Japan’s Population Problem

The United States’ alliance with Japan is the centerpiece of U.S. security in Asia, but new demographic challenges from within Japan raise concerns about the future of the region.

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Host
  • Gabrielle Sierra
    Podcast Host and Producer
Episode Guests
  • Zack Cooper
    Senior Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
  • Motoko Rich
    Tokyo Bureau Chief, New York Times
  • Sheila A. Smith
    John E. Merow Senior Fellow for Asia-Pacific Studies

Show Notes

The U.S.-Japan alliance is at the heart of U.S. security in Asia, and some consider Japan to be the United States’ most important ally. But Japan’s population is aging and its birth rate is on the decline, a problematic trend given that population size has historically equated to power. Now, the future of the countries’ economic, military, and governance partnership could be at stake. In this episode, three experts explain how Japan’s demographic quagmire could impact the United States sooner than anyone thinks.

 

Dig Deeper 

 

From Zach Cooper

 

US-Japan relations under Biden and Suga: The future of a critical alliance,” AEI

 

From Motoko Rich

 

A Shrinking Society in JapanNew York Times

 

From CFR

 

The U.S.-Japan Security Alliance,” Lindsay Maizland and Beina Xu

 

How Japan Is Upgrading Its Military,” Sheila A. Smith

 

Constitutional Change in Japan” 

 

A Changing United States and Japan,” Sheila A. Smith and Toshihiro Nakayama 

 

Read More

 

The rise of Japanese militarism,” Vox

 

Security laws usher in new era for pacifist Japan,” Japan Times

 

A Pacifist Japan Starts to Embrace the Military,” New York Times

 

Why Does Japan Make It So Hard for Working Women to Succeed?New York Times

 

Famous for its resistance to immigration, Japan opens its doors,” Nikkei Asia

 

The Mystery of Why Japanese People Are Having So Few Babies,” Atlantic 

 

Watch and Listen

 

Why China is building islands in the South China Sea,” Vox

 

Japan’s China Challenge,ChinaTalk 

 

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