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Demographics and the state

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Chapter Summary

This chapter begins by examining the earlier two periods of active state efforts to shape demographic trends. It argues past experience attempting to influence fertility rates has not given the Japanese state much of an advantage in its latest campaign to increase the number of babies being born. On the contrary, memories of aggressive pro-natal policies during the war have made it difficult for the government to adopt policies aimed at boosting fertility rates while post-war policies encouraging small families with mothers devoted to raising and educating their children have made the task of reversing fertility trends in the most recent period all the more difficult. The history of the Japanese state's attempts to shape demographic trends makes it clear that Japanese officials care deeply about the size and structure of their population.

Keywords: demographic trends; Japanese state; post-war Japan



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