatt, Cornelius; Schweisfurth, Tim
Product Development for the Silver Market
In: Kohlbacher, Florian; Herstatt, Cornelius : The Silver Market Phenomenon. Marketing and Innovation in the Aging Society Springer Verlag. pp. 3-13.
2010
Coulmas, Florian
The Bitter Fruits of Success
In: Schad-Seifert, Annette; Shimada, Shingo : Demographic Change in Japan and the EU: Comparative Perspectives Düsseldorf University Press. pp. 17-36.
2010
Godzik, Maren
Elderly Housing in Contemporary Japan: Exploring Alternative Forms of Living
In: Schad-Seifert, Annette; Shimada, Shingo : Demographic Change in Japan and the EU: Comparative Perspectives Düsseldorf University Press. pp. 37–60.
2010
Godzik, Maren
Alternative housing for the elderly in Japan – attitudes of residents towards their housing choice
In: Ye, J.; Chiu, R. L.H. : Proceedings of 2010 International Conference of Asia Pacific Network for Housing research (APNHR). Housing Affordability, Sustainability and Liability China Architecture & Building Press. pp. 233–241.
2009
Tanaka, Hiromi
Stated Desire versus Actual Practice: Reviewing the Literature on Low Fertility Rates in Contemporary Japanese Society
In: Japanese Studies pp. 415-430.
2009
Godzik, Maren
Altern in Japan. Herausforderungen und Chancen
In: Godzik, Maren : Japanstudien 21 iudicium Verlag. pp. 15-24.
2009
Ando, Junko
Ältere Menschen und das Vormundschaftsrecht für Volljährige in Japan
In: Godzik, Maren : Japanstudien 21 iudicium Verlag. pp. 55-71.
2009
Prieler, Michael; Kohlbacher, Florian; Hagiwara, Shigeru; Arima, Akie
Ältere Menschen in der japanischen Fernsehwerbung: Eine umfragebasierte und inhaltsanalytische Untersuchung
In: Godzik, Maren : Japanstudien 21 iudicium Verlag. pp. 197-222.
2009
Kohlbacher, Florian; Prieler, Michael; Hagiwara, Shigeru; Arima, Akie
Gendered Portrayals of Older People in Japanese Television Advertising Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien. 41 p..
2009
Conrad, Harald
Die Beschäftigung älterer Menschen in Japan – Ursachen und Rahmenbedingungen einer hohen Alterserwerbsquote
In: Nova Acta Leopoldina NF 101, No. 365 pp. 111-142.
2008
Koch, Matthias
History of Demography in Japan
In: Schad-Seifert, Annette : The Demographic Challenge: A Handbook about Japan Brill. pp. 97-117.
2008
Backhaus, Peter
Coming to Terms with Age: Some Linguistic Consequences of Population Ageing
In: Schad-Seifert, Annette : The Demographic Challenge: A Handbook about Japan Brill. pp. 455-471.
2008
Lützeler, Ralph
Regional Demographics
In: Schad-Seifert, Annette : The Demographic Challenge: A Handbook about Japan Brill. pp. 61-79.
2008
Conrad, Harald
Human Resource Management Practices and the Ageing Workforce
In: Schad-Seifert, Annette : The Demographic Challenge: A Handbook about Japan Brill. pp. 979-997.
2008
Elis, Volker
The Impact of the Ageing Society on Regional Economies
In: Schad-Seifert, Annette : The Demographic Challenge: A Handbook about Japan Brill. pp. 861-877.
2008
Moerke, Andreas
The Ageing Society and Reactions of the Automobile Industry - a Case Study
In: Schad-Seifert, Annette : The Demographic Challenge: A Handbook about Japan Brill. pp. 1017-1032.
2008
Godzik, Maren
Ruheständler als Lebenselixier? Ruhestandswanderung und lokale Neubelebungsstrategien am Beispiel von Atami und Ishigaki
In: Elis, Volker : Japanstudien 20 iudicium Verlag. pp. 129-162.
2008
Vogt, Gabriele
Trends in Japans Zuwanderungspolitik
In: Online-Handbuch Demografie Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung.
2008
Vogt, Gabriele
Bevölkerungsentwicklung in Japan: Fokus Migration
In: Online-Handbuch Demografie Berlin-Institut für Bevölkerung und Entwicklung.
2008
Tanaka, Hiromi
Low fertility, the wish for children, and social inequalities in contemporary Japanese society Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien.
2008
Prieler, Michael
Silver advertising: Elderly people in Japanese TV ads
In: Kohlbacher, Florian; Herstatt, Cornelius : The Silver Market Phenomenon. Business Opportunities in an Era of Demographic Change Springer Verlag.
2008
Vogt, Gabriele
Talking Politics: Demographic Variables and Policy Measures in Japan
In: Kohlbacher, Florian; Herstatt, Cornelius : The Silver Market Phenomenon. Business Opportunities in an Era of Demographic Change Springer Verlag. pp. 17-29.
2008
Prieler, Michael; Kohlbacher, Florian; Hagiwara, Shigeru; Arima, Akie
The Representation of Older People in Japanese Television Advertising Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien.
2007
Vogt, Gabriele; Lersch, Philipp
Migrant Support Organizations in Japan - A Mixed-Method Approach
In: Pohl, Manfred; Wieczorek, Iris : Japan 2007. Politik, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft Vereinigung für sozialwissenschaftliche Japanforschung. pp. 265-285.
2007
Lützeler, Ralph; Elis, Volker
Der Demografische Wandel in Japan – Hintergründe und aktuelle Entwicklungen in der Sozial-, Beschäftigungs- und Regionalpolitik (Demographic Chnage in Japan - Its Background and Recent Developments in Social, Employment and Regional Policy)
In: Wirtschaftspolitische Blätter 54; 4 pp. 705-720.
2007
Schad-Seifert, Annette
Japans Abschied von der Mittelschichtgesellschaft: Auflösung des Familienhaushalts oder Pluralisierung der Lebensformen?
In: Backhaus, Peter : Japanstudien 19 iudicium Verlag. pp. 105-128.
2007
Vogt, Gabriele
Closed Doors, Open Doors, Doors Wide Shut? Migration Politics in Japan
In: Japan Aktuell. Journal of Current Japanese Affairs pp. 3-30.
2007
Vogt, Gabriele
<a target="_top" href="http://japanfocus.org/products/details/2520">"Guest Workers" for Japan?</a>
In: Japan Focus. An Asia Pacific e-journal
2007
Vogt, Gabriele
Japans neue Migrationspolitik (Japan's New Migration Policy)
In: ZAR (Zeitschrift für Ausländerrecht und Ausländerpolitik) pp. 238-243.
2007
Coulmas, Florian
Japan im demografischen Wandel: Kinderlos und ratlos
In: politische ökologie 104: Demografischer Wandel. Neue Spielräume für die Umweltpolitik oekom verlag. pp.27-28.
2006
Vogt, Gabriele; Behaghel, Jeannette
Arbeitsmigration nach Japan: Rechtliche Rahmenbedingungen, politischer Diskurs (Labor migration to Japan: Legal framework, political discourse)
In: Haak, René : Japanstudien 18 iudicium Verlag. pp. 111-148.
2005
Conrad, Harald; Gerling, Vera
Der japanische „Silbermarkt“ - Marktchancen und Best Practices für deutsche Unternehmen
In: Haak, René; Bellmann, Klaus : Management in Japan – Herausforderungen und Erfolgsfaktoren für deutsche Unternehmen in einer dynamischen Umwelt (Management in Japan – Challenges and Success Factors for German Companies in a dynamic Environment) Deutscher Universitätsverlag. p. 267-278.

Events

May 22, 2015
DIJ Business & Economics Study Group
Does the Expectation of Having to Look after Parents in the Future Affect Current Fertility?

July 2, 2014
DIJ Social Science Study Group
Japan’s Single Women and the Disembedding Economic System

October 23, 2013
Workshops
Well-being in Ageing Societies: Perspectives from China, Germany and Japan

October 17, 2013
DIJ Forum
The Rise of Ikumen (child caring fathers) in Contemporary Japan

September 26, 2013
DIJ Forum
Is Japan a Lead Market for Age-Based Innovations?

April 11, 2013
DIJ Forum
Japanese Companies Respond to the Unforeseen: The 3/11 Disaster, Population Ageing, and Environmentalism

March 18, 2013
Workshops
Social Inequality in Japan: A Reassessment

March 7, 2013
DIJ Forum
Shrinking Rural Communities in Japan: Community ownership of assets as a development potential?

November 15, 2012
DIJ Forum
Who Will Care for Me When I'm Dead?
Ancestors, Homeless Spirits, and New Afterlives in Low Fertility Japan

November 10, 2011
Workshops
Care Robotics in the Aging Society: Integrating Users, Developers and Technology

September 29, 2011
DIJ Forum
Sustainability Issues in the Super-Aged Society - Prospecting the “Platinum Society”

May 19, 2011
DIJ Forum
The Secrets of "Sūpā Rōjin": Fundamentals of a Successful Aging Society in Japan

December 13, 2010
Workshops
Architectures and Models for a Sustainable Care - Adaptive Technologies for the Ageing Society

November 8, 2010
Workshops
Architectures and Models for a Sustainable Care - Alternatives for Dealing with Population Ageing

September 29, 2010
Symposia and Conferences
Betreuungsrecht

September 15, 2010
Symposia and Conferences
Human Resources Policy for Ageing Workforce

September 7, 2010
Workshops
Architectures and Models for a Sustainable Care - Death and Dignity

July 9, 2010
Workshops
Architectures and Models for a Sustainable Care - Ethics

June 14, 2010
Workshops
Architectures and Models for a Sustainable Care - Economic Policies

May 10, 2010
Workshops
Architectures and Models for a Sustainable Care - Health & Health Policies

April 16, 2010
Workshops
Architectures and Models for a Sustainable Care - Economy

March 1, 2010
Workshops
Architectures and Models for a Sustainable Care - Technology

February 1, 2010
Workshops
Architectures and Models for a Sustainable Care - Technology

November 19, 2009
Symposia and Conferences
Religious Organizations and the Politics of Happiness

October 1, 2009
Symposia and Conferences
Communication in Institutional Elderly Care: Cross-cultural Perspectives

June 2, 2009
Symposia and Conferences
Imploding Populations – Global and Local Challenges of Demographic Change

May 19, 2009
Workshops
Japan: Das Silbermarkt-Phänomen. Neue Chancen, große Herausforderungen

January 20, 2009
Workshops
International Migration in Global Governance: A Japanese Perspective

December 5, 2008
Workshops
Rural Areas without Hope? Structural Change and Policy Options in Japan and Germany

November 6, 2008
Symposia and Conferences
Fertility and Social Stratification - Germany and Japan in Comparison -

October 16, 2008
Workshops
Housing the Elderly in Japan

October 2, 2008
Symposia and Conferences
The Silver Market Phenomenon: Business Opportunities and Responsibilities in the Ageing Society

October 2, 2008
DIJ Forum
The Silver Market Phenomenon: A German-Japanese Perspective

March 7, 2008
Workshops
Socio-political and Business Aspects of Care in an Era of Demographic Change

December 12, 2007
DIJ Social Science Study Group
“I did not know how to tell my parents, so I thought I would have to have an abortion” – A study of unwed mothers in Japan -

December 6, 2007
DIJ Forum
Cohabitation and First Marriage in Japan

November 12, 2007
DIJ Business & Economics Study Group
Foreigners Sell: The Case of Japanese TV Commercials

November 8, 2007
DIJ Forum
Evolving Japanese Perspectives on Death and Dying

October 23, 2007
Symposia and Conferences
Migration and Integration – Japan in a Comparative Perspective

October 11, 2007
DIJ Forum
Labor market reform in aging Japan: A key for the structural reform plan

July 25, 2007
DIJ Social Science Study Group
The national rate of (re)production: gendered discourse in Japanese policy-making

June 21, 2007
DIJ Forum
The Agony of Eldercare: Two Japanese Women Directors Study an Age-Old Problem

June 4, 2007
DIJ Social Science Study Group
“Natural Principles of Law?” Reformist Governors Redefine the Local Sphere

May 23, 2007
DIJ Social Science Study Group
Multicultural Coexistence: Japanese Roadmaps to a more inclusive and pluralistic society?

April 12, 2007
DIJ Forum
The Challenges of the Japanese Integration Policy

February 21, 2007
DIJ Social Science Study Group
Migration and Citizenship in Japan

December 14, 2006
DIJ Forum
Marital Satisfaction and Work-Life Balance: A Viewpoint Indispensable to Mitigating Fertility Decline

November 22, 2006
DIJ History & Humanities Study Group
Communication with Foreigners in Japan: A Sociolinguistic Discussion

July 19, 2006
DIJ Social Science Study Group
What role for women in shaping Japanese social policies?

June 22, 2006
DIJ Forum
The Tokugawa Mating Game: Marriage, Divorce and Remarriage in Historical Perspective

May 24, 2006
DIJ Social Science Study Group
Coffee, Culture, and the Ethnicity of Migration

March 29, 2006
DIJ Social Science Study Group
Japanese Americans living in Japan: national and ethnic identity formation in the ancestral homeland

March 23, 2006
DIJ Forum
Images of Japanese society presented in the ‘New Civic Textbook’ by Tsukuru-kai. Solutions for demographic challenges and social change?

March 9, 2006
Symposia and Conferences
Family Policy in the Aging Society - A German-Japanese Comparison

March 2, 2006
DIJ Forum
Ageing tourists, ageing destinations: tourism and demographic change in Japan

February 9, 2006
DIJ Forum
Regional Inequality in Japan: Income, Health, Life Style, and Stature

October 5, 2005
Symposia and Conferences
Demographic Challenges for Human Resource Management and Labor Market Policies - A German-Japanese Comparison

September 22, 2005
DIJ Forum
Lowest-low Fertility in Japan: Causes, Policy Responses and Related Value Change

June 1, 2005
DIJ Social Science Study Group
Building Parents of the Future: Japanese Policies to Boost the Birthrate

March 31, 2005
DIJ Forum
Marriage in Japan in an Era of Declining Fertility Rates and Aging Society

March 3, 2005
DIJ Forum
The Japanese Family Revolution

Team

Junko Ando (until November 2015)
History

Peter Backhaus Peter Backhaus (until March 2010)
Linguistics

Harald Conrad Harald Conrad (until June 2018)
Economics/ Social Science: Social Policy

Florian Coulmas Florian Coulmas (until October 2016)
Director (2004 - 2014), Director

Isa Ducke Isa Ducke (until May 2006)
Politics

Volker Elis Volker Elis (until March 2011)
Business and Economics, Geography

Maren Godzik Maren Godzik (until March 2013)
Japanology, Sociology

Kazue Haga Kazue Haga (until April 2016)
Business and Economics

Axel Klein Axel Klein (until November 2015)
Japanese Studies, Political Science

Matthias Koch Matthias Koch (until February 2008)
Social and Economic History of Japan, Business History, Germany and Japan in Comparative Studies, German-Japanese Relations

Florian Kohlbacher Florian Kohlbacher (until August 2014)
Business and Economics

Ralph Lützeler Ralph Lützeler (until October 2019)
Geography, Population Studies

Andreas Moerke Andreas Moerke (until August 2006)
Business Administration

Annette Schad-Seifert Annette Schad-Seifert (until November 2006)
Social Sciences

Gabriele Vogt Gabriele Vogt (until March 2018)
Political Science