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Education in the aged society: The demographic challenge to japanese education

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Chapter Summary

The effect on the Japanese education system of the shrinking of the number, both in absolute and in relative terms, of children in the Japanese population is much less well-known and forms the subject of this chapter. The bursting of the Japanese economic bubble at the start of the 1990s coincided almost exactly with the peak of the number of eighteen year-olds in the Japanese population. This generation, the second post-war baby boom, peaked at 2.05 million in 1992 and then began a steady decline in numbers to around 1.41 million in 2004. The difference in Japan has been that its demographic shift has arrived at a time when it already operated a 'universal' rather than an 'elite' or even a 'mass' higher education system.

Keywords: demographic shift; Japanese economic bubble; Japanese higher education system

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