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Discussion of population decline in outlying areas Regional Development Implementation and Management Headquarters

October 3, 2014

On October 3, the Party's Regional Development Implementation and Management Headquarters (Chairperson: Takeo Kawamura, member of the House of Representatives) invited Mr. Hiroya Masuda, Advisor at Nomura Research Institute, for a discussion on the issues raised by declining populations in outlying areas, with a focus on falling birth rates and over-concentration in the Greater Tokyo area.


Mr. Masuda heads the Japan Policy Council, which published a forecast in May indicating that almost half of all municipalities in Japan could potentially be dissolved by 2040 as the number of women between the ages of 20 and 39 will decline by more than half. In his remarks to the meeting, Chairperson Kawamura emphasized the implication of the forecast that Japan "must take action to remedy falling birthrates and develop outlying regions," and vowed to draw on the collective wisdom and insights of the Party in a coordinated effort to address the issues. "Today's discussion marks an important first step," he said.


In response to Mr. Masuda's explanations, members in attendance voiced opinions about how to delegate authority between the central and local governments to spur regional development, how to change the perceptions of young people about working and living in outlying areas, and the need to verify the policy effects of previous national strategies.


The Headquarters will continue to hold hearings with experts on the issues and to conduct fact-finding tours of outlying areas, with the goal of identifying key points and formulating recommendations to the government by the end of the year.

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