The 39th Leadership Program on Japan (FY2010)
The demographic phenomenon of a low birthrate and aging, which is progressing rapidly in Japan, is exerting a major impact on the Japanese economy, including the shrinkage of demand and reduction of the labor force. The Japanese business community is making efforts to overcome these issues through the reform of employment patterns and innovation and, utilizing Japan’s high level of technology, the creation of new growth industries. In this program, IIST invited opinion leaders from around the world to study, through lectures by experts and visits to related companies, the specific efforts by the business community to address the problems of a low birthrate and aging, thereby promoting understanding of Japan in this field and developing economic exchange.
The 39th Leadership Program on Japan was implemented from September 6 to 11, 2010, on the theme of “Japan’s Aging Society and Declining Birthrate; Response by the Japanese Industry” with the participation of nine persons.
Dates: September 6 (Monday) - 11 (Saturday), 2010
Organized by:Institute for International Studies and Training (IIST)
Supported by:Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)
9persons (For details, please see bottom of page. )
-Visit to Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI):Courtesy Call to Mr.Chiaki Takahashi, Vice Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry
-Presentation on Creating Industry and Needs for Medical/Care/Elderly/Child Raising Services:
Mr.Toshio Mamiya, Director, Service Affairs Policy Division, Commerce and Information Policy Bureau, METI
-Presentation on Japanese Economy:
Mr. Risaburo NEZU, Senior Executive Fellow, Economic Research Center, Fujitsu Research Institute
-IBM Japan, Ltd.
-Presentation by Nichii Gakkan Company (at Sumida City SME Center)
-Presentation on Japanese Aging Society and Declining Birthrate
-Dr. Toru Suzuki, Senior Researcher, Department of Research Planning and Coordination, National Institute of Population and Social Securigy Research
-Toyota Motor Corporation
-Nissin Medical Industries Co., Ltd.
-Hiyoshiya Workshop Co., Ltd.
The invited opinion leaders from nine countries included government officials in charge of the demographic issues of a low birthrate and aging, executives of business organizations, and researchers. At the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry they heard a policy briefing and engaged in discussions on medical treatment, care, the elderly, and child-raising. In addition to lectures by experts, they also visited companies in Tokyo, Nagoya, and Kyoto which are involved in such activities as the development of robots that provide assistance in daily life and care for the elderly.
The participants made many comments regarding the low birthrate and aging society, which are common problems in advanced countries, and Japanese industry. For example, they pointed out that the Japanese government has a clear strategy relating to the low birthrate and aging society; that the business community is responding to new needs through innovations in goods and services, such as the development of robots to provide daily life assistance for the elderly; and that reform of the traditional family system and the participation of women in society are necessary to solve the issues. It is hoped that through their participation in the program, the participants learned many things that will be of reference for the low birthrate and aging policies of their own countries. In addition, there were some interest to attract the companies visited to the participants’ own countries, and it is hoped that economic exchange in this field will develop from now on.
1. Dr. Patricia ALANIS (Chile)
Division Chief of Planning, Development and Control
National Service for the Elderly
Ministry General Secretariat of the Presidency
2. Ms. Ninie Yan WANG (China)
Gerontological Society of China
3. Dr. Jacques LE CACHEUX (France)
Director, Economic Research Department
OFCE/Centre de recherche en economie de Sciences Po
Professor of Economics, Universite de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour
4. Mr. Thomas KATSADOUROS (Greece)
Special Advisor to the President
Athens Chamber of Commerce and Industry
5. Mr. Tamas LESKO (Hungary)
Deputy Head of Department
Department for Enterprise Development
Ministry for National Economy, Republic of Hungary
6. Ms. Gabriella DEGANO (Italy)
Head of International Department
7. Mr. Paulo Eurico Alves VARIZ (Portugal)
Directorate-General for Economic Activities
Ministry for the Economy, Innovation and Development of Portugal
Professor of Social Economics, Universidade Catolica Portuguesa
8. Dr. LOKE Wai Chiong (Singapore)
Programme Director, Health & Wellness
Singapore Economic Development Board & Ministry of Health
Executive Director, National Medical Research Council
9. Dr. Philip ROBINS (U.K.)
Fellow, St Antony’s College
Reader, University of Oxford
International Exchange Dept.