APRU Population Ageing Hub Workshop on Population Ageing and the Chinese Economy
Annual Workshop on Population Ageing and the Chinese Economy
The second Annual Workshop on Population Ageing and the Chinese Economy, hosted jointly by the APRU Population Ageing Research Hub and the Australian-China Population Ageing Research Hub (both located in the ARC Centre of Excellence in Population Ageing Research (CEPAR) at the University of New South Wales), took place on the 21st and 22nd of July 2016 on UNSW campus in Sydney. The workshop attracted 38 participants who came together for an exciting two-day program.
The first day of the workshop featured five presentations from renowned international experts and a lively roundtable discussion. The second day was reserved for presentations from nine PhD students or early career researchers from APRU universities in Australia and Asia, who presented their innovative projects and received feedback from the senior experts and other workshop participants in a collegial and constructive atmosphere. Generously-timed coffee and lunch breaks and a free workshop dinner on the evening of the first workshop day gave all participants ample opportunities to network and connect.
Professor Albert Park from The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, a development and labour economist who is an expert on China’s economic development, delivered the keynote presentation on the first day. His presentation was titled “Why Are East Asia’s Elderly So Depressed?: A Comparison of China, Korea, and Japan“ and focused on differences in well-being of the elderly across the three countries. Professor Park informed the audience about several new household-level survey data sets with harmonised survey designs which can be used for comparative research on ageing in Asia. Using this data source, Professor Park showed that rates of depression are much higher among older Chinese than among older Korean or Japanese, and that different economic and demographic factors explain the prevalence of depression in each country. He presented results based on a range of state-of-the-art methods and thus provided a valuable toolbox fur further comparative research.
Workshop participants were also treated to presentations from other leading experts in the field including:
Professor Rod Tyers from the University of Western Australia who presented on “Contractions in Chinese fertility and savings: long run domestic and global implication”;
Professor Jing You from Renmin University of China who presented on “Smoothing or switching the ‘Great Gatsby Curve’? The distributional wealth impact of the Chinese rural pension reform across generations”;
Professor Hanming Fang from the University of Pennsylvania and Scientific Director of the Australian-China Population Ageing Research Hub at CEPAR/UNSW who presented on “The Roles of Housing and Social Security in Intergenerational Transfers: The Case of China”; and
Professor Xin Meng from the Australian National University who presented on “Long shadows of the Chinese Cultural Revolution: The Intergenerational Transmission of Education”.
The formal program of the first day of the workshop concluded with a roundtable discussion moderated by Professor Fang with statements and comments from all five expert presenters.
A dinner was held in the evening of the first day in a popular Vietnamese restaurant in Coogee Beach and was attended by most of the participants. The dinner and pre-dinner drinks in a nearby hotel provided additional time in a relaxed environment for experts, students and early career researchers to network and discuss their research.
The second day of the workshop featured presentations from nine PhD students and early career researchers who were selected via a competitive process and whose applications were received from APRU universities across Asia and Australia. The topics were varied and covered important current issues related to population ageing and the Chinese economy, including presentations on inequalities in public transfers in China, female labour force participation, migration, long-term care needs and financing, informal care and the high Chinese savings rate.
Seven of the nine presenters were successful in obtaining competitive travel bursary grants to assist with their travel to the workshop.
The best presenter prize of AUD 250 was awarded to Dr Yi Chen from Xi’an Jiaotong University, China, for his paper Never too old to save – Explaining the high savings rates of the Chinese Elderly.
11th APRU Population Aging Virtual Conference 2021 Charts Out Path Towards Successful Aging
APRU successfully concluded its 11th APRU Aging Population Virtual Conference on April 8, recording over 300participants from over twenty economies. Hosted by the Universitas Indonesia’s (UI) Faculty of Public Health (FPH) under the theme Challenges and Resilience Related to Aging: Surviving and Thriving toward Successful Aging, the two-day event facilitated many fruitful panel discussions on important sub-topics ranging from economics in aging societies to reproductive health in aging populations.
The conference activities consisted of keynotes, plenaries, symposiums, oral and poster presentations and showcased the first video competition in the APRU Population Aging Program.
“UI has been determined to become a world-class research university committed to academic and research innovations, and this conference closely aligns with UI’s core mission of carrying out the “tri dharma” of higher education, i.e., education, research, and community service,” said Professor Ari Kuncoro, Rector of the university, in his opening address.
The most pressing problems faced by the world’s elderly population were identified and examined by the conference’s keynote and panel speakers. UI Secretary Professor Agustin Kusumayati highlighted the importance of collaboration and cooperation in handling the problems of the elderly population. Kusumayati pointed out that the elderly are more vulnerable during the current pandemic because of comorbidity and limited interactions causingloneliness.
Professor Angelique Chan, APRU Population Aging Program Director, warned that the world is heading for a population structure dominated by the elderly (60 years and over). She cited predictions that the number of older people in Asia will increase by 60% by 2030, with the four associated fundamental problems being anxiety, loss of life purpose, loss of bodily functions, and care problems.
Professor Hiroki Nakatani from Keio University, for his part, called upon governments to initiate related programs, such as preventive insurance programs, that he sees as essential in maintaining the health of the elderly. Empowering the elderly via participating in volunteering programs is also important. “This provides the elderly with the purpose of life and community support as well as the physical activity they need to remain productive in life,” Nakatani said.
Other speakers were Professor Yudho Giri Sucahyo (Head of Smart City Study, Faculty of Computer Science, UI); Professor Sudijanto Kamso (FPH, UI), Dr. Hasbullah Thabrany, National Health Insurance; and Dr Nafsiah Mboi, (Minister of Health of Indonesia Bersatu II Cabinet and The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation).
Find out more information about the conference here.
Population Aging Program Completes Transfer to National University of Singapore
The APRU Population Aging Program, which was hosted by Keio University until the end of 2020, completed its transfer to the National University of Singapore’s Centre for Ageing Research & Education at Duke-NUS Medical School.
The APRU Population Aging Program aims to raise awareness about the demographic shifts towards older populations and reap the opportunities of population aging in an era of shrinking workforces and transforming healthcare needs exerting upward pressures on public spending.
Professor Angelique Chan, Executive Director of the Centre for Ageing Research & Education at Duke-NUS Medical School, has committed to take up the leadership of the Program until the end of 2022. Chan and the steering committee have been collaborating closely to build on the well-established program platform and leverage the Centre for Ageing Research & Education’s expertise to develop impactful activities.
“Whether you are young or old, population ageing will impact our lives in various ways over this century, and NUS is proud to take up the APRU Population Ageing Hub leadership to further the APRU mission of developing research collaborations across member universities,” Chan said.
“As a group, we remain committed to furthering high-quality research on ageing and nurturing young scholars in the field,” she added.
Keio University led the APRU Population Aging Program for three years. Program Director Professor Hiroki Nakatani succeeded in significantly increasing the network of leading experts and policymakers engaging with its activities. For example, the partnership with financial newspapers Nikkei and the Financial Times has led to two Super Active Ageing Society Conferences in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
The program’s next event will be the 2021 Annual Population Aging Conference, which was moved from last year to April 7-8th due to the pandemic. It will be hosted in virtual mode by the University of Indonesia’s Faculty of Public Health under the theme Challenges and Resilience Related to Aging: Surviving and Thriving toward Successful Aging. The conference’s sub-themes range from nutrition and aging to reproductive health in aging populations.
The conference will feature a student video competition under the theme Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Aging Communities.
Know more about the Population Aging Program here.
Find out more details about the Population Aging Conference 2021 here.
Keio University-initiated webinar series charts out new path forward for era of COVID-19
We are delighted to note an online seminar (webinar) series at which Hiroki Nakatani, the APRU Population Aging Program Director and Project Professor, Keio University Global Research Institute (KGRI), brought together academics, practitioners and policy-makers to provide an intriguing overview of Japan in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and to gather proposals for key actions that need to be undertaken in preparation for a second wave.
The four live webinars, under the collective title of “Japan and the World in the Era of COVID-19: Considering whether the new paradigm is a crisis or an opportunity,” were held between June 17 and July 29. The first three webinars focused respectively on Health and Science & Technology; Economy and Work; and Society and Law.
A special presentation titled “Infectious disease emergency preparedness and response: Japan’s challenges seen from COVID-19” by H.E Senator Keizo Takemi, Member, House of Councillors, National Diet of Japan kicked off the fourth webinar.
A panel discussion which followed again saw the participation of H.E Senator Keizo Takemi, who was joined by Takeshi Kasai, Regional Director of the WHO Western Pacific Region; Hideyuki Okano, Professor, School of Medicine, Keio University/Senior Researcher, KGRI; and Sachiko Kazekami, Associate Professor, Faculty of Business and Commerce, Keio University. This panel, under the moderation of Ryoji Noritake, CEO and Board Member, Health and Global Policy Institute, analysed the broad range of effects the virus has had from multiple perspectives, such as health science, technology, economy, work, geopolitical change, and law.
The panellists examined Japan’s response to the first wave of COVID-19 infections, identifying vulnerabilities in the informational infrastructure as well as delays in innovations and their social application. The panellists also described current measures and proposed specific policies which should be introduced in the forthcoming six months.
While discussing steps towards the suppression of COVID-19, Professor Okano emphasized the power of health science, and gave an overview of the “Keio” model as a flexible means of countering infectious diseases, as well as speaking on the university’s endeavours to develop a COVID-19 vaccine. He also added that: “[It has been pointed out that new pandemics may be triggered more frequently due to outbreaks of new zoonosis caused by ecological, behavioural or socioeconomic changes but also the spread of new pathogens that had previously been isolated in the permafrost of Siberia and Switzerland, which is now melting due to global warming]. we need to establish efficient methodologies to develop diagnostic, therapeutic and prophylactic methods; suppression of COVID-19 will be an excellent lesson to prevent us from future pandemics caused by new pathogens.”
During the closing remarks, Professor Masato Yasui, Director, KGRI, stressed that “COVID-19 has wide implications for all aspects of humanity and society and is not a mere health issue. We need a cross cutting approach, and it is imperative that such multi-sectorial work be intensely promoted. KGRI is ready to expand such activities.”
The entire series was presented in Japanese, with panellists answering pre-selected questions from the audience. A live wrap-up discussion was then held in English, and Keio University subsequently re-recorded most of the talks in English to share with wider audience.
Keio University is a highly-valued member of the APRU network. Its Global Research Institute (KGRI) has coordinated many APRU activities and projects, including the APRU Population Aging program. Keio’s Vice-President, Professor Jiro Kokuryo, served for two APRU projects, as an academic coordinator for the AI for Everyone and an academic lead for the AI for Social Good.