Why has Japan Stopped Growing?

This lecture aims to show that the dramatic fall of the growth rate of Japan since 1970s was fundamentally caused by the shift of policies regarding reallocating resources from large cities to rural areas. Indeed, rapid inflow of population from the rural area to the large cities occurred during the economic growth during the 60's. This immigration as well as the accompanying growth process stopped in early 70's when the central government started to reallocate resources from large cities to the rural areas, as symbolized by then Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka' s "balanced growth of national land." Koizumi's reforms may be viewed as an attempt to reverse this policy trend. But many of them were swamped by the higher-than-proportional representation of the rural areas in the Diet (Parliament).

The lecture also points outs that the widely held view that Tokyo has exceeded its optimal size is a misconception. Traffic congestion of Tokyo could be controlled by direct measures aimed at curbing congestion rather than by controlling overall population of Tokyo.

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Updated:  27 November 2018/Responsible Officer:  JI Management Group/Page Contact:  Japan Institute