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International Symposium to be held in Tokyo, February

CRN will hold an international symposium on February 3, 2007 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of its foundation, its first international symposium since July 2000. The theme of the coming symposium is Societies with a Declining Birthrate, an issue shared by East Asian countries. (See:

The declining birthrate can be ascribed to various factors. In Japan, it is considered to be mainly due to the increase in people who remain unmarried and married couples without children. As married couples with children tend to have more than one child, the number of only-children is not rapidly increasing. On the other hand, in China where few people remain unmarried, the government has adopted an one-child policy. Despite the one-child policy, however, the population of children is so high that kindergartens and schools continue to be crowded. It is striking that the birthrate is decreasing most swiftly in South Korea where rising education costs and a decline in employment opportunities for women are considered to be the main reasons.

Scholars from Japan, China and South Korea will participate in this symposium to discuss the issues pertaining to children in societies undergoing a declining birthrate.

Professor Harada is conducting research on all children born during 1980 in a city in Osaka Prefecture (about 2000 children). He conducted research in a city in Hyogo Prefecture in 2003. From these two surveys, he will select factors related to child development to consider the effects of declining birthrate.

Professor Zhou, a developmental psychologist, observes and studies children in kindergartens. She will speak on the development of the "one child" and related issues.

Professor Park is interested in birth weight change in relation to the decline in the birthrate and government policy to encourage a low birthrate.

Kenzaburo Oe, Nobel Laureate in Literature 1994, will give a special lecture entitled "Children: A Model of the Human Future." Dr. Wei Yu, Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering, will deliver the Keynote Address on research in brain science and education in China.

All who are interested in the theme of this symposium are welcome. Simultaneous translation will be provided in Japanese, English and Chinese. Please access the symposium page for an application or detailed information.
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