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The demographic time bomb that could hit America

The demographic time bomb that could hit America | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Japan’s demographic crisis provides some lessons for where America might be headed."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This op-ed looks at the demographic trends of Japan's declining population and tries to see what this might mean for the United States. 

Questions to Ponder: What are the cultural and economic forces that lead to a declining population? What are some of the difficulties that confront countries with declining populations? 

 

GeoEd Tags: declining population, population, USA, Japan.

Scoop.it Tags: declining populations, population, USA, Japan.

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Nancy Watson's curator insight, April 19, 10:40 AM
Population unit 
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Inside North Korea's bubble in Japan

"Why North Korea has children’s schools in Japan. This isn’t a story about a physical border. North Koreans living in Japan experience a much less visible kind of border, one made of culture, tradition, history, and ideology. The result is a North Korean bubble in Japan whose members face fierce discrimination from Japanese society, leading the community to turn to Pyongyang for support. Now that community is being tested like never before. North Korea routinely threatens to destroy Japan with nuclear weapons, prompting a spike in Japanese nationalism. Japanese politicians are feeling increasing pressure to crack down on this North Korean bubble, creating a battleground in the most unlikely of places: schools."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This episode of Vox borders offers some excellent insight into a cultural enclave that feels deeply connected with a totalitarian regime.  From the outside, this raises so many questions, but understanding the cultural, historical, political, and economic context shows how this peculiar community continues.  The entire series of Vox Borders is fantastic material, dripping with geographic content.   

Tags: North KoreaJapan, East Asiaborders, political, historical.

WordPress TAGS: North Korea, Japan, East Asia, borders, political, historical.

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Albahae Geography's curator insight, September 20, 2018 9:18 AM
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K Rome's curator insight, October 6, 2018 7:36 PM

This episode of Vox borders offers some excellent insight into a cultural enclave that feels deeply connected with a totalitarian regime.  From the outside, this raises so many questions, but understanding the cultural, historical, political, and economic context shows how this peculiar community continues.  The entire series of Vox Borders is fantastic material, dripping with geographic content.   

Tags: North KoreaJapan, East Asiaborders, political, historical.

WordPress TAGS: North Korea, Japan, East Asia, borders, political, historical.

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Which Countries Have Shrinking Populations?

Seth Dixon's insight:

This video explores some of the impacts of a declining population on a country (for example, a smaller workforce, economic decline, and growing public debt).  Eastern Europe as a region is used as the principle example and the countries of Bulgaria, Moldova, and Japan are highlighted. 

 

Tags: declining populations, population, demographic transition model, models, migration, Bulgaria, Moldova, Japan.

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'This is death to the family': Japan's fertility crisis is creating economic and social woes never seen before

'This is death to the family': Japan's fertility crisis is creating economic and social woes never seen before | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Shrinking GDP and a falling population are poised to turn Japan into what economists call a "demographic time bomb," and other countries could be next.
Seth Dixon's insight:

The article headline is quite click-baity, but there is some real substance to this article.  The graphs are especially useful to teach concepts such as population momentum and the age-dependency ratio. These were the key parts of the article that caught my eye:

  • An aging population will mean higher costs for the government, a shortage of pension and social security-type funds, a shortage of people to care for the very aged, slow economic growth, and a shortage of young workers.
  • Following feminism's slow build in Japan since the 1970s, today's workers strive for equality between the sexes, something Japan's pyramid-style corporate structure just isn't built for. That's because institutional knowledge is viewed as a big deal in Japan.
  • The elderly now make up 27% of Japan's population. In the US, the rate is only 15%. Experts predict the ratio in Japan could rise to 40% by 2050. With that comes rising social-security costs, which the shrinking younger generations are expected to bear.
  • To make up for an aging population and aversion toward immigrant work, Japan's tech sector has stepped up its efforts in robotics and artificial intelligence.

Tags: culture, genderlabor, populationmigration, JapanEast Asia.

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Lorraine Chaffer's curator insight, June 20, 2017 10:34 PM

Preliminary HSc - Global challenges: Population

Deanna Wiist's curator insight, September 12, 2017 9:01 PM

The article headline is quite click-baity, but there is some real substance to this article.  The graphs are especially useful to teach concepts such as population momentum and the age-dependency ratio. These were the key parts of the article that caught my eye:

  • An aging population will mean higher costs for the government, a shortage of pension and social security-type funds, a shortage of people to care for the very aged, slow economic growth, and a shortage of young workers.
  • Following feminism's slow build in Japan since the 1970s, today's workers strive for equality between the sexes, something Japan's pyramid-style corporate structure just isn't built for. That's because institutional knowledge is viewed as a big deal in Japan.
  • The elderly now make up 27% of Japan's population. In the US, the rate is only 15%. Experts predict the ratio in Japan could rise to 40% by 2050. With that comes rising social-security costs, which the shrinking younger generations are expected to bear.
  • To make up for an aging population and aversion toward immigrant work, Japan's tech sector has stepped up its efforts in robotics and artificial intelligence.

Tags: culture, genderlabor, populationmigration, JapanEast Asia.

josiewern's curator insight, December 8, 2017 4:33 AM

unit 2 article 1              2

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Getting Japanese Citizenship

Getting Japanese Citizenship | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"To become a Japanese citizen, a foreigner must display 'good conduct', among other things. The rules do not specify what that means, and make no mention of living wafu (Japanese-style). But for one candidate, at least, it involved officials looking in his fridge and inspecting his children’s toys to see if he was Japanese enough (he was). Bureaucratic discretion is the main reason why it is hard to get Japanese nationality. The ministry of justice, which handles the process, says officials may visit applicants’ homes and talk to their neighbors."

Seth Dixon's insight:

Japan has a remarkably homogeneous population, in large part because they have very tight immigration laws (here is a more extended list of the requirements to obtain a Japanese citizenship).

 

Questions to Ponder: How is the notion of Japanese citizenship different from American citizenship?  As Japan's population continues to decline, how might that change Japan's migration/citizenship policies?   

 

Tags: JapanEast Asia, place, perspective, cultural norms, culture.

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Richard Aitchison's curator insight, March 29, 2018 8:51 AM
Interesting to see how the Japanese handle citizenship differently than most of world and America. Japan is mostly a homogeneous culture and from seeing there citizenship laws one can tell why. A foreigner must live there for 10 years  and display "good conduct" which no one really knows what it is and also prove to be Japanese enough in culture. It will be interesting to see how this continues today in a world that keeps becoming more and more global. All over the news we see constant backlash about countries that do not want to accept more immigrants or give certain rights to citizens, however you never really hear of the Japanese. The Japanese have many cultures that they can keep alive with mostly a homogeneous population and most likely helps cause less violence and less arguments among its politics. Imagine if here in America they searched your house to see if you were American enough? I think that might be headline news by the night. 
tyrone perry's curator insight, April 24, 2018 10:35 PM
If you want to move and live in Japan and attain a citizenship be ready to give up your current citizenship and go on one heck of a rollercoaster.  Japan is one of the toughest places to get a citizenship.  For one you have to live there for at least 10 years.  Then the government can and will come to your home to inspect it from the types of pens you have there to the kid of pictures you hang on your wall.  The main thing is the Japanese government wants you to really adapt to their culture.  Very few are naturalized, out of 12446 that applied only 9400 were accepted.  But the good news is, is it is free compared to 550 in the US and 1200 in the U.k.
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Japan's Emperor Akihito fears age could impact ability to rule

Japan's Emperor Akihito fears age could impact ability to rule | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"In a rare televised speech, Japan's Emperor Akihito has addressed his people directly about his declining health. A Japanese monarch has not stepped down in about 200 years.

Once revered as a living God, the Japanese emperor became a ceremonial figure in Japan's constitutional monarchy after World War II. Occupying forces seized much of the imperial family's wealth and today Parliament controls the household's annual budget and allowances, which total well over $100 million."
Seth Dixon's insight:

It's amazing to think that this is only the 3rd public message from an Emperor since the invention of TV and the radio.  (1-Surrender to end WWII, 1945. 2-Fukushima nuclear disaster, 2011, 3-Emperor's Declining health, 2016).  This news though, brings up the questions of how many monarchs still rule today, and with what amount of power do they actually have?  The map accompanying this gives the quick run-down.  

 

Tags: Japan, political.

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What it would look like if the Hiroshima bomb hit your city

What it would look like if the Hiroshima bomb hit your city | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Maps bring the horror of Hiroshima home -- literally.  

Alex Wellerstein, a nuclear historian at the Stevens Institute of Technology, created a NukeMap that allows you to visualize what the Hiroshima and Nagasaki explosions would look like in your hometown. Kuang Keng Kuek Ser at Public Radio International has also developed a version, using slightly different estimates.

Here is what Little Boy, the Hiroshima bomb, would look like on Wellerstein's map if detonated in New York City."

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Kristen McDaniel's curator insight, August 7, 2015 11:12 AM

The NukeMap allows you to set different determinations such as bomb size, etc, as well.  

Adilson Camacho's curator insight, August 8, 2015 11:53 AM

Human Nature!

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 25, 2015 11:48 AM

I highly suggest tinkering around with "NukeMap," as I have spent the last 30 minutes seeing how different bombs would destroy my neighborhood and the surrounding areas- it will even adjust for varying casualty rates in areas with higher or lower populations, even just by moving the detonation site a couple of streets away. It's pretty cool at the surface, but to examine the destructive capabilities of some of these weapons is downright terrifying. You view the blast radius encompassing your home, your entire existence, on a computer screen, and its easy to forget the devastation of it all disappearing. For those who survived the atomic bombs dropped at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there was no simulation to tinker with, but instead a reality more terrible than anything I've ever had to endure in my own personal life. Thousands of lives lost, thousands more left irreversibly shattered, never to be the same again. All because men in government buildings on opposite sides of the ocean couldn't get along. No one wins in war.

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First photographs emerge of new Pacific island off Tonga

First photographs emerge of new Pacific island off Tonga | Geography Education | Scoop.it

The first photographs have emerged of a newly formed volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean after three men climbed to the peak of the land mass off the coast of Tonga. Experts believe a volcano exploded underwater and then expanded until an island formed. The island is expected to erode back into the ocean in a matter of months.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Additionally, here are two islands off the coast of Japan that 'kissed' after a volcanic eruption caused them to coalesce into one island


Tags: physicalimages, volcano.

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Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, May 7, 2015 9:34 PM

I just find this fascinating.  History is excellent to study but so is the watching history in the making.  This volcanic island formation off the coast of Tonga is a modern day phenomenon which will one day be history.  Some people predict it will erode back into the water but some others think it will be able to last longer.  Either way stuff like this is pretty cool to watch and study while it is happening before your very own eyes.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 11:20 PM

This is pretty cool that a new island is being formed, due to a volcano that erupted under water. I am sure there are many more in other places, but it is a new opportunity for life, development and travel. Although since it is new, obviously now would not be a good time because you do not want a volcano erupting on people, that would not be an ideal situation. Although, I hope to one day be able to travel to this new island to check it out. 

Zavier Lineberger's curator insight, May 3, 2018 1:48 PM
(Oceania) It's not often we get to see the formation of a new island, but in a historical geological perspective they occur rather frequently, especially in the Pacific. The island was formed off the coast of the sovereign Polynesian state of Tonga from underwater volcanic activity in 2015 and is less than a square mile. However, some islands like this are temporary and will be eroded by the ocean. Already, the island has developed an ecosystem consisting of birds from the neighboring chain of islands, and when eroded, could provide a home for shallow water fish.
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Navigating the East China Sea

Navigating the East China Sea | Geography Education | Scoop.it
How to ease tensions between Beijing and Tokyo over an uninhabited string of islands.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Experts are saying that Chinese-Japanese relations are as bad as they've been since the end of World War II.  Why all the commotion?  The tension has been heightened in the last few months when China claimed control over the airspace in  the East China Sea. Then the Japanese Prime Minister also gave offering to a shrine to honor World War II soldiers (veterans and heroes to some Japanese, war criminals to most of the international community).  China sees this as proof that Japan is becoming more militaristic and willing to exert more power in East Asia.  However, at the root of this issue is that both Japan and China claim certain islands and that is increasingly becoming a sticking point in foreign relations.  See this book review on "Asia' Cauldron" for more context on the East China Sea.      


Tags: borders, political, conflict, China, Japan, East Asia.

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Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, November 24, 2014 10:25 PM

This is interesting to see, two countries that both had claims to a string of islands and had  a working relationship when it came to them.  Then a Chinese boat decided it needed to provoke the Japanese and bump up against one of the Japanese boats.  After years of agreeing and maintaining the peace regarding the islands China felt that Japan was instigating a fight over the islands with the arrest of the Chinese captain.  Again not much longer later China is pointing fingers at Japan again after Japan purchased islands from the private owner.  The article mentions that the best action that could be taken with these islands is to designate them as a preserve, this way no one can touch them, live on them or have military use with them.  It also notes that with the climate between the two countries now would not be a good time to discuss these options as they probably wouldn't agree.  When the tensions begin to ease this should be a priority for the two countries.  It should not be left with a future generation to deal with like it has been in the past.  It needs to be dealt with as soon as possible.  I think making it a preserve would be the best thing that the two countries could do.  Since an agreement will not be made about who should have full control of the islands why not just leave them to the birds.  No one country would have control and various species would have a safe place to make their homes without an negative human affects that come along with having their habitats among humans.

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:06 PM
While Japan and China are now able to compete with the rest of the world on from an economic spectrum, it appears as if this competition has taken a toll on the two countries. Rather than trying to share the islets that borders both countries, China is looking to dominate the global market while taking out their competitors; even if that means their neighbors. Rather than fighting with one another, these two megapowers should make use of the resources their location both possess. With China trying to enlarge its borders by creating these invisible borders that expands from its homeland out into the Pacific Ocean, its only matter of time before one of the countries China's agitating enters into a territorial war with the super power.
Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:40 PM

It's truly a tense situation regarding the waters of the East China Sea today. These tensions spread from the fact both China and Japan claim ownership of a number of islands as well as the very waters surrounding them. These problems are only magnified because of America's role withing the region. Because of out alliances we have to side with the Japanese in their territorial claims but a the same time we fear angering China because of our heavy reliance on them economically and wish to prevent too much conflict. 

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Tsunami in Japan 2011

"This video captures some amazing footage of the 2011 tsunami in Japan."

Seth Dixon's insight:

This is an absolutely gripping video, that is equally amazing and horrifying.  In Kesennuma, Japan, the 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami caused catastrophic damage, although many were able to survive on the high-rise rooftop (like the videographer).  Much like a tsunami, the video starts out slow with only alarm bells, but at around the 2:20 minute mark the first sign of the small wave makes its way up the river, with onlookers unsure of the magnitude of the impending damage.  The riverbanks are breached at 7:43.  By 14 minutes, the debris and wreckage is massive, and the quantity of water flooding in is still growing.  The last 6 minutes shows the waters receding, but the impact of the tsunami still spreads as fires spread through town. For a full documentary on the tsunami, click here.  I surely hope that no one reading ever gets a closer look at what a tsunami looks like in person.  This time lapse is an audiovisual representation of global seismic activity puts the Japanese tsunami into it proper context (wait for the dramatic event at the 1:45 mark).


Tags: Japan, East Asia, disasters, geomorphology, erosion.

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Tracy Galvin's curator insight, May 3, 2014 7:17 PM

Most people do not realize the sheer power of a tsunami. It has the force of the entire ocean depth behind each wave. It also pours onto land for hours until it stops then pours back into the ocean for another hour or so. Most people killed are killed by objects such as cars and buildings crushing them. Seeing videos such as these can help people get a better idea of the forces actually involved and maybe save lives.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:33 PM

I hope something like this never happens again. Tsunamis are unreal. They are literally horrifying and to see something like this captured on camera is actually really scary. Damn plate tectonics and people living on the water front.

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 20, 2015 1:52 PM

So, I will never forget this morning because my brother was living in Japan at the time and I remember getting a text from him saying "we are ok."  My brother is a bit of a jokester so I figured he had something up his sleeve, however, when I woke up and heard of the destruction, I was so relieved to know he and his family were safe.  For the next month my brother flew rescue missions and brought water and food to the survivors.  He had taken hundred of pictures, and I was able to witness first hand how devastating the tsunami had been.  My heart still goes out to those people, and I am forever grateful that my brother is alive and well.

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Struggle For Smarts? How Eastern And Western Cultures Tackle Learning

Struggle For Smarts? How Eastern And Western Cultures Tackle Learning | Geography Education | Scoop.it
For the most part in American culture, intellectual struggle in school children is seen as an indicator of weakness, while in Eastern cultures it is not only tolerated, it is often used to measure emotional strength.
Seth Dixon's insight:

How we approach the educational process itself is inherently cultural.  What sociological impacts are their for either of these paradigms?  How might these differences affect other aspects of human geography?     

Tagspodcast, education, cultureEast AsiaUSA, unit 3 culture.

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Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 20, 2015 2:25 PM

I actually feel this is a great way to teach students, we just aren’t used to it in America.  The students who already know what they’re doing should be helping those who struggle.  When we boast about how well someone does at something, it can actually discourage the student who doesn’t understand.  It is definitely a tricky situation to be in, but I can understand why.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 25, 2015 6:54 AM

This video lays out them main difference between educational theory in the west, and educational theory in the east. In the west, we place value on a student achieving the right answer. Right Answers eventually lead to high grades. All classes eventually boil down to the grade given. In reality, it is all that most parents, teachers and students care about. In the east knowledge is measured through the work that goes in to getting the correct answer. Mistakes are seen as a natural outcome of hard work. They are not discouraged as they are in western education.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 15, 2015 2:16 PM

the difference in mentality is amazing as described in this article the difference in perception of struggling students in america and Asian countries is staggering and i think that our country has been so concerned for so long with only the best succeeding that it needs to be fixed, i know that we have taken steps int he right direction with different government programs which is promising and hopefully this development will continue

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East Asia's maritime disputes

East Asia's maritime disputes | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A race for energy resources makes unresolved territorial disputes more dangerous in both North-East and South-East Asia

Tags: borders, political, conflict, waterChina, Japan, East Asia.

Seth Dixon's insight:

Many of the geopolitical conflicts in the East Pacific have their roots in the territorial disputes over islands that at first glance seem as if they wouldn't be worth the trouble.  However, since the the UNCLOS agreement gives countries 200 nautical miles off their coasts to be an Exclusive Economic Zone, that greatly enhanced the strategic value of controlling these islands. 

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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:48 PM

I couldn't view this content. Its "cookies" were unable to read my computer.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, December 12, 2014 1:04 PM

Oil resources in the South China Sea are fueling territorial disputes over small islands and territorial waters. China, in order to claim these oil plays for itself, is claiming islands all over the sea. Extending its EEZ will ensure these oil plays. Many of these islands are no more than coral atolls, but China is arguing that they belong to it because of its measures to develop some of these islands. One resort islands and weather stations are being constructed in order to provide some sort of legitimate claim to these places. Also, by claiming these islands and expanding the EEZ, China is trying to claim other countries' EEZs as its own. While China is the powerhouse of the region, many fear that land grabs may turn into military action. 

 

As long as the world is reliant on fossil fuels, territorial disputes will continue and possibly grow in number. Dependency on a non-renewable resource will eventually lead to more regional and global arguments. 

Edgar Manasseh Jr.'s curator insight, April 12, 2015 3:26 PM

The dispute between The north and South of asia are evident. in a global perspective this territorial battle in somewhat may affect global development as far as trading with the United states. It will affect global interests, and this is why the senator kerry as i recall has made countless trips to help resolve the issues between the two North east and the South to come into an agreement to help because they dont want to loose energy resources and disturb the security that has been provided its a very tough situation.

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Elderly Spur Japan Stores

Elderly Spur Japan Stores | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Unicharm Corp.’s sales of adult diapers in Japan exceeded those for babies for the first time last year. At Daiei Inc. supermarkets, customers can feel Japan aging -- literally: It has made shopping carts lighter.


Japan's demographic shifts are well-chronicled: the Japanese are having fewer children and the improvements in healthcare mean that the elderly are living longer than ever.  Combined this means that Japan's population pyramid is getting "top heavy."  This population change is having huge econmic impacts as the percentage of Japanese people is now over 23%.  Retailers and industries are heavily targeting this expanding demographic with financial clout that outspends all other cohorts.


Tags: Japan, declining population, economic, population, demographics, unit 2 population, East Asia, consumption.

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The changing face of Japan: labour shortage opens doors to immigrant workers

The changing face of Japan: labour shortage opens doors to immigrant workers | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Japan – once one of the world’s most homogenous societies – is starting to unwind its traditional opposition to large-scale immigration
Seth Dixon's insight:

Japan is one of the closest examples of a nation-state.  And like Iceland, that is in part because the ocean historically has acted as a massive barrier to cultural diffusion and migration. Today though, modern transportation makes that barrier negligible.  Cultural attitudes have continued to not favor international immigration but their declining population has forced a change towards the end of 2018 (see any of theses five articles from Washington Post, Japanese Times, Nippon.com, the Guardian, and the Diplomat).

Japan has traditionally been one on the countries most opposed to allowing large number of migrants into their country.  The administration is still presenting themselves as tough on immigration; the 2018 policy change will allow semi-skilled workers to enter Japan for 5 years, but they cannot bring their family members with them, and they still must pass a Japanese-language exam.  These shifts are not an abandonment of policies that seek to preserve cultural homogeneity, but they are also an acknowledgement of the demographic realities and struggles of a declining population.     

Until 2018, Japanese policy only highly-skilled migrants were allowed in to Japan, with advantages given to those with Japanese ancestry.  However, these stringent migration policies coupled with Japan’s declining birth rates meant that Japan’s population was declining substantially enough to negatively impact their economy.  There were foreign workers filling in the gaps, but only 20% of those workers had functioning work visas under the old prohibitive system. This new policy is primarily aimed at replacing workers in sectors that are facing severe labor shortages, that are being classified as “semi-skilled workers.”  The law is trying to walk a fine line, trying to bring in more workers to Japan while simultaneously making it very difficult still trying to make it very tough for these workers to settle permanently in Japan. This will have a significant impact on Japanese society, and in the near future, it’s cultural institutions.   

 

GeoEd Tags: Japan, East Asia, declining population, migration.

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The Japanese art of (not) sleeping

The Japanese art of (not) sleeping | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"The Japanese don’t sleep. This is what everyone – the Japanese above all – say. I first encountered these intriguing attitudes to sleep during my first stay in Japan in the late 1980s. Daily life was hectic; people filled their schedules with work and leisure appointments, and had hardly any time to sleep. Many voiced the complaint: 'We Japanese are crazy to work so much!' But in these complaints one detected a sense of pride at being more diligent and therefore morally superior to the rest of humanity. Yet, at the same time, I observed countless people dozing on underground trains during my daily commute. Some even slept while standing up, and no one appeared to be at all surprised by this.

The positive image of the worker bee, who cuts back on sleep at night and frowns on sleeping late in the morning, seemed to be accompanied by an extensive tolerance of so-called ‘inemuri’ – napping on public transportation and during work meetings, classes and lectures. Women, men and children apparently had little inhibition about falling asleep when and wherever they felt like doing so."

Seth Dixon's insight:

If you subscribe to Edward Hall's Cultural Iceberg model (video), we can readily see, touch, or experience many parts of a society's culture; what they wear, the ways the communicate, the food they eat, etc.  Beneath the surface, though, are the less obvious cultural traits that aren't so easily observed.  These aspects of culture, such as the beliefs, values, and thought patterns of a society, are critical to understanding differing cultural traits.

 

Questions to Ponder: In this article about sleep in Japan, what elements of external culture (above the surface) are present?  What elements of internal culture (beneath the surface) are present?  How do the cultural traits beneath the surface shape the cultural traits that are above the surface?    

Scoop.it Tags: culturecultural norms, labor, JapanEast Asia.

WordPress TAGS: cultural norms, culture, labor, Japan, East Asia.

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10 countries that desperately want people to have more sex

10 countries that desperately want people to have more sex | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Roughly half the countries around the world experience low fertility rates, and some get pretty creative in how they encourage procreation.
Seth Dixon's insight:

While many countries have anti-natalist policies (policies to discourage more births), other countries with declining populations have pro-natalist policies in an attempt to increase fertility rates.  While not an exhaustive list, this list gives a few more examples that teachers can use to show how countries in stage 4 of the demographic transition are dealing with declining fertility rates.  

 

 

Tags: declining populations, population, demographic transition model, modelsunit 2 population. 

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Deanna Wiist's curator insight, September 12, 2017 8:55 PM

While many countries have anti-natalist policies (policies to discourage more births), other countries with declining populations have pro-natalist policies in an attempt to increase fertility rates.  While not an exhaustive list, this list gives a few more examples that teachers can use to show how countries in stage 4 of the demographic transition are dealing with declining fertility rates.  

 

 

Tags: declining populations, population, demographic transition model, modelsunit 2 population. 

Ms. Amanda Fairchild's curator insight, October 16, 2017 1:21 PM
Examples of pro-natalist countries.
Frances Meetze's curator insight, September 10, 2018 1:18 PM
Population

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Japan forces a harsh choice on children of migrant families

Japan forces a harsh choice on children of migrant families | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Born in Japan, Gursewak Singh considers himself Japanese. The government doesn't. But it offers children like him a chance to stay - if their parents leave.

 

Gursewak’s parents, who are Sikhs, fled to Japan from India in the 1990s. For several years, they lived without visas under the radar of the authorities until they were put on a status known as “provisional release” in 2001. It means they can stay in Japan as long as their asylum application is under review.  While there were almost 14,000 asylum cases under review at the end of 2015, Japan accepted only 27 refugees last year. The year before that, the number was 11.

The low acceptance rate stands in stark contrast to Europe, which has seen hundreds of thousands of refugees arrive from countries such as Iraq, Syria and Eritrea. In the first half of the year, European countries ruled on 495,000 asylum applications, approving more than 293,000.

 

Tags: culture, Sikhdeclining populationpopulationmigrationrefugees, JapanEast Asia,             .

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It's a Matter of Perspective

"There's a flip side to everything," the saying goes, and in 2 minutes, Derek Sivers shows this is true in a few ways you might not expect.

Seth Dixon's insight:
In this ultra-short TED talk, Derek Sivers show that what is considered true is often dependent on your perspective, the context, and how it is situated within a particular paradigm.  This is a mind-blowing video because it exposed our framework (which might go unquestioned as universal) to be but one of many ways in which to organize the world and the information within it.  His first example is the Japanese address system (I prefer to show this version of the same material since the visuals are better).  I also enjoy showing this clip together to hammer home the point that our perspective shapes our view of reality.  
 
Tags: Japan, perspective, TED. 
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Why Little Kids in Japan Are So Independent

Why Little Kids in Japan Are So Independent | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In Japan, small children take the subway and run errands alone, no parent in sight. The reason why has more to do with social trust than self-reliance.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Some cultural practices can be transplanted just about anywhere; others require a cultural environment wherein that particular practice is sufficiently well-known and communally supported for it to thrive.  The idea of sending kids this young out on errands is almost unthinkable in the United States given our cultural norms connected to youth and space.  As additional food for thought, here is an article about 9 parenting strategies around the world that culturally don't mesh well within the United States.  

 

Questions to Ponder: Why do cultural norms vary so much from place to place?  How are your actions shaped by cultural norms?  Can you think of an example of a cultural practice that is accepted somewhere, but wouldn't work in most other societies?


Tags: JapanEast Asia, place, perspective, cultural norms, culture.

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Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 25, 2015 6:49 AM

If this happened in the United States, it would lead the cable news channels for about a year. Most Parents in our country will hardly ever let their small children leave the house, never mind actually be by themselves for a long time period. This video is an excellent showcase of the differences between western and eastern cultures. The eastern culture prioritize independence at an early age. They make a point of making sure that children can become self sustainable. In the west, we go to extraordinary links to shield our children from the ugliness of every day society. We are more fearful of the horrors that might occur to our children if we allow them to explore society. Neither approach can be judged as correct or wrong. They are just two different ways of raising children in a complex and often freighting world.

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 25, 2015 2:27 PM

It's interesting to see the cultural differences that facilitate these drastically different parenting strategies held by the Japan and the United States. In the US, our capitalistic society puts every man on his own- we are told not to help others, nor to ask for help. From the treks we made across the continent to our reluctance, as a society, to accept welfare programs as a necessity in an industrialized democratic society, Americans strive for solitude and independence. There isn't a sense of community in many parts of the country, and as a result, we are less likely to trust one another- I remember reading about two parents being invested by Child Services because they allowed their 9 year old child to walk with his younger sister to school. To think that such attitudes could be held on such a large scale, as they are in Japan, is laughable. We are told as we grow up how unsafe we really are. In Japan, the community- the collective- is held as the ideal, and people are taught to be able to trust strangers, to expect the best from them. The result? A safer society and the perception that Japanese society as a whole is safer. Children are able to walk freely in public and not be afraid, and public transit and walking are more widely accepted in urban areas. Tokyo may or may not be the world's safest large city, but it certainly feels so for its inhabitants, and I fail to see how that isn't better than the fear Americans have for our neighbors. This is something we need to address as a society, and we should start by looking at our ally across the Pacific. 

tyrone perry's curator insight, April 24, 2018 6:16 PM
The term “it takes a village to raise children” is completely at work in Japan.  Parents allow their children to ride the subway as early as 6.  People in japan rely on a community as a whole to not only watch out for the children but each other as a whole.  They believe that kids are self reliant and they instill it at a young age.  When they are at school they are all depend on to clean up after themselves.  This mindset stays with the kids and public.  That’s why Japans streets are clean. 
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Japan's Disappearing Villages

Japan's Disappearing Villages | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In the small town of Nagoro, population 35, one woman is trying to save her village from extinction by creating life-sized dolls for every inhabitant who either dies or moves away.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Japan has experienced rural to urban migration for decades now; simultaneously, Japan's fertility rates have dropped far below replacement level.  While Tokyo is still bustling, small villages are shrinking to the point of disappearing.  This is a haunting and yet touching tribute to these emerging ghost towns.  It seems like a memorial to enshrine a sense of place before the memory of this place is forever eradicated--like a an earthen dam .  


Tags: Japan, declining population, population, demographics, unit 2 population, East Asialandscape, place.

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Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 20, 2015 1:43 PM

Due to urban migration, this village of Nagoro is said to be one of 10,000 small towns that will disappear in Japan.  I've been to some small towns in Japan and can say there is so much more culture in these villages than there is in the big cities.  I got a totally different feeling in my sole than when I ended my trip in Tokyo.  While both parts of the country have its pros and cons, it is terrible to think that these villages will be defeated to the rise of urbanism.   

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 16, 2015 9:01 PM

It has been estimated that in the coming years 80% of people will live within mega cities. This is that statistic unraveling before our eyes. It is really sad to me because these within these small villages is a culture that is almost like an art in its own right. It is clear to see the impacts it has on the remaining villagers.

 

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 16, 2015 4:38 PM

A depressing but also fascinating situation in Japan. Their Urban migration coupled by an aging population is wiping out their villages around the country. One women has even apparently been filling the village with dolls to make it seem more populated. How she got her neighbors to approve and where all the resources and money came from to pull that off who knows. However what is being witness now is a change in demographic but also one in geography since the village in 30 or so years could be reclaimed by the wilderness while the cities expand and have to cope with the influx taking away more wild land. Hopefully Japan gets this straightened out for they currently seem to be having the exact opposite demographic problem of China and India.

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Military Shift For Japan?

Military Shift For Japan? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Citing threats from China and North Korea, a government-appointed panel is urging Japan to reinterpret its pacifist constitution to allow the use of military force to defend other countries."

Seth Dixon's insight:

As a part of end of World War II, Japan accepted an article in their constitution that severely limited their militaristic capabilities.  Many in Japan feel that their economic and political influence in East Asia has been hampered by Article 9 of the constitution and want their economic strength to be matched with some military muscle. China has been flexing their muscles in the South and East China Seas, and Japan is becoming more militaristic and willing to exert more power in East Asia. 


Tags: political, military, Japan, East Asia.

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Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, May 6, 2015 10:37 AM

Even though it has been 70 years since Japan was waging war across the world, it still should be a little concerning to anyone who has studied and understands how World War II played out and its' ramifications.  Japan is, essentially, making a move to slowly move away from their war-inducing military restrictions.  While, I don't think anyone should "dictate" what Japan does, I think this needs to play out transparently and collectively for the world to see. 

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 25, 2015 6:12 AM

This move by the Japanese government was inevitable and nessacary. Japans neighbors are becoming more hostile by the day. China and North Korea are both stepping up their military might. Both nations are clear threats to the peace and security of Japan. The natural response, would be to counter the growing militarism of China and North Korea by building up your own arm forces to serve as deterrent. The old article pacifying Japan  no longer makes sense in our current world environment.  Japan is now one of the United States strongest allies. Allowing Japan to raise an army, would take pressure off are already overextended military.

Chris Costa's curator insight, November 25, 2015 12:01 PM

Since the end of the Second World War, Japan has remained out of external military engagements, the result of a clause in its constitution drafted to prevent a reoccurrence of the Japanese aggression that sparked the war in the Pacific. However, with both China and North Korea displaying some concerning foreign policy, with China in particular flexing its muscles in the South Pacific, Japan has taken measures to expand its military capacity. There has been open debate in Japan over whether or not to expand its military power, with public opinion being relatively split; in the US, there has been widespread approval for the decision, in the hopes that Japan, long since a regional power, will take more responsibility for both its own defense and the defense of its neighbors. With the expansion of China's naval power recently- with the artificial islands appearing all over the Pacific, and them recently establishing their first naval base on the African continent- perhaps it is time for Japan, one of the US's staunchest allies, to step up to the plate and flex its own muscles. If this push is successful in giving the Japanese military more bite, it will be interesting to see China's response to the measure, and if its foreign policy will change accordingly.

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In the East China Sea, a Far Bigger Test of Power Looms

In the East China Sea, a Far Bigger Test of Power Looms | Geography Education | Scoop.it
In an era when the United States has been focused on new forms of conflict, the dangerous contest suddenly erupting in the East China Sea seems almost like a throwback to the Cold War.
Seth Dixon's insight:

China has been very aggressive in how they assert their territorial claims in both the South and East China Sea.  China is claiming control over the airspace of the East China Sea and the Senkaku Islands. While the U.S. government rejects this claim, they are encouraging commercial airlines to comply with China's request that all flight is this zone submit their flight plans to the Chinese government.  Japan, on the other hand, does not want the Chinese to have this as a symbolic victory that would further legitimize their political control over this space.  Why does China care so much about some minor islands?  Why would other countries not want to accept China's territorial assertions?


Tags: borders, political, conflict, China, Japan, East Asia.

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Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 9:38 PM

There will always be problems with every country. China needs to focus on their new issues and deal with them properly.

Alec Castagno's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:35 PM

As China grows more aggressive in its territorial claims, Japan and South Korea are both adjusting their militaries to fit the situation. Both countries are expanding their military presence throughout the disputed region as they worry about China's expansion. The article states that China may be attempting to push American presence further away from their shores, and explains the increasing tensions between the two.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 1, 2015 8:32 PM

I understand that the united states has been the most powerful country in the world for the last 100 or so years and that china was not so powerful. But now china thinks it is time to grow and can do so because of its great economic situation and its building of military. China has rapidly moved up the ranks in these two titles and finally they want to show the world how powerful it got. i don't know what happens in the future but china knows it got America nervous though we would never admit it. 

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Japan's Geographic Challenge

Stratfor examines Japan's primary geographic challenge of sustaining its large population with little arable land and few natural resources. For more analysi...
Seth Dixon's insight:

Part of knowing Japan's expansionist history has to do with understanding the geographic setting of the islands.  

 

Tags: Japan, population, historical.

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Kevin Cournoyer's comment, May 1, 2013 12:51 AM
Unlike other larger, more geographically diverse countries, Japan is faced with the problem of a general lack of farmable land and natural resources. The fact that the country is itself an island does not make things any easier for it in an economic sense. The way the country is divided up also makes for a difficult political situation, as mountain ranges create division, and therefore, political disunity.
The proximity of the Korean peninsula and China to Japan is also important to examine. Whenever Japan wishes to acquire natural resources and other economically beneficial materials, Korea is the conduit through which Japan tends to invade the mainland, usually China. Because of this, we can see how Japan’s geographic location may cause strained relationships with its neighbors, both politically and economically. Alienating two of its closest neighbors would clearly be a disastrous move for Japan, but it may be seen as necessary due to its unfortunate geographic location.
Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, November 27, 2013 5:31 PM

It would make sense to me that for a place like Japan to sustain itself successfully, it would have to have some help from other areas with more resources.  Again with the concept- people don't choose to be born, or where they are born... To be born in Japan is as unchosen by that person as it would be in any other country.  I don't think people should have to pay for resources that they do not have available, especially because they are on an island/island chain that simply doesn't have what they need.  I am really repulsed by the bartering system because of absolute indication of beyond excessive surplus and profit and greed and all that garbage that humanity reeks of.  Yeah some people are happy, but we could be completely unburdened of all negativity if we banded together to rid the world of negativity itself.  I know that Japan would be happy to receive everything that they need for no cost, but I also know that many people would be willing to work, and more willing to work, if they didn't have expenses to pay for... it would really be serving their life's purpose as a component of humankind if they worked to help others, rather than to pay their monthly rent.  I don't have a clue how I would go about organizing a movement to transform this idea into a reality, but I'll work on that.  In the mean time, I would advise supranationalism for Japan, and hope that with the alliance of other countries, they can band together and make deals that work for the greater good of their country, population, and the world.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 10, 2014 10:58 AM

This short video did a great job in explaining why Japan became expansionist in the decades leading up to WW II.  The mountainous nature of the islands and lack of arable land challenges Japan to provide food for its people.  To understand Japan you must understand her geography, this helps to understand why a country acted the way it did in the past and can be a predictor of future actions. 

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Teaching about Racism in Japan

Is there racism and discrimination in Japan? I was surprised to find out that almost all of my high school students (about 1000 students) were not aware of t...
Seth Dixon's insight:

This YouTube video has caused a tremendous amount of controversy in Japan, where most see discrimination as a problem in other societies.  For some more context on the controversy, read this great Washington Post article on the subject.    

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Nathan Soh's curator insight, July 13, 2014 6:55 AM

I feel that racism and discrimination is a very redundant thing and not many people know about its existence in their own country. Be it against Koreans, or blacks, it is still a problem. It enrages me when i think of being discriminated just because i am different. It just isn't fair. 

huang junyi's curator insight, July 13, 2014 8:19 AM

After watching this video, I realised that many Japanese people were oblivious about their country's racist nature. I think it is because the Japanese government had censored most of racist issues thus,  Compared to the Germans I don’t think the Japanese sense of racial superiority is that specific. There is a sense of Japan’s superiority politically speaking. I think the sense of Japan’s superiority fundamentally comes from the fact that Japan is a unique country because of its emperor system, it’s a divine country, that kind of thing. That is why Japanese dislike foreigners coming to their country as they are afraid that foreigners might ruined their traditional ways and culture. The Japanese people want to preserve their culture very badly. In another words, I dare to say that Japanese people are rigid and narrow-minded, I think ten years down the road if japan is still like that, it's economy will go down hill. 

Emily Lai Yin's curator insight, July 13, 2014 9:57 AM

It first surprised me to know that students in Japan are not aware of racism and discrimination in their own country. but I came to realised that they were most probably influenced by the older generation when they were young. such discrimination to people with different races and origins such as Koreans, Okinawans and burakumins are quite severe and for most students to not realise it must mean that they were mostly likely raised in a way that they were being taught to discriminate people for their origins naturally. this situation certainly needs to be changed as the discrimination will only get from ad to worse as time passes if nothing is done to stop this "natural discrimination".

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Let elderly people 'hurry up and die', says Japanese minister

Let elderly people 'hurry up and die', says Japanese minister | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Taro Aso says he would refuse end-of-life care and would 'feel bad' knowing treatment was paid for by government
Seth Dixon's insight:

It's no secret that Japan's population is aging and can not replace itself.  Since it is not a destination country for migrants, this is going to have serious economic ramifications as the percentage of the Japanese population over 60 is expected to rise above 40% over the course of this next generation.  Given the harsh statements by the new Japanese finance minister, it's a huge political concern (although a difficult one mention in campaigns).  Some have already questioned Japan's ability to survive this demographic implosion as adult diapers are now a bigger moneymaker in Japan than children's diapers.

 

Tags: Japan, declining population, economic, population, demographics, unit 2 population, East Asia.

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Ryan G Soares's curator insight, December 3, 2013 10:30 AM

Its clear that Japan is overpopulating. People are living long lives in a big country like Japan and people just keep reproducing. The Japense  minister in my opion is very wrong here. A minister should never wish deaths upon his people.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, April 10, 2014 11:11 AM

As populations age and the younger generations have less children the burden of government to provide care for the elderly becomes a big issue.  In countries where the government pays for their health care this will only become a bigger issue.  When the needs of the old and the needs of the young become a conflict what is a country to do?  These issues will only increase as the birth rates of developed countries declines.  

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, November 25, 2015 6:41 AM

What this government minister said is repugnant, but his comments strike directly at the most serious issue facing Japan. The Japanese population has become to old to sustain itself. Their are not enough younger people in Japan to sustain future generations of Japanese society. When a society fails to reproduce, it dies out. Japan may be facing extinction in a few generations to come. The increased strain on the government of Japan, will eventually kill it. A state can not support a majority elderly population. The coasts of medical care would drown the government in debt and financial ruin. Many European nations are facing a similar demographic time bomb. If this problem is not corrected, there is a good chance that both European and Japanese society will die out.