Published: 12th Apr 2011

Irmelind Kirchner and Clare Goff explore the different approaches being taken in Japan to deal with its shrinking and ageing population   A view of Aomori’s skyline. It is pursuing a ‘compact city’ approach to deal with its shrinking population. Japan’s population reached its peak of 127.84 million in 2004 and has declined ever since. It is conservatively projected that by 2050, total population will have decreased to just over 100 million. A combination of declining fertility and increasing longevity has resulted in population reduction and demographic ageing, and this phenomenon is affecting almost 60% of the total area of Japan. After the Second World War Japan pursued a conscious policy of industrialisation concentrated in a corridor along the Pacific Coast and the inland sea and to this day these are the areas where most of the population is concentrated. Many areas outside of this corridor … (To read the full article, subscribe below)