Graduate Seminar: Japan's Demographic Challenge - Can Japan survive without immigrants?


Convener: Professor Ian Neary

Speaker: Mr Toshihiro Menju, Managing Director, Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE)


Japan continues to control immigration tightly and has largely avoided immigration challenges such as absorption and assimilation but its rapidly ageing society is putting the government under increasing pressure to find a new and more liberal policy to allow for more importation of foreign labour – a potential two-edged sword, about which policy makers have been very cautious. This seminar will discuss the issues currently facing Japan and possible future directions.


Toshihiro Menju is Managing Director and Chief Program Officer at the Japan Center for International Exchange (JCIE) where he has managed a variety of programs for nearly three decades, and is known as an expert on both Japan’s immigration policy and grassroots international exchange. He currently serves as a selection committee member for the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communication's Best International Exchange Program Award. Menju is the author of dozens of books in Japanese, including Jichitai ga Hiraku Nihon no Imin Seisaku (Local Governments Lead Japan’s Immigration Policy, 2016) and Jinkou Gekigen(Population Collapse, 2011), as well as English titles such as Asia on the Move (2016) and Japan's Road to Pluralism (2003). He served as an adjunct lecturer at Keio University, Shizuoka University of Art and Culture, and others.