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History of demography in Japan

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Chapter Summary

This chapter gives an introduction and an overview of the development of demography in Japan. Demography or population science is understood as the scientific study of human population, mainly focusing on size, distribution, composition, population dynamics, and the socio-economic determinants and consequences of population change. The prehistory of demography or population science in Japan shows that it developed in the wake of the nation's modernisation and the centralization of government administration, first and foremost as applied demography for the purpose of official statistics. In the late Taishō and early Shōwa periods, several authors addressed the study of population problems as both quantitative population problems and qualitative population problems in their historical, domestic and international context. A population census was carried out in October 1947, based on the Statistics Law. The official figure of the Japanese death toll of World War II was 3.1 million.

Keywords: economic demography; Japanese population; population science; world war II

10.1163/ej.9789004154773.i-1199.44
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