Family Structure, Abortion, and Fertility since 1945
This chapter shows that, despite Japan's fertility rates being close to those of China, the postwar history of fertility decline in these two countries was remarkably different. Japan industrialized much earlier and experienced low fertility rates during the 1930s, but, in addition, the immediate postwar history of Japan reflected three political, demographic, and economic vectors: direct occupation by foreign powers, dramatic fertility declines based on widespread abortion rather than contraception or sterilization, and what eventually came to be called the Japanese postwar “economic miracle”—sustained and rapid export-led economic growth that established Japan as the second largest national economy in the world by the late 1960s.
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