Migration & Demographic Challenges

Demography and globalization are reshaping Asia. Japan has the most rapidly aging society of any major country, and the way it is adapting to this shift offers lessons for others around the world. Asia Pacific countries’ reactions to the growing movement of people are also driving important changes in the region. In response, JCIE undertakes various projects that promote the sharing of knowledge and experience to help countries tackle the challenges facing aging societies.  We also examine how Japan can adopt a sound immigration policy that encourages a more welcoming, multicultural society.


Related Activities

Winners of 1st Healthy Aging Prize for Asian Innovation Announced

July 31, 2020 | Online

The winners of the inaugural Healthy Aging Prize for Asian Innovation were presented in a Livestream event hosted by JCIE and ERIA.

Roundtable on Japan's Migration Policy

May 21, 2020 | Online

The first in JCIE’s rountables on Japan’s Migration Policy for 2020, which focused on the subject of the impact of COVID-19 on foreign residents living in Japan

JCIE Announces Grantees for Supporting Youths of Diverse Roots and an Inclusive Society Program

May 7, 2020 | Tokyo

In the hopes of opening the doors to a brighter future for young people of foreign origins who are living in Japan, JCIE has launched a major grant program, Supporting Youths of Diverse Roots and an I…

New Award Launched for Asian Innovations in Aging

January 8, 2020 | Asia

JCIE, together with the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, launched a new award program to recognize innovative approaches in Asia to the various challenges facing aging populations…

2019 US Young Political Leaders Delegation to Japan

November 16–26, 2019 | Tokyo, Kochi, Aichi

A bipartisan delegation of six state and local-level US political leaders visited Tokyo, Kochi Prefecture, and Aichi Prefecture for a series of meetings and roundtables with a variety of policymakers,…

Welcoming Foreign Workers and Japan's Future | Fukuoka Symposium

November 26, 2019 | Fukuoka, Japan

JCIE’s Roundtable on Japan’s Migration Policy held an outreach symposium in Fukuoka to discuss topics their recommendations and seek input on immigration-related issues in Japan.

Listening to the Views of Migrants—Japanese and Korean Societies Living with Migrants

November 12, 2019 | Tokyo, Kochi, Aichi

A diverse group of experts on immigration and representatives from the immigrant communities of both Japan and Korea gathered for this symposium to share the lessons of the Japan–South Korea Immigrati…

AHWIN Forum | Achieving Healthy Aging in Asia—Envisioning Better Care for Older Adults

October 17, 2019 | Tokyo

Capitalizing on this year’s gathering in Japan of health ministers and government officials for the G20 Health Ministers’ Meeting, JCIE worked with the Government of Japan and ERIA to co-organize the…

4th Roundtable on Japan's Migration Policy

September 24, 2019 | Tokyo, Japan

The third in a series of roundtables that are exploring the content of Japanese laws concerning foreigners residing in Japan.

Diet Women's Study Group | 4th Meeting

September 9, 2019 | Tokyo

The Study Group discussed the issues of migration and refugees with a leading expert from a Japanese NPO.

Towards Population Ageing in Africa

August 29, 2019 | Yokohama, Japan

Held on the sidelines of the 7th Tokyo International Conference of African Development (TICAD7), this event brought together influential policymakers, NGO representatives, and academicians for a dialo…

Japan–South Korea Immigration Policy Exchange | 2nd Korea Site Visit

July 7–10, 2019 | South Korea

A one-week exchange program for a delegation from Japan consisting of immigrants and others with a special focus on national and local government efforts to support immigrant communities in South Kore…

3rd Roundtable on Japan's Migration Policy

June 24, 2019 | Tokyo, Japan

The third in a series of roundtables that are exploring the content of Japanese laws concerning foreigners residing in Japan.

Japan–South Korea Immigration Policy Exchange | 2nd Japan Site Visit

May 30–June 2, 2019 | Tokyo and Hamamatsu, Japan

A one-week exchange program for a delegation from South Korea consisting of immigrants and others with a special focus on education for immigrants and attendance at the national forum for Solidarity N…

Roundtable on Japan's Migration Policy | Symposium on Accepting Foreigners and Japan's Future

March 26, 2019 | Tokyo, Japan

As part of JCIE’s Roundtable on Japan’s Migration Policy series, a major symposium was convened to examine the question of “Accepting Foreigners and Japan’s Future—Toward a Basic Law on Foreigners Res…


AHWIN Papers | Responding to the Needs of Older Persons During a Pandemic

Prepared by Kim Gould Ashizawa and Stephen McHugh

June 2020

The inaugural AHWIN Paper draws on an online panel discussion that explored what policy lessons can be learned from the experiences of the United States, Japan, and Malaysia during the COVID-19 pandem…

Japan May Allow Immigration of Hong Kong Financial Sector, Specialized Workers

Palash Gosh

June 12, 2020

Article on Japan potentially allowing immigration of Hong Kong financial sector workers. Features quotes from Toshihiro Menju, Managing Director and Chief Program Officer at JCIE

Opening the Door to Incoming Workers

Yuko Aizawa

Feb 27, 2019

An analysis of the rise in non-Japanese residents and workers in Japan, including a breakdown of how various nationalities are represented and what sectors they tend to join in the workforce.

Japan’s Historic Immigration Reform: A Work in Progress

Toshihiro Menju

Feb 6, 2019

Toshihiro Menju analyzes the recent, controversial new reforms and their implications for Japanese immigration policy and the future of Japanese society.

Japan Eases Immigration Restrictions to Fill Chronic Care Worker Shortage

Sally Herships

October 18, 2018

In the past, Japan allowed mostly highly skilled professionals in the country. Now, due to severe labor shortages, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has ordered the government to look into new policies that w…

Why Japan Is Paying Single Mothers to Move to the Countryside

Susie Armitage

June 6, 2018

Japan’s population is projected to shrink by a third by 2065. With small towns getting smaller, local governments are looking for creative ways to bring in new people.

In Japan, these Single Moms and Shrinking Cities are Trying a New Start – Together

Susie Armitage

Nov 2, 2017

Susie Armitage writes on the relationship between Japan’s single moms, who face many challenges in Japan’s work culture, and the underpopulated areas that are developing programs to promote relocation…

Accepting Immigrants is the Ultimate Key to Reviving Japan

Toshihiro Menju

October 11, 2017

The Japanese government continues to avoid adopting an immigration policy unpopular with the public as the population continues to decline. While the groundwork for receiving migrants has been laid to…

LBO Focus: Japan’s Aging Population Burnishes Health Deals

Laura Cooper

September 6, 2016

The Japanese government realizes the country lacks a sufficient capacity of nursing homes and senior-care facilities. For the past five years, the government has worked to incentivize the private sect…

There Are More Adult Diapers Sold in Japan Than Baby Diapers

Sally Herships

August 29, 2016

Japan is now arguably the oldest country in the world. It’s not like you couldn’t see it walking around Tokyo or the countryside. But one of the biggest indicators of this shift is that, with declinin…

A Dying Japanese Village Brought Back To Life — By Scarecrows

Ina Jaffe

August 26, 2016

Japan’s population is declining. For example, the rural village of Nagoro used to have around 300 residents. Now it has 30. Visitors know they’ve arrived when they see the three farmers in floppy hats…

For Some Older Adults In Japan, A Chance To Stay In The Workforce

Ina Jaffe

August 25, 2016

Hiromi Yamamuro is doing something that’s relatively rare in Japan. At age 67, he’s still working in the corporate world, where traditionally, the mandatory retirement age has been 60. But Yamamuro ke…

Beyond Slurpees: Many Japanese Mini-Marts Now Cater To Elders

Ina Jaffe

August 23, 2016

In Japanese cities, space is at a premium. So convenience stores that cram everything from Kleenex to rice balls into a few square yards are everywhere. But they’re not just a place for Slurpees and s…

Japanese City Takes Community Approach To Dealing With Dementia

Ina Jaffe

August 23, 2016

No government plan can keep people with dementia from wandering. But health officials in Japan hope there eventually will be entire communities prepared to help keep them safe, if and when they do. Th…

How Japan Is Dealing With Impacts Of Supporting The Oldest Population In The World

Ina Jaffe

August 21, 2016

Japan has the oldest population in the world. Nearly 27 percent of the people there are 65 or older. NPR’s Ina Jaffe shares her stories on how Japan is changing as its population grows older.