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Past Event

Is Japan a Silver Democracy? Demographics, Politics, and Policy Choices for the 21st Century

Past Event

Is Japan a Silver Democracy? Demographics, Politics, and Policy Choices for the 21st Century

Will demographics shape Japan’s future, and if so, in what ways? A rapidly aging society and a sharp drop in population have long been anticipated in Japan, but their impact on the political process and public policy in the 21st century are hotly debated. Some see a silver democracy at work as elderly citizens constitute an ever larger share of the electorate and electoral institutions magnify their political voice. Others, however, dispute the notion that senior citizens are a major driving force in Japanese politics, skewing a whole gamut of economic and social policies in their favor.

On December 3, the Center for East Asia Policy Studies hosted a seminar on the implications of demographic change for Japanese politics and future public policy decision making. Expert panelists from the United States, Canada, and Japan offered insights and analyses on a range of issues, including the voting power and political mobilization of different age groups in Japan, the impact of demographics on Japan’s growth strategy, and the competing social policies and fiscal allocations benefiting young and elderly citizens.

Join the conversation on Twitter using #SilverDemocracy


Panel 1: Demographics and Politics


Ito Peng

Professor of Sociology and Public Policy; Director, Centre for Global Social Policy - University of Toronto


Leonard Schoppa

Associate Dean for the Social Sciences; Professor of Politics - University of Virginia


Michio Umeda

Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law and Letters - Ehime University

Panel 2: Demographics and Public Policy


John Creighton Campbell

Project Researcher, Institute of Gerontology, University of Tokyo - Professor Emeritus of Political Science, University of Michigan


Liv Coleman

Assistant Professor, Department of Government, History and Sociology - University of Tampa

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