Gyeonggi Province Hosts International Symposium on Population Outlook and Policy Alternatives

Createdd 2018-12-18 Hit 131

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The “2018 Gyeonggi Province Population Policy International Symposium” was held on December 11 at the Novotel Ambassador Suwon. It was attended by 250 personages including Gyeonggi Province Vice Governor Kim Hee-kyeum, Gyeonggi Provincial Assembly Planning and Finance Committee Chairperson Jeong Dae-un, Gyeonggi Provincial Assembly Women, Family, and Education Committee Chairperson Park Ok-bun, Yeoju City Mayor Lee Hang-jin, Ajou University Professor Emeritus Choi Jin-ho, and population policy experts from home and abroad.

In this symposium hosted by Gyeonggi Province, various cases from different countries and of policy alternatives were shared by experts seeking countermeasures to population decline and the local community extinction crisis through the examination of population policy successes in developed countries such as Japan and European nations.

Junko Takezawa, a researcher of the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research in Japan, who took the podium first, introduced Japan’s policy on low fertility rates, focusing on local government cases and suggesting the roles of municipalities.

Of particular note, the low fertility policy in Japan that changed in the 2010s and the local growth policy of the Abe government to create a livable environment in each region received great attention from attendees.

Dr. Sobotka Tomas, a leading researcher of the Vienna Institute of Demography, Austria, gave a presentation on the challenges and prospects of European population policy.

Dr. Tomas received enthusiastic responses from participants by introducing key features and overviews of the low birth rate phenomenon in Europe, along with family policy goals and various customized policies promoted throughout the continent as well as examples of low birth rate policy packages being implemented in various European countries.

Yeoju City Mayor Lee Hang-jin delivered a compelling presentation of vivid examples drawn from his experiences and actual data as mayor under the theme of “Population Status and Policy of Yeoju City.”

Participants listened attentively to his presentation, which focused on population policy cases of Yeoju City and alternative measures for low birth rates, and reflected on the roles of local governments.

Finally, Lee Sang-rim, a researcher at the Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs, delivered his presentation on the roles of local governments in the era of population decline, during which he suggested new policy directions by relating local population issues to population movements.

In his presentation, Lee emphasized that population gaps between regions should be studied from a long-term perspective that considers the two variables of demographic structure and population inflow, and suggested government roles at the central, regional, and district levels.

In his opening address before the presentations, Gyeonggi Province Vice Governor Kim Hee-kyeum stressed: “The response to the population crisis will determine the growth potential of Korea, and the role of Gyeonggi Province is now more important than ever as we have entered an era in which a fundamental paradigm shift in population issues is inevitable.”

A Gyeonggi provincial official said, “We will continue to draw up practical population policies based on the results of today’s symposium and to make progress by constructing an effective policy network.”