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Gender Perspectives in Family Planning: The Development of Family Planning in Postwar Japan and Policy Implications from the Japanese Experience

  • Yasuko Hayase
Part of the IDE-JETRO Series book series (IDE)

Abstract

Japan is now facing an ageing and declining population, a result of the demographic transition1 that occurred in the 1960s. In prewar Japan, however, demographic interest centred mainly on overpopulation in relation to food shortages and unemployment, similar to the current status in developing countries. In the 1920s, ‘neo-Malthusian’ proponents of contraception — Keikichi Ishimoto, Isoo Abe and others (Fujime, 1999) — addressed such issues as the need for birth control and the promotion of emigration to foreign countries, and with birth-control advocate Margaret Sanger’s visit to Japan in 1922, the birth control movement became more active. The need for birth control as a measure to ensure the health and welfare of women, and for their emancipation, came to be recognized as an important social issue during the 1920s. The movement was banned in 1935, when the government initiated policies favouring population expansion for military purposes. After the Second World War, Japan was faced with rapid population growth because of the repatriation of overseas Japanese and the resulting ‘baby boom’ from 1947 to 1949. This led to a fundamental pronatalistic change in the government’s attitude, from a pronatalistic policy in the prewar period to fertility control in the postwar period (Ota, 1969; Kuroda, 1984; Muramatsu, 1984; Fujime, 1999; JICA, 2003).

Keywords

Family Planning Total Fertility Rate Maternal Mortality Ratio Family Planning Programme Crude Birth Rate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Institute of Developing Economies (IDE),JETRO 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yasuko Hayase

There are no affiliations available

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