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The birth rate in South Korea has fallen steadily since 2015. Last year was the third in a row in which Asia’s fourth-largest economy saw more deaths than births.

Additionally, the country recently broke its own record for the world’s lowest fertility rate. The average number of children a woman in South Korea is expected to have fell to 0.78 in 2022, down from 0.81 a year earlier — far below the rate of 2.1 needed to maintain natural population growth.

South Korea’s attempts at slowing the trend have had similar results. Over the past 16 years, the country has spent €195.6 billion ($210 billion) trying to boost birth rates, but has failed to turn the tide, President Yoon Suk Yeol said late last year.

Neighboring Japan has long been stymied by demographic problems, particularly with its fast-growing elderly population. Japan has one of the lowest birth rates in the world relative to is population, recording fewer than 800,000 births among its roughly 125 million people in 2022. At the same time, more than 90,000 of its citizens are 100 or older.

The Chinese are also having fewer children, delaying childbirth, or not having kids at all. Last year, China saw its population fall — for the first time in 60 years — by 850,000 in 2022, according to its National Bureau of Statistics.

In fact, apart from an uptick in 2016, when the two-child policy was introduced, the number of babies born in China has declined by nearly half, from 17.86 million in 2016 down to just 9.56 million in 2022.

The decline in birth rates and the shift to an aging population has serious consequences for projected economic growth and productivity in all three countries, as well as the fiscal sustainability of existing social insurance programs (pensions, health care coverage, etc).

Directions: Write a decision memorandum to ONE of the following:

1. Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan.

2. Yoon Suk Yeol, President of South Korea

3. Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and President of the People’s Republic of China.

Your assignment is to describe in detail a SINGLE PROPOSAL (Points will be deducted if you offer more than one proposal) to increase number of new individuals entering the workforce in one of these countries. NOTE—There are a number of general approaches to tackle all or part the problem: increase the birthrate; more immigration; automation, delay retirement of existing workers, etc. Your task is to pick an approach and then detail a specific policy tool for it.

The proposal must be one that either Japan, South Korea, or PRC can implement ON THEIR OWN (Domestically, not an international agreement). Only write the memo to the leader of the entity that you want to implement your proposal.

You must provide DETAILS. At a minimum, the following must be included in policy proposal:

1. How will the proposal be authorized (legislation, executive authority) and what law it is amending (just the general name of the law);

2. What it does, (implementation tool—such as a specific grant proposal that pays parents x percent of their income while on parental leave or a specific immigration program, etc.)

3. Details about the implementation tool. For example, is it a grant, a tax incentive (credit, deduction, etc.), a regulation and what is the regulation specifically targeted to do.

4. Cost or revenue estimate based, and how that number is derived.

5. What entity will administer the incentive

6. Timeline for implementation.

7. Who/what is the target of the proposal.

8. Proposal Goal—For example, an estimate of when population growth will be stabilized or increased by x percent. The goal must be clearly stated at the beginning of the proposal section

9. An evaluation of the proposal’s effectiveness (how much of the goal will the proposal achieve) and data and evidence to support your argument.

10. A pro and cons in the evaluation section of the proposal. Make sure you provide cited evidence of your arguments.

Students are NOT allowed to propose a “commission” or to “study the issue further.”

You may adopt someone else’s proposal, but you MUST cite whose proposal it is. NO EXCEPTIONS. Failing to do so puts you at risk for plagiarism.

Students must also do a comprehensive analysis that incudes policy pro and cons in one section and political pro and cons. Your analysis MUST show whether or not your proposal partially achieves the goal presented.

Make sure you put your name at the top of the memo and the person to whom you are writing. Also include the date and subject. You MUST follow the exact format below with the headers:

1. Action Forcing Event

2. Statement of the Problem/History

3. Proposal

4. Policy Analysis (policy, economic, environmental analysis)

5. Political Analysis

6. Recommendation

All your arguments should be supported by cited facts, data, etc. When creating your decision memorandum, include your name and the name of the assignment in the file title. Also, please be sure to only include one period in file names. The period should be between the file name and the extension. For example: bjones_assignment1.doc The decision memo is to be no longer than 5 pages, single spaced. Students should use the Calibri font size 12. All papers must include footnotes, not endnotes. NO BIBLIOGRAPHY.

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