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H.

Kojima
Jean-Louis Rallu

Fertility in Japan and France (Population, 5, 1997)


In: Population, 10e anne, n2, 1998 pp. 319-347.

Citer ce document / Cite this document :


Kojima H., Rallu Jean-Louis. Fertility in Japan and France (Population, 5, 1997). In: Population, 10e anne, n2, 1998 pp. 319347.
http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/pop_0032-4663_1998_hos_10_2_6832

Abstract
Kojima (Hiroshi), Rallu (Jean-Louis). - Fertility in Japan and France Fertility in Japan and France was
very similar between 1975 and 1985, but the subsequent decline has been greater in Japan, where
levels have stood at below 1.5 births per woman since 1993. A study of fertility using civil registration
and survey data, and from indices based on the parity-specific birth probabilities, reveals that the
decline in fertility in Japan was due to the fall in nuptiality until the mid-1980s but that since then there
has also been a fall in fertility within marriage. Unlike in France, extra-marital fertility has not increased
in Japan, and the compensation due to postponed births remained at a low level until the start of the
1990s. There are various cultural and economic obstacles in Japan to an increase in fertility outside
marriage and among older women. It is through these new forms of fertility behaviour that France has
been able to maintain a relatively high fertility based on an overall rate of childlessness that is still quite
low.
Rsum
Kojima (Hiroshi), Rallu (Jean-Louis). - La fcondit au Japon et en France La fcondit tait peu
diffrente au Japon et en France entre 1975 et 1985, mais la baisse a t ensuite plus importante au
Japon avec des niveaux infrieurs 1,5 naissance par femme depuis 1993. L'tude de la fcondit
partir de donnes d'tat civil et d'enqutes, et d'indices bass sur les probabilits de naissance par
rang, montre que la baisse de la fcondit au Japon a rsult de la baisse de la nuptialit jusqu'au
milieu des annes 1980 mais consiste aussi depuis lors en une baisse de la fcondit dans le mariage.
la diffrence de la France, on n'observe pas au Japon d'augmentation de la fcondit hors mariage et
la rcupration des naissances retardes est reste peu importante jusqu'au dbut des annes 1990.
Le dveloppement de la fcondit hors mariage et des ges avancs se heurte diverses contraintes
culturelles et conomiques. C'est, au contraire, grce ces nouveaux comportements que la France
conserve une fcondit assez leve sur la base d'une infcondit des gnrations encore assez faible.
Resumen
Kojima (Hiroshi), Rallu (Jean-Louis). - La fecundidad en Japon y en Francia Entre 1975 y 1985, los
nivels de fecundidad de Francia y Japon eran similares, pero la disminucin posterior fue ms fuerte
en Japon, donde se alcanzan nivels inferiores a 1,5 nacimientos por mujer despus de 1993. El
estudio de la fecundidad a partir de datos del registro civil, encuestas e indices ba- sados en las
probabilidades de nacimiento por rango, muestra que la disminucin de la fecundidad observada en
Japon fue debida a la disminucin de la nupcialidad hasta la mitad de los aos ochenta, pero que, ms
recientemente, se explica tambin por la disminucin de la fecundidad dentro del matrimonio. A
diferencia de Francia, en Japon no se observa un aumento de la fecundidad fuera del matrimonio y la
fecundidad en edades avanzadas sigue siendo poco significativa hasta el incio de la dcada de los
noventa. Ambos fenmenos (fecundidad fuera del matrimonio y en edades avanzadas) se enfrentan a
multiples restricciones culturales y econmicas. En Francia, sin embargo, estos nuevos
comportamientos mantienen el nivel de fecundidad rela- tivamente elevado, teniendo en cuenta que
existe un nivel todavia reducido de infecundidad.

FERTILITY IN JAPAN
AND FRANCE

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viours: for instance, Japan has, like France, experienced a


marriage crisis beginning in the 1970s, but this has been ex
pressed
by a rise in age at marriage and an increasing dis
sociation
of marriage and parenthood, which has brought the
Japanese fertility level below the French one. In France, co
habitation
has caused a sharp rise in births outside marriage,
but fertility values have been more resistant than in Japan to
this social revolution.
Fertility in Japan has fallen below 1.5 live births per woman since
1993. Japan now has, after Russia and the European Union, the lowest
fertility in the category of populations exceeding 100 million. From 1975
to 1985, Japan and France displayed very similar TFRs, around 1.8, except
during France's short-lived gain in 1980-82. But since 1985, the decline
has been more rapid in Japan than in France, where fertility was only down
to 1.7 in 1995.
Such convergences and divergences between the Japanese and French
fertility trends call for a detailed comparative analysis. We shall explore
here the differences in fertility behaviour (birth orders), family formation
(nuptiality, cohabitation and extra-marital fertility) and, more generally, in
societal organization (women's labour force participation, gender roles).
Japan and France use different source materials for the study of fer
tility:
the former depends more heavily on surveys, the latter on civil reg
istration.
Although the reason is convention rather than any real grounds
of data availability, this difference has consequences for fertility studies.
Survey data may be biased in several ways, particularly when the sample
was small, which is the case of the Mainichi Shimbun National Survey on
* National
**
INED. Institute of Population and Social Security Research, Tokyo.
Population: An English Selection, 10(2), 1998, 319-348

320

., J.-L. RALLU

1. Fertility data in Japan


The Japanese Ministry of Health has published since 1965 a series of
annual birth statistics by mother's age and parity (live births). This now per
mits a retrospective study of fertility going back thirty years and yields lon
gitudinal
fertility findings. The census data provide women's parity structure
at time of census. We interpolated and updated this information year by year,
using the fertility rates calculated from registration data(1). An earlier study
by the IPP (1990) estimated the parity structure by cumulating fertility rates
cohortwise; the results were similar to our own. The civil registration data
also provide information on births by marriage duration and parity; it would
be preferable, however, to know birth order in current marriage to calculate parity
progression ratios by marriage duration.
The Japanese civil registration data do not provide information on birth
intervals, which must come from surveys. We used the birth intervals from
the 10th National Fertility Survey taken by the IPP in 1992 to distribute the
birth registration data by interval since previous birth. The parity progression
ratios calculated in this way, by combining registration and survey data, differ
quite notably from those derived from survey data alone, which consider only
first-married women married to first-married men and thus overestimate fer
tility.
Births by mother's age and duration since previous birth - required to
estimate PADTFR (see below) - were calculated as follows. Fertility rates
by duration since previous birth for mothers of all ages were applied to births
of order n classed by mother's age to construct a table of births of order
n+\ by mother's age and duration. This table was then fitted to the actual
data: births by mother's age (registration data) and births by interval since
previous birth (derived from survey data as described above). Since fertility
in Japan is strongly concentrated round the modal age at each birth order,
the birth intervals should not vary much with age; moreover, some of this
dispersion was taken into account in the adjustment.
C> The female populations of each age were interpolated between censuses. Since
some cohorts showed unexplained changes between successive censuses, we first made
some corrections by rtroprojection. The populations at time of census (1 Oct.) were
adjusted to mid-year (25:75). Up to 1972, the data concern Japan without Okinawa.
Family Planning (5,000 women in 1996) or the Institute of Population Prob
lems (IPP)('> National Fertility Survey (9,000 women in 1992). However,
surveys based on very large samples - such as the French Family Survey
(330,000 women in 1990) - may also be biased by mis-statements, omi
ssions
or dating errors, made on purpose or not (see boxed text no. 2).
Such problems may authorize some doubt as to whether the quasi-stability
- at a rather high level - of the first-birth probabilities in Japan is comp
atible
with a TFR of 1.5, or whether this stability reflects, to a large
extent, survey bias and the fact that the probabilities are by convention
(1) Attached to the Ministry of Health and Welfare. Since its merger with another ins
titute in December 1996, it has become the National Institute of Population and Social Security
Research.

FERTILITY IN JAPAN AND FRANCE

321

calculated on first marriages alone. In France, fertility by birth order can


be studied only through the Family Surveys (taken with each general popul
ation census since 1975), because this information is either unavailable
or unreliable in the registration data.
The Japanese yearbooks publish data on Japanese nationals only and
on the whole population. The most detailed tables, which we have used
here, concern Japanese nationals. However, since the scale of immigration
is relatively small in Japan, the results can be taken to apply to the whole
population.
I. - Fertility
Cross-national comparisons of fertility are generally based on total
fertility rates (TFRs). But this period index is sensitive to structures that
reflect the past, in particular women's parity structure or distribution by dur
ation since last birth, as a study of French fertility has demonstrated (Rallu

2. Fertility data in France


Civil registration data on births by mother's age and parity are available
in France from 1946 to 1966 (apart from 1953-54). Information on birth order
in current marriage is available since 1946. The information on parity was
abandoned from 1967 to 1987 because of inaccuracies, while birth order in
current marriage, based on births registered in the livret de famille - the 'f
amily book' handed to newly-weds and updated for each vital event - was
more reliable. Parity has been reintroduced since 1988 in birth registration
forms but it is not correctly recorded and the data are not published by INSEE.
Information on parity is collected by the Family Survey associated with the
census. Matrixes of births by woman's parity and birth order in current mar
riage were derived from these surveys and used to calculate births by parity
from the registration data. But some births outside of marriage may be stated
as having occurred after marriage (by misreporting of date of birth or marr
iage* !) ), thus biasing the survey data and making some adjustment necessary.
That is why we have preferred not to extrapolate the results of the Family
Survey taken in 1990, and why the French data presented here go no further
than 1989.
Births by order in current marriage and duration since previous event
(birth or marriage) are provided by the registration data since 1959. Parity
progression ratios can thus be calculated as from 1975. Births by parity were
distributed by duration since previous birth in the same way as births by
order in current marriage. Births by age and duration were calculated like
the Japanese data, by constructing a table cross-classifying mother's age and
duration since last birth, which was then fitted to the actual data.

(1) In addition, a date of marriage preceding the date of first birth is automati
callyattributed to married mothers who did not state date of marriage.

322

H.KOJIMA, J.-L. RALLU

and Toulemon, 1994). Civil registration and survey data can be combined
to calculate period fertility indices that are independent of these structures.
The period indices

We shall use the fertility indices previously


tailed and applied to France (Rallu and Toule
mon, 1994): TFR (the conventional synthetic measure of period fertility),
PATFR (the synthetic measure taking parity and age into account), PDTFR
(the synthetic measure taking parity and duration since previous event into
account) and PADTFR (the synthetic measure taking parity, age and dura
tion since previous event into account). Whereas with TFR age-specific
fertility rates are cumulated and all women are in the denominator, the
other indices are birth probabilities and only women who have not already
experienced the event and are susceptible of experiencing it are in the de
nominator:
for instance, only women who have already borne one child
are at risk of having a second birth. For first births, PATFR, PDTFR and
PADTFR are based on the same data: the age-specific probabilities that
childless women will have a first birth, summarized by a fertility schedule
- analogous to the survivor function - which gives the proportion of women
having had a first birth at each age in the fertile lifespan. For births of
second and higher orders, the data control for parity and age, or parity
and duration, or all three simultaneously and they are entered successively
into the calculation. The equations relative to these different indices are
presented in detail in the paper referenced above.
Time trends in TFR

Following a brief post-war recovery, fertility in


Japan fell from 4.3 in 1949 to just below replace
mentlevel in 1957, a reduction of more than 2.2 in the space of eight
years: certainly one of the most rapid transitions ever. TFR then rose slightly
and was above replacement level from 1965 to 1973 - with the exception
of 1966, the horse-fire year in the Japanese calendar, when popular beliefs(2)
brought it plummeting to a level of 1.58 (Figure la). Starting in 1974,
there was a new and rapid downturn, to 1.8 in 1977 and 1.73 in 1980-81.
After a short-lived rise to 1.8 in 1983-84, the decline resumed, and TFR
was down to 1.46 in 1993, 1.50 in 1994, 1.42 in 1995 and 1.43 in 1996.
The baby boom kept fertility in France well above replacement level
during the 1960s. After peaking in 1964, as in many Western countries,
TFR started to fall and was below replacement from 1975. A short recovery
in 1980-82 brought the level to 1.95, then after a new reduction TFR sta
bilized
around 1.8 until 1988, when it declined anew: it was down to 1.65
in 1993-94 and 1.70 in 1995.
Thus, fertility in Japan was far behind the French level during the
1960s, and although its increase in 1965-73 has been termed the 'Japanese
(2) A superstition, relayed by the media, that girls born that year would be particularly
difficult to marry. The result was that women avoided having a baby that year.

FERTILITY IN JAPAN AND FRANCE

323

Children per woman


3.0

TFR France

TFR Japan
1.2
i

i i
i
i
i i
i i
i
i
1.0
1965 1967 1969 1971 1973 1975 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993
Year
Figure 1a. - Total fertility rates (TFR), Japan and France
baby boom', Figure la shows how relative this was. The two TFR trends
are remarkably similar during the mid-1970s low period which has often
been, perhaps precipitately, attributed to the oil shock; we shall come back
to this later. The subsequent recovery occurred later and was slighter and
briefer in Japan than in France, and it was followed by a more substantial
decline. Between 1975 and 1985, both countries were among those indus
trialized
countries that were closest to replacement level. Since then, the
two have diverged, and Japan is now heading towards a markedly low
fertility. In reality, the earlier resemblances conceal profound differences
that come to light when we examine the other indices - PATFR, PDTFR
and PADTFR - and in particular their birth-order components.
The other indices

The different indices based on birth probabilities


- PATFR (parity-age-TFR), PDTFR (parityduration-TFR) and PADTFR (parity-age-duration-TFR) - follow the same order
in Japan and France. They were all lower than TFR up to 1974 (Japan) or
1975 (France), then higher than TFR (Figures lb and lc). We note, howe
ver, that the gap between TFR and PATFR is wider in Japan than in France
after 1975, which expresses a more favourable parity structure in Japan,
while the gap between TFR and PDTFR is wider in France, expressing a
greater birth interval effect. PADTFR, which takes both parity and duration
since previous birth into account, has a similar position relative to TFR

324

H.K0J1MA, J.-L. RALLU

Children per woman


3.0
2.8
2.6
2.4
PDiTFR

2.2
2.0

PADTFR

PDTFR

1.8 -

1965 1967 1969 1971 1973 1975 1977 1979 1981 1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993
Year
Figure 1b. - Period fertility indices, Japan
in both countries (7% higher around 1990). The different positions and
time trends of PATFR, PDTFR and PADTFR in relation to TFR are ex
plained
by birth order factors.
In the case of first births, TFR exceeds PATFR when women's parity
structure is favourable, that is, when the proportion childless - at risk of
first birth - is higher, in a given year, in the actual population than in the
synthetic population (female population by age and parity constructed from
the fertility rates observed that year). This is the case when lower, or later,
fertility in preceding years has left more women still childless. For second
and higher order births (n = 2+), TFR is lower than PATFR when the pro
portion
of women of a given age having n-\ children is lower in the actual
population than in the stable population associated with the fertility of
that year. This was the case during the baby boom and up to the early
1970s, in a context of earlier childbearing owing to earlier marriage or
union formation and to shorter birth intervals. Japan, as well as France
and Western Europe, although to a lesser extent, experienced this situation
in the 1960s and early 1970s (see below).
After 1975 (1974 in Japan), the parity structure does not work in
favour of TFR. For first births:
Owing to the fertility decline among younger women, the proportion of
women who have already borne one child is higher, from 1976 on, than
that derived from the 'current conditions'. Young women have fewer first

FERTILITY IN JAPAN AND FRANCE

325

Children per woman


3.0

PDiTFR
.^.~. PDTFR

1965 1967 1969 1971

i
i i i i
1983 1985 1987 1989 1991 1993
Year

i
i
1973 1975 1977 1979 1981

1.4

1.6

Figure 1c. - Period fertility indices, France


births, but also older women, simply because they have already had their
first child in previous years, when the rates were higher among young
women. (3)
For second and, even more, third and higher order births, the parity
structure is favourable to TFR when higher fertility in the past means that
many women already have one, two or more children and are at risk of
having another one. However, fertility also depends on birth intervals: delay
in second and further births is due not only to a rise in mean age of mothers
at first birth, but also to the fact they wait longer before having another
child. As a result, at each age, the duration since last birth is longer in
the actual population than in the fictitious population constructed from cur
rent fertility conditions, and for the same reasons, at each duration since
previous birth, the women are younger in the observed population than in
the stable population associated with the current conditions. It is, therefore,
necessary to calculate an index, PADTFR, that takes into account parity,
age and birth intervals.
Since 1975, the first-birth component of TFR (TFR1) is lower than
the corresponding PATFR component and the second-birth component of
TFR is also lower than the corresponding PADTFR component, but for
third and higher birth orders, TFR is higher than PADTFR (Figure 2). Vari
ations
in TFR, and especially in its second and third-birth components,
(3) Rallu and Toulemon, loc. cit, pp. 80-81.

326

H.KOJIMA, J.-L. RALLU

Children per 1 ,000 women


950
900
850
800
750
700
650
600
550
500
450
400
350
300
250
200
150
100
50

PATFRl France
PATFR1 Japan

PADTFR2 France

TFR3 France

TFR2 France

PADTFR2 Japan

PADTFR3 France

TFR4 France
/
PADTFR4 France
/

TFR2 Japan
TFR3 Japan
PADTFR3 Japan
TFR4 Japan
/ PADTFR4 Japan

Figure 2. - Birth order components of period fertility indices, Japan


appear to be strongly dependent on TFR of orders n-l. For instance, the
drop in TFR2 in the early 1980s in Japan is clearly the result of the drop
in TFR1 in the late 1970s, given that the second-birth component of PADTFR
indicates no change in the probability of having a second child from 1977
to 1984. This does not continue afterwards: a reduction of PADTFR, at
first parallel with TFR then less acute, shows the probability of having a
second child has fallen, affecting family formation; we shall discuss this
point later. In France, on the contrary, the slight drop in TFR2 in the late
1980s is merely the result of the earlier drop in TFR1, since PADTFR
remains stable or even rises somewhat.
Concerning third births, the structural effects (of parity and birth in
terval)
are increasingly favourable to TFR in both countries during the
period 1975-80, and then from 1985 on. In Japan, however, these favourable
effects fade out in 1992-94. The structures are also favourable to fourth-birth
TFR, but this component is very small in Japan.
Thus, the relative positions of TFR, PATFR and PADTFR vary with
birth order, and the greatest differences in absolute values are observed
for first births. Although not negligible for third and higher orders, the
impact of the first-birth component is the strongest - and the second-birth

FERTILITY IN JAPAN AND FRANCE

327

component reinforces this effect, especially for PADTFR. For all birth or
ders
combined, PATFR and PADTFR are higher than TFR since 1975. This
would suggest that the postponement of first births is the primary cause
of the low fertility currently observed in both Japan and France. The fact
that the position of the different indices is inversed at practically the same
moment in both countries shows the changes in fertility behaviour occurred
almost simultaneously and in the same direction.
In summary, the Japanese fertility level in 1994 amounts to 1.60 ac
cording
to PADTFR, 7% more than TFR but less than PDTFR (1.65), which
is often used to derive fertility values from the fertility and family planning
surveys in Japan. The French fertility level in 1989 was 1.94 according
to PADTFR (vs 1.68 in Japan that year), which was also 7% higher than
TFR and much lower than PDTFR, which is not used in France.
Period fertility levels
by birth order

We leave aside the birth-order components of


TFR, which are too sensitive to the influence
of the past - written into the structure of the
female population by parity and duration since last event - to give a sa
tisfactory
measure of period fertility. Although different from cohort measures
of infertility, the cross-sectional measures of fertility by birth order based
on PATFR reflect the contrast in levels and trends between Japan and France.
According to the PATFR value in 1994, for instance, 23% of Japanese women
remain childless, a sharp contrast with the situation in 1967-73 when the
level was only 9%. According to the French PATFR for 1989, 14% of women
remain childless (vs 21% in Japan that year), compared to 9% in 1976 a similar level to Japan. Thus, Japan has experienced a much more drastic
fall in first-birth fertility during the 1980s than France (Figure 2). The
decline also began later than in France - 1983 as against 1980 - and so
has been all the more rapid.
Second-birth fertility was very high in Japan before 1975, with 0.83
second births per woman in 1968-73 (Feeney, 1986). The level began to
fall, however, in 1974 and was down to 0.75 by 1976 according to
PADTFR, and only 0.60 in 1994. In France, there were 0.68 second births
per woman in 1989 (a similar level to Japan: 0.65, see Appendix Table 2),
but the trend since 1976 (0.64) has been very stable or even risen slightly,
unlike the sharp fall in Japan (Figure 2). It is true that France's second-birth
fertility was particularly low in the mid-1970s, for contextual reasons; we
note, however, that the Japanese level has recently fallen below that of
France in 1976.
Third-birth fertility is much higher in France than in Japan from the
outset of the study period. It declined in France from 1964 to 1976, down
to 0.22 third births per woman according to PADTFR, then climbed un
evenly
back up to a level of 0.28 in 1989. There was also a slight upturn
in third-birth fertility in Japan during the early 1980s. Thus, the 1980s
have been marked by an increase in third births in both countries, but at

328

H.KOJIMA, J.-L. RALLU

different moments, and less significantly in Japan, where the level has since
dropped at the end of the 1980s before stabilizing at around 0.20 third
births per woman. As for births of fourth and higher orders, they are much
more rare in Japan than in France.
Period parity progression ratios

The period parity progression ratio


(PPPR) flo (progression from marriage
to first birth) will not be shown for France because the high proportion
of extra-marital births (36% of all births in 1994 and probably 50% of
first births) makes this index meaningless. In Japan, where the proportion
of births outside marriage has remained low (1.2% in 1994), marriage and
family formation are closely linked and first-birth fertility depends to a
large extent on first marriage rates.
We calculate PPPR a0for Japan from all first births and first marriages
recorded in the registers. Some first births occur in a second marriage,
which will slightly bias the results, since the intervals used are between
marriage and first birth within a first marriage; however, this should have
little effect. We note also that the use of marriage registration data is comp
licated
by the fact that marriages may be reported with some delay in
Japan, which meant we had to estimate the numbers for recent years (see
boxed text no. 3).
PPPR a0 was very high in Japan until the early 1970s, with more
than 0.97 first births per marriage from 1965 to 1971, with the exception
of 1966. It fell in the first half of the 1970s and was then stable at around
0.92 until 1983 (Figure 3), when a new reduction occurred in two stages,
around 1985 and 1990, which brought the value down to 0.84 in 1993
(0.86 in 1994). This level is distinctly lower than that calculated from women
in first marriages in the Fertility Surveys: the 1992 survey put it at 0.9
3. Nuptiality data for Japan
In Japan, marriages are not registered immediately, but only when the
spouses decide to do so. Delayed registration also applies to divorces, in which
Japan is in line with France and many other countries. Thus, the number of
marriages in a given year has to be reconstructed by summing the marriages
recorded in year of marriage and in following years, the registration data
noting year of marriage. Very few marriages are recorded more than ten years
after the event, and so reconstructing annual numbers of marriages was
straightforward up to 1984. Thereafter, we used constant registration rates by
marriage duration. The proportion of marriages recorded in year of event grew
from 73% in 1955 to 92% in 1976 and has been relatively stable since. Marr
iages with delayed registration were redistributed by age according to a slightly
older age pattern than those registered in year of marriage (Cohort Marriage
Tables for Females in Japan, 1950-87, IPP, 1989). The proportions of women
of each age remaining single were derived from census data and interpolated
for intercensal years on the basis of first marriage rates.

FERTILITY IN JAPAN AND FRANCE

329

600
..--"*---.

a2Japan

500 h

a2 France
y----

400

I
\"

300

fl3 France

\ a3 Japan
I
I
L
oooooooooonoon
On On On On On On On On
I

100

200

Figure 3. - Period parity progression ratios in Japan and France


(per 1,000)
in 1991. The above-mentioned bias in our calculation cannot explain all
this difference, which may be due to survey bias through over-repre
sentationof longer-lasting and more fertile first marriages.
PPPR a0 measured in first marriages is less and less representative
of the corresponding ratio in all marriages: the proportion of marriages
ending in divorce rose from 7.5% in the mid-1960s to 18% in 1983, when
there was a slight about-turn followed by a new increase starting in 1989;
the final percentage in 1994 is 22.5%. Divorce was more frequent in
France: 11% in 1965, 27% in 1983 and 35% in 1994 (Sardon, 1996). Ac
cording
to the Japanese Fertility Survey, 48.6% of these dissolved mar
riages are infertile, since divorce often occurs in the early years of marriage
and infertility is sometimes a cause of divorce. Remarriages represent more
than 10% of all marriages since 1983, as against 6% in 1970. They peaked
at 12% in 1989 but have barely moved since (11.4% in 1994). Now, ac
cording
to the 1992 Fertility Survey, a0 in remarriages ranges from 60%
to 67% in the period 1981-90. All these facts contribute to reducing a0,
and the values derived from the survey data on women in first marriages
overstate the probabilities of having a first child. The decline of first-birth
fertility was for a long time caused essentially by marriage decline or post
ponement,
but marital fertility rates have apparently also started to fall
since the mid-1980s.
PPPR a, (the probability of having a second child when a first has
been borne) was very high in Japan - 0.9 - until the early 1970s. It fell

330

H.KOJIMA, J.-L. RALLU

Probabilities per 1,000


400

Japan 1975
Order 2

10

11

12

13
14
15
Duration (years)

160
140 Order 3

Japan 1989

120
100 -

France 1989

80
/
/ ///Japan 1975 \
/ .
/
/
40
1/
France 1975
60

'1
0
1

20
9

T^:

~ " - -|-

10

11

12

13

14

15

Duration (years)
Figure 4. - Birth probabilities of orders 2 and 3 by duration since
previous birth, Japan and France

FERTILITY IN JAPAN AND FRANCE

331

in the mid-1970s then rose again, and remained just under the 0.9 level
between 1978 and 1984. A further decrease brought it down to 0.8 in 199294. This value is again lower than that calculated from first marriages in
the Fertility Survey.
PPPR a2 (the probability of having a third child when a second has
been borne) was around 0.4 before 1973 and fell to 0.3 in 1975. It then
rose, particularly in the early 1980s, and has stabilized at around 0.37 since
1984. Parity progression ratio a3 (the probability of having a fourth child
when a third has been borne) is very low and the time trend is more or
less parallel to a2.
In France, ax was 0.83 in 1965 and fell below 0.70 in the mid-1970s
- a level much lower than in Japan - before climbing back up to 0.8 during
the 1980s (Figure 3). The fluctuations in a, are much more marked in France
than in Japan. It is also noteworthy that until recently (owing to the decline
in Japan), \ was much lower in France than in Japan, while a2 and, even
more, a3- despite having experienced, like au substantial variations around
1980 - have been much higher in France. Leaving aside France's rapid
about-turn in a2, the two countries show some similarity in the pattern
observed from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s in a2 and a3, namely an
upward trend.
The birth probabilities by duration since previous birth, which ex
press
the probability that women at parity n-1 will have an nth birth, are
better than fertility rates by birth interval - particularly at long durations
- for showing the extent of the fertility variations in France between 1975
and the end of the 1980s. The second-birth probabilities were very low in
France in 1975, but they picked up rapidly thereafter (Figure 4a). In Japan,
the changes are barely discernible at durations below 4 years: the Japanese
family model - a second birth following close on the heels of the first was scarcely affected by the fertility decline in the mid-1970s. At durations
4 years and more, however, the second-birth probabilities are observed to
have fallen somewhat between 1975 and 1989, showing that a change in
family formation has, in fact, occurred. The annual PADTFR values (Ap
pendix
Table 2) confirm that the birth of a second child has become less
frequent since the mid-1980s, and only just about stabilized in the early
1990s. Thus, at a time when French women responded to the context by
spacing their births and increased fertility at long durations, the behaviour
of Japanese women was relatively unyielding. Similar patterns of change
are observed in the third-birth probabilities in the two countries, with an
increase this time also in Japan (Figure 4b); nonetheless, they remain much
higher in France in 1989 at durations of 4 years and more since the second birth.
Mean age of mothers

After a slight drop in age at first birth between


the late 1960s and the early 1970s, the mean
age of mothers at the birth of children of each order (calculated from agespecific fertility rates) began to rise in the mid-1970s in both Japan and

332

H.KOJIMA, J.-L. RALLU

Years of age
34
Japan order 3

32
30

_ . Japan order 2
France order 2

France order 1

1967

1971

1973

1975

1977

1985

1987

1989

1991

Figure 5. - Mean age of mothers at birth of children of orders 1


to 3, Japan and France

l
1983

I l
1979 1981
l

i
1969

20
1965

22
1993
Year

France (Figure 5). Age at first birth then grew more rapidly in France than
in Japan, because of the greater recovery of delayed first births at late
childbearing ages (see above). Mean age at second birth runs parallel with
mean age at first birth in Japan, where most first births are followed by
a second birth with stable interval patterns; mean age at third birth follows
a similar trend. In France, while a slight dip is observed in age at first
birth during the early 1970s, the mean ages at second and third births rise,
mostly owing to a lengthening of birth intervals. Thereafter, the three time
trends move in the same direction, but they are less parallel than in Japan
and the ages increase more rapidly. Thus, fertility has remained younger
overall in France, but the gap with Japan has shrunk from 1 year in 1965
to less than 0.5 year in 1989.
II. - Nuptiality and fertility
Given that extra-marital fertility is very low in Japan, the level of
nuptiality has a strong influence on childlessness, and the recent develop
mentsin first-birth fertility must be considered from this perspective.

FERTILITY IN JAPAN AND FRANCE

333

First marriages

First marriage rates for females were very high in


Japan up to 1970, with about 97% of women marrying,
according to the calendar-year tables(4). The censuses prior to 1960 even
give proportions of women ever-married at age 50 higher than 98% (Feeney
and Saito, 1985). In the latter half of the 1960s, the period total first mar
riage rate (TFMR) exceeded 0.95 (Figure 6) and women's mean age at
marriage was 24.6, a relatively high age because of long studies for most
girls. Such high indices explain that the substantial rise observed in Europe
in the late 1960s could not occur in Japan. There was simply a slight upturn
in TFMR, to 0.975 in 1971, while women's mean age at marriage fell to
24.4 in 1972-73. Starting in 1973, Japan experienced a marriage decline
similar to the West, although more irregular: an increase in TFMR in 197982 was followed by a decrease until 1987, when it amounted to 0.77. Then
the first marriage rates stabilized and even rose slightly, bringing TFMR
to a level of 0.80 in 1991-94. The measure derived from the calendar-year
Calendar-year tables, Japan

0.8
TFMR, France

0.7

Calendar-year tables, France

0.6
0.5

0.3 l

0.4
i

u-i On
On
NOvO4OvONOt^t^I^t~-t^r^r^r^t^(^00000000000000000000ONONONONON
On
t^ On
oo On
o\ On
o On
'oin^ifihooaO"
On On On On On On On On On On cNo^vivor-ooavO
On On On On On On On On On On
NOn On
m TfOn
Year
Figure 6. - First marriage indicators for women, Japan and France
(4) By calendar-year table, we refer to the period index obtained by combining the
age-specific probabilities of first marriage in a given year, that is, taking into account the
fact that only never-married persons can marry for the first time. The total first marriage
rate (TFMR) is a period sum of incidence rates, that is, relating first marriages at a given
age to the total population of that age, whether at risk or not. Cf. Rallu and Toulemon loc.
cit., p. 85 and Table 4 in the Demographic Situation annual report in Population: An English
Selection.

334

H.KOJIMA, J.-L. RALLU

tables shows higher values and a smoother trend. We note in particular


that the decline emerges in 1970 with this index - therefore prior to the
oil shock in 1973 - and that there is a levelling-off from 1978 to 1983,
which contrasts with the rise in TFMR. Thus, the rise was merely due to
the structure of the female population by marital status, which also applies
to the recent upturn since the end of the 1980s (Figure 6). The proportion
of women remaining single at age 50 is 15% according to the table for
1994, as against 21% according to TFMR.
Nuptiality trends were fairly similar in Japan and France from 1965
to 1977, when the decline was accelerating in France while Japan held
stable. In 1994, however, there is a vast difference in nuptiality level be
tween
the two, with 35% of French women remaining single at age 50
according to the tables (50% according to TFMR), compared to 15% in
Japan. However, the proportion of young women living in a union is higher
in France, owing to the frequency of unmarried cohabitation: 70% of women
aged 25-29 were living with a partner in 1994 (Toulemon, 1997), whereas
only 53% of Japanese women in this age group were married in 1995 (census
data) and cohabitation has spread very slowly and only in the cities; in
Probabilities per 1,000
250
First marriages 1977
First births 1977

200 -

\
\

i i i

i i

//First births
\
1994

^isa&f"\

If

First marriages 1994

//

il

// //

100 -

50 --

150 -

1 1

1 ""i^-t-i^-_4-J--.t-i,.J.-Age

Figure 7. - Women's first marriage and first birth probabilities by


age, Japan, 1977 and 1994
(5) The proportion was lower in the 1992 IPP survey (3.1% at ages 20-24 and 4.5%
at 25-29), but there may have been some under-reporting due to the fact that it was conducted
by a government organisation.

FERTILITY IN JAP AN AND FRANCE

335

the Mainichi Shimbun survey, barely 5%(5) of single women under 30 re


ported
having cohabited (Wagatsuma, 1996(6)). The situation is inversed in
age group 30-34: 83% of Japanese women are married, while 79% of French
women are in a married or unmarried union.
First marriages and
first births

In traditional Japanese society, couples started a


family shortly after marrying. This was still the
case in 1977, after the fertility decline had started.
In Figure 7, we see the age-specific first marriage and first-birth probability
curves are almost parallel in 1977, with a one-year gap.
By 1994, the first marriage probabilities have fallen sharply before
age 29, and there is no rise after this age. The first birth probabilities
display a similar pattern, but the decline is more marked and the two curves
no longer run parallel before age 29; after this age, there is a slight upturn
in first births(7). In Figure 8, we observe that this upturn after age 30 was
irregular and hesitant between 1980 and 1990, then more regular but still

Probabilities per 1 ,000


200
180 -

Japan 1980

160

140
120
100
80 -

\ France 1989

France 1980/
V /

\/
-' Japan
Japan1994
1990

60
40

/y
1

20

Figure 8. - First birth probabilities by age, Japan and France


since 1980

Age

' * The same author reports that when women who are cohabiting or are not in a stable
union become pregnant, they generally either marry or abort.
<7) Between 1980 and 1990, the growth of first-birth fertility after age 28 represents
only 40% of the decline before this age in Japan. In France between 1980 and 1989, the
growth begins after age 25 and it represents 80% of the decline at younger ages. Over a
longer period, 1973-89, the increases at older ages represent only 23% of the decline at younger
ages in Japan, as against 47% in France.

336

H.KOJIMA, J.-L. RALLU

modest between 1990 and 1994. In contrast, the first birth probabilities
have grown much more substantially in France between 1980 and 1989,
and as from age 28. We shall come back later to this relatively slight upturn
in Japan.
Thus, the Japanese fertility decline in the mid-1970s appears to have
been solely caused by the nuptiality decline which emerged around 1970,
according to the first marriage tables. This is not the case in 1980, when
marital fertility shows distinct signs of a real decrease: the Japanese model
of virtually universal marriage and of family formation implying a first
birth very early in marriage followed closely by a second, is thus chal
lenged.
The compensation mechanism whereby the first births that do not
occur at young ages are 'recovered' at later childbearing ages is not really
observed yet in Japan, and this explains much of the fertility decline, given
that there is no increase in extra-marital births to slow it down.
III. - Cohort replacement
Let us first take a look at the components of Japanese and French
fertility in recent years. The levels of first marriage and of fertility of
each birth order are very different (Table 1), and the TFR value in 1989
is 1.81 in France vs 1.57 in Japan, and 1.65 vs 1.50 in 1994 (for reasons
of data availability, we compare the situations in 1989). TFMR is 22 per
centage
points lower in France than in Japan, but this goes together with
a far higher proportion of extra-marital births. Although the parity pro
gression
ratio fl0 (from marriage to first birth) remains high in Japan, the
first-birth component of TFR is lower than in France. Because of higher
a, ratios and higher first-birth fertility during the mid-1980s, Japan maint
ains a second-birth TFR close to that of France, but its lower fertility at
higher birth orders brings the total TFR gap to a level of 0.24 in 1989.
Table 1 . - Nuptiality and fertility in Japan and France, 1989
Total fertility rate
Total first marriage rate
Extra-marital births (%)
TFR1*
PATFR1
TFR2
PADTFR2
TFR3
PADTFR3
TFR4
TFR5+
* TFR1...5+: Birth order components of TFR.
PATFR and PADTFR: indices explained in section I.

Japan
1.57
0.77
1 %
0.67
0.79
0.61
0.65
0.25
0.22
0.04
0.01

France
1.81
0.55
28%
0.72
0.86
0.62
0.68
0.33
0.28
0.08
0.06

FERTILITY IN JAPAN AND FRANCE

337

Cohort analysis confirms the in-depth transformation of Japan's nuptiality and fertility models since the early 1970s. Before 1970, women's
first marriage rates were at their maximum, and marriage was soon fo
llowed
by a birth; in 1951, the combined probabilities of marriage and of
a first birth for married women gave 93.5% of women in this situation
(Feeney and Saito, 1986; Ogawa and Retherford, 1993). The cohorts born
after the Second World War, however, gradually move away from this model.
In cohort (denoted c.) 1950, already affected by the fertility decline, we
find only 0.90 first births per woman, and this reduction then becomes
more marked: 0.88 in 1955 and 0.85 in 1959. The first-birth fertility
value was slightly lower in France than in Japan in 1950 - 0.88 - and
then the two countries meet in 1954, with 12% of women remaining
childless. The downward trend thereafter accelerates in Japan, and in
1959 the proportions childless are 15% and 14% in Japan and France re
spectively.
The gap will widen rapidly unless more Japanese women catch
up on first births at the later childbearing ages.
Second births remain more frequent in Japan than in France in
1960 (0.69 vs 0.65), although the difference is less marked than in 1950
(0.78 vs 0.68), but third and higher order births are more widespread in
France. As a result, French women born before 1960 practically reach r
eplacement
level, while in Japan those born in 1955 fall below 2 children
per woman and 1959 is down to 1.9. Given the limited compensation
through later childbearing (although it has increased since 1990), completed
fertility in cohorts born in the mid-1960s will likely be no more than 1.65
(estimated by projecting the age-specific fertility trends; when the rates
are held constant from 1994, the estimate is 1.6). This is much lower than
France's 1.97 (or 1.91 when the rates are frozen from 1995) (Prioux, 1997).
The fertility levels at each birth order determine women's distribution
by completed family size. In 1950, this distribution shows considerable
divergences between the two countries (Table 2). There are fewer childless
women and mothers-of-one in Japan, and also fewer mothers with three
children or more. The result is a greater concentration on the two-child
family: more than half of women in Japan compared to 40% in France.
In 1960, although the Japanese distribution continues to focus on the
Table 2. - Percentage distribution of women by completed family size
Birth cohort 1950
France*
Japan
0 children
10
12
1 child
12
20
2 children
52
39
3 children or more
26
29
Total
100
100
* Leridon, Toulemon, 1996.
** Based on PATFR and PADTFR.

Birth cohort 1960


France*
Japan
17
14
14
21
43
35
26
30
100
100

Year 1989**
Japan
21
14
43
22
100

France
14
18
40
28
100

338

H.KOJIMA, J.-L. RALLU

two-child family, the latter's relative weight has fallen rapidly. We note
that though one-child families remain less frequent in Japan than in France,
childlessness has become more widespread.
IV. - Contraceptive use
Contraceptive use differs considerably in Japan and France. According
to the IPP National Fertility Survey of 1987, 63.3% of married women
aged under 49 were contraceptive users(8), but this figure is thought to be
underestimated and unmarried women were not asked whether they used
a method of contraception. In France, 65% of women aged 20-49, all marit
al
statuses combined, were contraceptive users in 1994 (Leridon and Toulemon, 1995), and a further 4% were sterilized; only 3% of women at risk
of pregnancy and not wanting a child were unprotected.
The two countries differ most in the methods employed. The 1996
Mainichi Shimbun survey (Hayashi, 1996) found that, among users, 77%
were protected by the condom, 3.8% by the IUD, 5.3% by sterilization
through tubal ligation, 1.2% by male sterilization (vasectomy) and only
1.3% by the pill, the remainder using periodic abstinence (Ogino and tem
perature
methods) or coitus interruptus. The government has taken a stand
against the pill - it is authorized only on medical (not contraceptive) grounds,
and at high doses; as a result, there are important side-effects and many
women are wary of taking chemical contraceptives. A low-dose oral con
traceptive
was to have been authorized in 1997, but the decision was post
poned.
According to the Mainichi Shimbun survey, however, only 16% of
unmarried and 13% of married women would be willing to adopt a lowdose pill (Wagatsuma, 1996; Hayashi, 1996). In France, the pill is far ahead
of any other method, with 57% of users aged 20-49, followed by the IUD
(25%). The condom concerns only 7% of contracepting women, but 45%
of first sexual relations.
The current abortion rate in Japan was derived from survey data for
the first time in 1996 (responses to the question "Did you undergo an
abortion during the last twelve months?"): it amounted to 14.8 per 1,000
women aged 15-49, that is, 25% higher than the official abortion statistics.
Almost 70% of married women stated they had never had an abortion,
compared to 50% in the surveys conducted in the early 1970s to mid-1980s
and 60% thereafter (Hayashi, 1996); although the figures are somewhat
shaky, it is likely that induced abortion has in fact declined. In France,
the abortion rate in 1994 was 15.1 per 1,000 women aged 15-49, or 0.52
abortions per woman.

(8) According to the Mainichi Shimbun survey of 1996, 56%.

FERTILITY IN JAPAN AND FRANCE

339

V. - Attitudes towards low fertility in Japan


The present fertility level, which is far below replacement level, is
a serious problem for Japan, whose population will already be ageing faster
than in any other industrialized country by the beginning of the next mil
lenium.
We have seen that the recent fertility decline is related to marriage
postponement and, to a lesser extent, to a decrease in marital births. This
factor will gain more weight if, as is the case now, relatively few women
catch up on their childbearing at later ages. These trends would seem to
challenge the Japanese family model which has stood firm so far, in par
ticular
against unmarried cohabitation. The very low level of fertility in
recent years has caused concern among population specialists and govern
mentofficials. This has been echoed by the media, who headlined "the
1989 shock" when TFR reached 1.57 - a level even lower than in the
horse-fire year, which had been considered a one-off low resulting from
popular superstition, and not anything that could last (Kuroda, 1996).
The Mainichi Shimbun National Surveys on Family Planning provide
some elements for interpreting the persistence of such low fertility levels.
Since the most detailed fertility analyses in Japan are based on survey
data which, as we have seen, overstate marital fertility, the fertility decline
is principally attributed to marriage postponement and demographers and
sociologists tend to focus their attention on the intentions of singles. The
1996 Mainichi Shimbun survey showed that less than 4% of single women
aged under 35 were resolutely against marriage (Ogawa, 1996). Yet almost
40% of age group 25-29 and 45% of age group 30-34 did not intend to
marry in the next two years. And after the age of 35 and, even more, 40,
women more frequently turn their backs on marriage, and fertility is likely
to be low or refused altogether (see further).
Like other industrialized countries, Japan is paying special attention
to women's labour force participation, all the more so since in traditional
Japanese society a married woman stays at home to rear her children. Ac
cording
to the survey, Japanese women now want to continue working for
economic reasons and to be independent and fulfil themselves. Fewer and
fewer women accept to give up their job when they marry (23% in 1996
as against 28% in 1990), and more and more want to work without inter
ruption
until they retire (26% as against 21%) (Tsuya, 1996; Pennec, Blanchet and Kojima, 1996). Almost 80% of single women aged 20-24, and
more than 90% of those aged 25-39, work - in almost 90% of cases, in
full-time jobs. But motherhood often implies giving up their full-time job
for part-time work: this is the case for 30% of working mothers in age
group 30-34 and 40% in age group 35-44. The Child Care Leave Law of
1992 was intended to make working life compatible with motherhood; but

340

H.KOJIMA, J.-L. RALLU

only 16% of married under-30s and 19% at ages 30-34 used this right
between 1992 and 1996. This was principally either because women
preferred to give up their job completely to look after their children (46%)
or because the "atmosphere in their work place made it difficult to take
the leave" (15%). The child care leave is mainly aimed at full-time workers
who can fulfil the 12 months worked in the last two years condition, and
it can only have a positive impact on fertility if it stops women from leav
ing their job; otherwise the loss of income related to having a child
becomes prohibitive. This prospect could explain why marriages tend to
be deferred, since they are still expected to be followed post-haste by start
ing a family.
In the context of an imminent decline of the working-age population,
the solution of increasing women's participation in the labour force is often
proposed. Indeed, the female activity ratio is still M-shaped in Japan and
women's work is largely part-time. This solution contains, however, two
risks: a reduction of fertility and a reduction of the amount of care provided
by women for elderly family members (Ogawa and Matsukura, 1995).
Young Japanese women have studied for years, and they have other
horizons than the traditional family lifestyle (marriage and looking after
their children, with a sometimes painfully close link to the husband's family
when there is cohabitation). Low starting salaries and the high cost of urban
housing are further reasons why a young couple may postpone a formal,
and very expensive, wedding. The cost of education is another reason for
limiting family size, particularly when a first or second child has already
been born.
What is the family policy position in Japan? Those implemented by
a number of Western countries in the 1970s and 1980s have not succeeded
in raising fertility to replacement level. Japan has not launched any policies
of the kind, that would have recalled pre-war nationalism and would have
been perceived as an intrusion into private life. Although 18% of married
women reported in the 1996 Mainichi Shimbun that they were "very anxious"
about the low fertility level (and 63% "a little anxious") - because of their
fears concerning the future of pension systems, care of the elderly and the
nation's loss of economic and social vitality - a majority continue to think
that fertility is a private matter (65% in 1994 and 1996 vs 79% in 1990).
But 32% (as against 17% in 1990) think the government should do some
thing to boost fertility to replacement level (Okazaki, 1996); this opinion
is less frequent among the younger women, however. A family policy could
help compensate the low wages at the beginning of working life, and more
generally help conciliate pursuing a career with having a family; however,
crches and kindergarten are presently much less available in Japan than
in France.
As well as marriage postponement, the decline of first birth proba
bilities
is noteworthy. It is true that divorce - which is not a new phe
nomenon
in Japan and has never been seen as threatening the family model

FERTILITY IN JAPAN AND FRANCE

34 1

- has increased since the 1970s and often occurs in the first years of marr
iage, but the fact that the shortfall of first births at younger ages is not
made up at later ages is also a problem. In the IPP surveys, the women
who say they expect to have fewer than their ideal number of children are
asked why. In 1992, 22% in age group 30-34 and 36% in 35-39 stated
they wanted no more children because of their age, and 30% said they
could no longer stand the physical and mental strain of childrearing. But
the costs entailed by children - education, keep - were the most common
reasons, with 38% and 46% respectively in age group 30-34 and 30% in
age group 35-39; compared to 1982, that was an 8 to 10 percentage point
increase (Kojima, 1993). We note here that, though the present economic
situation does not favour an upturn in fertility, the rates began to fall in
1983, long before the financial 'bubble' burst and the recession of the early
1990s. Among the other reasons stated in the survey, we find lack of space
for (more) children (30% at ages 25-29 and 20% at ages 30-34) and the
necessity that all children be independent when the husband retires (6%).
Incompatibility with work is mentioned only by 11-12% of women aged
25-39 (and more frequently by working women).
It therefore seems unlikely that fertility will increase in the near fu
ture
in Japan. The trend towards later marriage will continue, since for
women it is a means to ensure their place in the workforce, and it is not
sure that the babies not borne now by younger women will be borne when
they are older. Moreover, the reduction of the working-age population which
is expected at the turn of the century will encourage women's labour force
participation (Ogawa, 1996).
Conclusion
Registration data give a quite different picture of fertility in Japan
to the one provided by fertility surveys. Childlessness appears to be higher,
in connection with the marriage decline and that of first marital births.
From 1965 to the latter 1980s, nuptiality trends dictated fertility trends
and the parity progression ratio a0 and birth intervals were very stable.
Since then, however, a decrease in marital fertility has emerged. The Japanese
model of virtually universal marriage followed by the birth of one or two
children - unchanged until the 1970s for marriage and until the mid-1980s
for marital fertility - is thus challenged. The reasons are not a devaluation
of the family image - family formation still begins with marriage and di
vorce
is not perceived negatively as in France - but a mechanical conse
quence of delayed marriage, linked to economic conditions (housing costs,
salaries increasing with seniority) and women's desire to work. There is
also a loosening of the tie between marriage and childbearing, the impact
of which is all the more marked as Japanese society refuses births outside
marriage and does not favour having children later in life. Were the re-

342

H.KOJIMA, J.-L. RALLU

luctance to have children after age 30 to diminish, fertility might rise once
marriage postponement has settled down. But fertility might just as well
fall if childlessness, linked to celibacy or not, were to continue to spread
and if the family model were to deviate further from the traditional twochild family. The fertility decline should consequently be read in the frame
workof a double set of constraints: those related to the traditional family
model and those concerning the modern way of life, both of which impose
restrictions on women and men. The outlook does not, therefore, seem promi
singand points to low fertility being here to stay. Unless... the possibility
of a collective realization of the demographic implications is not to be
ruled out. The implementation of a global family policy, encompassing child
education benefits, inter-generational solidarity, gender equity and the con
tinuance
of Japanese society, could have a positive effect on fertility.
In France, the growth of unmarried cohabitation and divorce has chal
lenged
the traditional family model more seriously. But this has resulted
in a rise in extra-marital fertility which, together with a shift towards later
childbearing, has kept childlessness at a rather low level. Family formation
patterns have also proved very sensitive to contextual factors, with large
variations in birth intervals, so that the rapid fertility decline in the mid1970s was in part made up around 1980. France is characterized also by
a relative stability of the two-child family model, while the proportion of
families with three children or more remains substantial. It is this combi
nation that has kept fertility close to replacement level.
Hiroshi Kojima, Jean-Louis R.ALLU

FERTILITY IN JAPAN AND FRANCE

343

Appendix Table 1. - Fertility indices for Japan and France, 1965-94


Japan
TFR PATFR PDiTFR PDTFR PADTFR TFR
1965 2.145 2.115
2.111
2.840
1966 1.579 1.723
1.499
2.791
1967 2.224 2.133
2.175
2.665
2.132
2.581
1968 2.129 2.091
1969 2.123 2.098
2.110
2.526
1970 2.135 2.115
2.089
2.472
1971 2.157 2.130
2.119
2.490
1972 2.141 2.126
2.098
2.412
2.302
1973 2.148 2.133
2.113
2.101
1974 2.049 2.061
2.010
1975 1.905 1.953
1.882
1.929
1976 1.844 1.899
1.855
1.830
1977 1.788 1.852
1.847
1.867
1.852
1.864
1978 1.775 1.836
1.874
1.842
1.823
1.875
1979
.751 1.817
.876
1.877
1.835
1.855
1980
.731 1.802
1.861
1.867
1.828
1.945
1981 1.726 1.800
.860
1.867
1.834
1.945
1982 1.755 1.813
1.894
1.879
1.846
1.913
1983 1.787 1.835
1.922
1.878
1.787
1.908
1984 1.799 1.837
1.890
1.930
1.920
1.808
1985 1.756 1.797
1.873
.894
1.857
1.823
1986 1.718 1.765
1.826
1.860
1.825
1.844
1987
.689 1.736
1.803
1.841
1.798
1.817
1988 1.656 1.704
1.782
1.809
1.761
1.824
1989 1.575 1.635
1.688
1.790
1.695
1.736
1.780
1990 1.542 1.602
1.669
1.700
1.650
1.770
1991 1.535 1.599
1.672
1.690
1.643
1992 1.504 1.569
1.650
1.664
1.615
1.730
1993 1.461 1.527
1.597
1.621
1.572
1.650
1994 1.503 1.559
1.651
1.653
1.605
1.650
1.574
1.524
1.700
1995 1.425 1.480
1.550
The indices are explained in section I.

PATFR
2.845
2.756
2.609
2.529
2.482
2.435
2.453
2.374
2.267
2.085
1.937
1.858
1.880
1.848
1.872
1.951
1.953
1.926
1.817
1.837
1.852
1.874
1.855
1.870
1.865

France
PDiTFR
2.723
2.672
2.512
2.444
2.419
2.372
2.422
2.304
2.180
1.977
1.841
1.811
1.915
1.928
2.038
2.209
2.255
2.196
1.993
2.033
2.097
2.155
2.128
2.133
2.100

PDTFR PADTFR

1.969
1.904
1.948
1.952
2.021
2.138
2.192
2.166
2.026
2.049
2.096
2.141
2.132
2.144
2.131

1.922
1.834
1.858
1.841
1.887
1.987
2.013
1.991
1.876
1.889
1.916
1.945
1.932
1.946
1.937

344

H.KOJIMA, J.-L. RALLU

Appendix Table 2. - Birth order components of fertility indices for Japan and
France, 1976-94
Japan
TFR1 TFR2 TFR3 PATFR1 FATFR2 PATFR3 PADTFR2 PADTFR3 PDTFR2 PDTFR3
1976
821
747
227
889
753
216
778
214
763
219
1977
786
732
225
879
732
204
737
200
738
209
1978
776
728
229
873
723
204
729
203
741
219
1979
773
707
231
868
712
202
206
741
225
726
778
228
207
1980
685
865
704
199
722
736
225
1981
785
673
228
864
702
200
725
209
734
227
1982
792
684
237
863
703
211
723
221
734
238
1983
805
692
247
863
709
224
731
239
742
254
1984
795
700
258
857
705
232
734
251
745
266
1985
759
691
260
842
688
227
723
248
736
266
742
672
259
832
674
220
242
260
1986
708
720
722
261
821
1987
661
660
218
696
240
714
261
1988
701
647
263
807
645
214
678
236
697
259
1989 673
606
251
788
617
197
647
217
663
242
1990
664
587
246
111
601
191
628
209
646
236
1991
681
572
237
775
600
191
624
208
641
233
1992
677
557
225
768
587
182
612
201
226
630
669
211
1993
538
758
569
170
593
190
611
215
1994
695
551
211
224
766
580
179
603
199
621
1995
662
522
197
743
546
160
568
180
586
205
France
TFR1 TFR2 TFR3 PATFR1 PATFR2 FATFR3 PADTFR2 PADTFR3 PDTFR2 PDTFR3
815
614
229
899
228
642
220
1976
657
662
243
1977
822
647
238
897
665
238
651
230
681
261
644
1978
808
632
238
895
653
226
224
680
263
1979
795
654
268
892
651
245
656
248
695
297
1980
816
679
311
897
667
280
682
289
720
344
1981
797
668
329
893
656
284
300
722
360
683
1982
792
666
305
891
653
269
685
286
727
342
1983
758
634
259
880
227
664
242
707
290
628
1984
746
641
278
875
627
235
666
249
711
302
1985 744
638
295
870
629
244
671
261
716
320
1986
741
645
311
869
633
254
680
273
725
338
1987
733
631
315
865
626
253
676
274
721
342
1988
728
630
323
863
632
256
681
278
721
345
1989
720
623
327
861
630
255
677
276
716
341
The indices are explained in section I.

FERTILITY IN JAPAN AND FRANCE

345

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FERTILITY IN JAPAN AND FRANCE

347

Kojima (Hiroshi), Rallu (Jean-Louis). - Fertility in Japan and France


Fertility in Japan and France was very similar between 1975 and 1985, but the sub
sequent
decline has been greater in Japan, where levels have stood at below 1.5 births per
woman since 1993.
A study of fertility using civil registration and survey data, and from indices based
on the parity-specific birth probabilities, reveals that the decline in fertility in Japan was
due to the fall in nuptiality until the mid-1980s but that since then there has also been a fall
in fertility within marriage.
Unlike in France, extra-marital fertility has not increased in Japan, and the compens
ationdue to postponed births remained at a low level until the start of the 1990s. There are
various cultural and economic obstacles in Japan to an increase in fertility outside marriage
and among older women. It is through these new forms of fertility behaviour that France
has been able to maintain a relatively high fertility based on an overall rate of childlessness
that is still quite low.
Kojima (Hiroshi), Rallu (Jean-Louis). - La fcondit au Japon et en France
La fcondit tait peu diffrente au Japon et en France entre 1975 et 1985, mais la
baisse a t ensuite plus importante au Japon avec des niveaux infrieurs 1,5 naissance
par femme depuis 1993.
L'tude de la fcondit partir de donnes d'tat civil et d'enqutes, et d'indices ba
ss sur les probabilits de naissance par rang, montre que la baisse de la fcondit au Japon
a rsult de la baisse de la nuptialit jusqu'au milieu des annes 1980 mais consiste aussi
depuis lors en une baisse de la fcondit dans le mariage.
la diffrence de la France, on n'observe pas au Japon d'augmentation de la fcond
ithors mariage et la rcupration des naissances retardes est reste peu importante jus
qu'au dbut des annes 1990. Le dveloppement de la fcondit hors mariage et des ges
avancs se heurte diverses contraintes culturelles et conomiques. C'est, au contraire,
grce ces nouveaux comportements que la France conserve une fcondit assez leve sur
la base d'une infcondit des gnrations encore assez faible.
Kojima (Hiroshi), Rallu (Jean-Louis). - La fecundidad en Japon y en Francia
Entre 1975 y 1985, los nivels de fecundidad de Francia y Japon eran similares, pero
la disminucin posterior fue ms fuerte en Japon, donde se alcanzan nivels inferiores a 1,5
nacimientos por mujer despus de 1993.
El estudio de la fecundidad a partir de datos del registro civil, encuestas e indices basados en las probabilidades de nacimiento por rango, muestra que la disminucin de la f
ecundidad
observada en Japon fue debida a la disminucin de la nupcialidad hasta la mitad
de los aos ochenta, pero que, ms recientemente, se explica tambin por la disminucin de
la fecundidad dentro del matrimonio.
A diferencia de Francia, en Japon no se observa un aumento de la fecundidad fuera
del matrimonio y la fecundidad en edades avanzadas sigue siendo poco significativa hasta
el incio de la dcada de los noventa. Ambos fenmenos (fecundidad fuera del matrimonio y
en edades avanzadas) se enfrentan a multiples restricciones culturales y econmicas. En
Francia, sin embargo, estos nuevos comportamientos mantienen el nivel de fecundidad relativamente elevado, teniendo en cuenta que existe un nivel todavia reducido de infecundidad.

Hiroshi Kojima, National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, Ministry
of Health and Welfare, Kasumigaseki 1-2-3, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100, Japon