APDA The Asian Population and Development AssociationAPDA The Asian Population and Development Association

INTERVIEW

It is important to establish a new framework for creating a “world of mutual support and cooperation” and turn our attention to people most vulnerable.

Member of the House of Representatives
Vice-Chair of JPFP International Cooperation Committee
Hon. Tatsuo Fukuda https://tatsuo-f.jp/

We are facing a crisis. Japan, however, is a country that can turn a crisis into an opportunity for change. The period at the end of Edo and post-war Japan attest to this. Just as in the past, courage in accommodating change and resilience will be essential in this coronavirus pandemic.

From the perspective of “population and security”, Japan faces the issues of declining fertility and financial difficulties, as well as the fact that it is caught in the crossfire of U.S.-China tensions. This difficult juncture may be an opportunity to create a new set of values.

If we turn our attention to the world, the population is rapidly growing and food will be in short supply. A zero-sum world is a world of self-destruction. A half-century has already passed since Takeo Fukuda, my grandfather, warned, “Japan faces a population decline, the world a population explosion”. I would suggest establishing a new framework for creating a “world of mutual support and cooperation” and turning our attention to people most vulnerable. I think that herein lies the role of Japan.

In 1983, it was decided at the InterAction Summit, also known as the OB Summit, which was founded at the suggestion of Takeo Fukuda, that “peace and security”, “world economic revitalization”, and “problems of population, environment and development” would be its priority themes. The importance of these closely interrelated issues is even greater today in building a “world of mutual support and cooperation”.

Together with my colleagues with expertise in politics and in other fields, I am exploring how we can survive the post-COVID-19 world from a “broad, long-term perspective of society and economy in general”. I think it will be important to create new values adapted to the new age, including for the issues of population, and formalize it in concrete policies.

Interviewed in October 2020

※The titles shown are those held at the time of interview.

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