This Seminar Series is organised by the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing
For the entire postwar period Japan’s rural regions have been shrinking, even as the country as a whole experienced unprecedented growth under its 20th century ‘economic miracle’. In the 21st century, however, Japan crossed the threshold into national-scale depopulation, and nearly all core cities are now also shrinking. Similar patterns of spatial and demographic change are evident elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific, most notably China. This paper enquires into the social and environmental consequences of regional demographic change in Japan and the Asia-Pacific, and will ask: Does depopulation have to produce uncomfortable outcomes? Can we even benefit? Are any anticipated benefits realistically achievable? Just Japan led Asia’s economic development in the 20th century, so in the 21st century can Japan lead again; this time in attaining social and environmentally sustainable rural development under demographic shrinkage?
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About the speaker
Dr Peter Matanle is Senior Lecturer in Japanese Studies and Director of Research and Innovation at SEAS. He joined the School of East Asian Studies in 2001 after working as Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law at Niigata University in Japan. Peter's research interests are in the social and cultural geography of East Asian development. Within this broad area his focus has been on the following:
• The theory and practice of permanent employment in large organizations,
• Work and its representation in popular culture, and
• Population, environment, and regional development in post-industrial society.
Peter has published widely in the above fields, including four books, chapters in edited volumes, and peer reviewed articles in leading scholarly journals, including Japan Forum, Social Science Japan Journal, Organization, Asian Business & Management, Local Environment, and Gender, Work and Organization. He has peer reviewed research for Japan Forum, Social Science Japan Journal, Contemporary Japan, electronic journal of contemporary japanese studies, Pacific Affairs, Sociology, The Sociological Quarterly, American Ethnologist, International Journal of Law, Crime and Justice, and Environmental Politics, as well as the Economic and Social Research Council, the British Council, Cambridge University Press, and Routledge.