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Designing for an Aging, Depopulating Society

Political scientist and philosopher Yoshinori Hiroi sees the shrinking and aging of Japan as an opportunity to redefine and reform its cities. Social ties around the elderly and children, or the “community-oriented population,” will be the key to this reformation.
Yoshinori Hiroi, translated by Alan Gleason
  • 1.

    Sources: compiled by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, based on the population census, the population estimates, and the intercensal adjustment of current population estimates (2000–2005), all taken by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. The population projects for Japan (2006–2055) and the outline of results, methods, and assumptions were done by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, and the long-term time-series analysis of population distribution change in the Japanese archipelago (1974) was carried out by the National Land Agency.

  • 2.

    “Children” are under 15 years old. “Elderly” are 65 years old or older.

  • 3.

    Source: compiled by the author based on the national census up to 2010 and the “Future Population Projections for Japan” (2017 estimate) for 2020 and beyond.

  • Yoshinori Hiroi is an interdisciplinary scientist whose work combines public policy and the philosophy of science. Vice director and professor at the Kokoro Research Center at Kyoto University, he is dedicated to bridging the exploration of human life and death with a vision of society encompassing health care, welfare, and urban revitalization.