Technical Report Concentration of Population in Tokyo: A Survey

UMETANI, Kenji  ,  YOKOYAMA, Tadashi

15-212015-12 , GRIPS Policy Research Center
The mono-polar concentration of population in Tokyo has been intensifying steadily in Japan since the mid-1990s. This demographic movement stands in sharp contrast to the tri-polar (Tokyo, Osaka and Nagoya) demographic movement in the high growth era before the oil crisis of the early 1970s. Mono-polar in-migration reflects the change in industrial structure after the rapid yen appreciation and the two decades of stagnation caused by the bubble burst in an atmosphere of demographic aging and declining birth rate. One noteworthy recent feature of the population inflow into Tokyo is the increasing inflow of young females with post-secondary education, leading to even gloomier economic and social prospects in most outlying regions. This economic externality should be dealt with by means of well-designed policies which, benefitting from the experience of events several decades ago, avoid throttling the benefits of the market mechanism.
This paper is based on a seminar presentation given in Japanese on July 11, 2015 at “Tokyo, a Mega-city in Asia,” organized by the Science Council of Japan. The seminar was produced by Prof. Kaoru Sugihara, National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS). Kenji Umetani, GRIPS professor at the time of the seminar, thanks Prof. Sugihara for kindly offering him the opportunity to present there.

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