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Accepted Paper:

Depopulation and aging: a crisis in stasis in rural Japan  
John Mock (Temple University Japan)

Paper long abstract:

Much non-metropolitan Japan has been undergoing a process of depopulation and aging for more than half a century. These trends will accelerate, not diminish. Popular media in Japan is full of stories of dying towns and rural decline. Yet, the policy decisions made by the national government and prefectural governments seem to continue to privilege the metropolitan over the non-metropolitan in areas such as occupational choice, economic development, educational opportunities, transportation and communication facilities.

Based on more than a decade of fieldwork, this paper examines several small cities and rural areas in Akita Prefecture. There are many national and prefectural plans but little effective action. Perhaps effective action, by a highly centralized bureaucracy is impossible, and there needs a decentralized approach with the central bureaucracies providing only the needed infrastructure and resources and local communities make the effective decisions—an extremely shift of power away from the central bureaucracies.

Panel W061
East Asian imaginings: (trans)national scenarios and global crisis
  Session 1