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Neighbourhood associations and the demographic challenge

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on how neighbourhood associations (NHAs) respond to the demographic challenge. There are subgroups attached to most neighbourhood associations (NHAs) that seem perhaps particularly well-suited to respond to either the ageing society or declining fertility aspects of the demographic challenge: elderly people’s clubs for the former problem, and children’s associations and women’s associations for the latter. Neighbourhood associations are an appropriate locus to examine for such a response, because, with nearly 300,000 groups across the archipelago, they are Japan's most numerous form of civil society organization, and because, in formal membership, they encompass a large majority of Japanese. Neighbourhood associations are an important aspect of civil society in Japan. NHAs can respond to the challenges of Japan's ageing society in two ways. NHAs effectively sustain social capital, and assist with the implementation of government policies towards the aged.

Keywords: ageing society; declining fertility; Japan's demographic challenge; Neighbourhood Associations (NHAs)



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