Dr. Futoshi Ishii
Study of Social Demography
Dear Professor Ishii,
I am writing this letter to explain my interest and motivation in attending Keio University under Demographic Studies. It would be greatly appreciated if you could give it a consideration.
Abstract – We easily notice many of the dark matters that have been brought to our attention in the recent years are happening because of declining population – Foreign workers, pension system, increasing social burden, segregation of rural civilizations etc. But we also wonder, who is making this projection and whether it is taken into consideration when policy makers make decisions. The society still seems very conservative whenever younger politicians brings up paternity leave and else, without noticing those criticisms are affecting the reproduction rate thus, the future of this country. Unfortunately, I feel like the majority isn’t well educated on the progression of demography derived problems and how far we have come compared to other developed countries.
Argument – Is the projection precise enough? What have we done in terms of policy making compared to other countries suffering from declining population?
Findings – Numbers mentioned in many papers are “Total Fertility Rate (TFR) and “Replacement Fertility Rate (RFR)*. What seems more relevant is the latter which by definition is the total fertility rate in which women would have only enough children to replace themselves and their partners. Effectively it is the total fertility rate at which newborn girls would have an average of exactly 1 daughter over their lifetimes. The rate is roughly 2.1 live births per woman for most industrialised countries. However, due to increased mortality rates, this is cancelled out to nearly below 1.0. In countries such as Japan, SouthKorea, US, UK etc. During calculation, demographic stats include foreigners residing in respective country, and in fact it is helping Sweden to maintain its reproduction rate. Sweden has a high fertility rate of 1.94 in which 10% counts for foreigners, thanks to deep support the government provides for parents.
Conclusion – I can’t resist to think, instead of just accepting foreign workers replacing Japanese workforce short term, we may want to take in parents looking for flexible work environment and support them with good medical options so they stay and blend in as functionable Japanese citizens as their children grow up. As long as our society doesn’t change and continue to have unsupportive policies, fertility rate wouldn’t improve drastically, and in order to verify the right methods, I would be delighted to join the school and study more in depth. I very much look forward to hearing from you on this matter.
Thank you and Regards,
*石井 太, 是川 夕, 武藤 憲真「外国人受入れが将来人口を通じて社会保障に及ぼす影響に関する人口学的研究」『人口問題研究』(2013)第69巻第4号, 国立社会保障・人口問題研究所, pp.65-85 *HOW GOVERNMENT POLICIES INFLUENCE DECLINING FERTILITY RATES IN DEVELOPED COUNTRIES Tari Glowaki and Amy K. Richmond, Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering United States Military Academy