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December 3, 2010: Dr. Michael Sutton, Dr. Richard Cincotta and Ms. Yuki Tatsumi

(Click to enlarge) From left to right, Dr. Mark Borthwick, Dr. Richard Cincotta, Dr. Michael Sutton and Ms. Yuki Tatsumi discuss low fertility in Northeast Asia.

Low Fertility in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan: Economic and Strategic Implications


Related Publications:


Asia Pacific Bulletin No. 85 , by Michael Sutton
Asia Pacific Bulletin No. 84 , by Yuki Tatsumi
Asia Pacific Bulletin No. 76 , by Michael Sutton

(Washington, DC) Low fertility, population aging and population decline are often cited as three poisons which are draining the economic vitality and political influence of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. Dr. Michael Sutton challenges this popular view. His research, drawing in part from interviews with key policymakers in the region in August, 2010, tells a different story: policymakers are aware of these demographic trends and are cautiously optimistic that higher fertility levels will be reached by enacting prudent public policy. His presentation showed how and to what extent Japan, South Korea and Taiwan share a common demographic policy trajectory. Dr. Sutton explained how different views in the respective governments, institutional structures and societies are directing that trajecctory. His analysis also explored the strategic and political implications of demographic change for national identity, economic growth and foreign relations. Dr. Cincotta shared his own views on the demographic situations of these Northeast Asian countries and Ms. Tatsumi provided a Japanese view on the causes of low-fertility in Japan.  


This event was co-sponsored by the Henry L. Stimson Center.


Michael Sutton is a visiting fellow at the East-West Center in Washington and is also a research fellow in Japan’s World Trade Organization (WTO) Research Center, located in Aoyama Gakuin University in Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Sutton has lived and worked in Japan for ten years, and was most recently an assistant professor in the College of International Relations at Ritsumeikan University, Kyoto, Japan (2005 - 2009). He has written numerous scholarly articles on demographic change in East Asia, contemporary Japan and Asia Pacific regionalism, both in Japan and abroad, such as Ritsumeikan Journal of Asia Pacific Studies , Zeitschrift fur Bevolkerungswissenschaft , Korea Review of International Studies , Bulletin of Geography: Socio-Economic Series and the Journal for the Japan Society of Logistics and Shipping Economics. Dr. Sutton received his PhD from the University of Sydney, Faculty of Economics and Business in 2002.


Richard Cincotta is a political demographer and currently is the demographer-in-residence at the Henry L. Stimson Center. His research focuses on demographic transition and human migration and their relationships to political, social, economic and environmental change. His works on these topics have appeared in publications such as Foreign Policy , Nature and Science . Dr. Cincotta contributed to the National Intelligence Council’s most recent global futuring exercise, Global Trends 2025: A Transformed World and to the Geneva Declaration Secretariat’s Global Burden of Armed Violence. Dr. Cincotta is an editor and contributor to a forthcoming book, to be published by Springer in early 2011, on human population growth and distribution and its relationships with biological diversity. Dr. Cincotta is a trained population biologist, and received degrees from Colorado State University and SUNY College of Environmental Sciences and Forestry.


Yuki Tatsumi was appointed Senior Associate of the East Asia Program at the Henry L. Stimson Center in 2008, where she was previously a research fellow. Ms. Tatsumi has also worked with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) and the Embassy of Japan in Washington, DC, where she was a research associate and special assistant for political affairs, respectively. Her articles on Japanese security policy and Japanese domestic politics have appeared in many publications, such as PacNet Newsletter , Japan Watch , Japan Digest , Japan Times , International Herald Tribune and other various Japanese journals.  Ms. Tatsumi has also testified before the US House Committee on International Relations in 2006 and is a recipient of the 2009 Yasuhiro Nakasone Incentive Award. She holds a B.A. in liberal arts from the International Christian University in Tokyo, Japan and an M.A. in international economics and Asian studies from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at Johns Hopkins University.