Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Very Kind Of Them #58 and #59

The Economist this week examines the unnecessary pressure being put on Japan's new media to conform to Abe government-approved ways of thinking or to avoid examining the government's actions at all. A generous author includes a minor observation of mine. (Link)

Meanwhile, as a part of an ongoing series of conversations regarding the burning issues confronting Japan, Timothy Langley, Nancy Snow and I have a long conversation on rural depopulation, taking a big, necessary detour through the socio-economic roles of women.

Mr. Langley misspeaks at the outset as regards the ageing of Japanese society: only 1/4 of Japanese are above 65 years of age and 1/8 are above 75 years of age. Mr. Langley's percentages are for rural communities or for the so-called New Towns, the satellites cities built on farm and forest land in the 1960s. In the villages, with very few exceptions, and in the danchi, the giant public housing projects in the New Towns, the proportions of senior citizens is at 40% and on the way to 50%.

1 comment:

Japandrew said...

Thanks for the very interesting discussion. I think the love of furusato is now often little more than lip service. People know they are supposed to long for the ancestral home, but when the family visit is done, people are generally happy to get in the car or train back to the anonymity, convenience and cultural amenities of Tokyo. Likewise, there are any number of beautiful regions that would be ideal for telecommuting, but people don’t want to find themselves immersed in the suffocating social practices of inaka. In recent decades, Tokyo has attained a critical mass of intellectual, cultural and commercial capital. This will enable it to draw on the international pool of talent to sustain itself successfully as a city-state, one with an increasingly abstract relationship to the cultural and natural heritage preserve that surrounds it.