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APDA/JPFP Japan Parliamentarians Federation for Population (JPFP) meeting: World Population at 8 Billion

21 November 2022, Tokyo, Japan

On 21 November, the Japan Parliamentarians Federation for Population (JPFP) held a thematic meeting “World Population At 8 Billion”. During the meeting moderated by Hon. Hitoshi Kikawada, Secretary General of JPFP, Hon. Yoko Kamikawa, Chair of JPFP, delivered opening remarks, and Mr. Ian MacFarlane, Director, Division of Communications and Strategic Partnership of UNFPA, and Ms. Sumie Ishii, Chair of JOICFP (IPPF Tokyo Liaison Office), made presentations on this topic. It was attended by a total of 22 Members of Parliament and proxies.

The world population reached 8 billion this year. It has taken only 11 years for the world to add 1 billion since 2011. Hon. Kamikawa said, “It is great news that more people benefit from healthcare services and the mortality rate has decreased, while there are a number of challenges surrounding food security and environment as well as difficulties suffered by women and girls. In order to address these issues, based on the analyses, we would like to consider what actions we should take next”.

In his presentation, Mr. MacFarlane pointed out that the world of 8 billion people was a momentous milestone, accompanied by an increase in life expectancy and fewer maternal and child deaths. Such progress, however, is not enjoyed equally by all. He added, "In Japan, I came across a wonderful word, ‘Ibasho’ (a place where you can feel like being yourself and feel a sense of belonging). If everyone has ‘Ibasho’, no one is left behind”. Ms. Ishii explained that IPPF provided SRH services putting extra efforts especially for the poor and those in humanitarian crises, who were often left behind, and helped them realize their potentials and hopes. She then presented a video of IPPF’s work in Palestine.

In the following Q&A session, Hon. Prof. Keizo Takemi, Executive Director of JPFP, and Hon. Kamikawa asked about cooperation between IPPF, UN agencies and governments. Hon. Gen Nakatani asked about ensuring safety of operation in dangerous areas. Hon. Yoshinori Suematsu asked what approach Japan can take to the world’s population at 8 billion, and Hon. Takemi asked what the expectations would be toward Japan that will the host the G7 Summit in 2023.

The presenters’ responses are summarized below:

  • IPPF works in close cooperation with UN agencies and governments, particularly in humanitarian settings. The UN also develops coordination mechanisms.
  • IPPF’s Member Associations have informal, local information networks. They ensure safety of operation based on the latest information day by day.
  • Rather than fixating on the 8 billion population figure alone, it is more important to look ahead and think about investments to create a better world.
  • Japan can take advantage of its experience in promoting UHC and play a leading in promoting SRHR.
  • While data on ageing population is not available in some countries, Japan has such data and can benefit from its analysis for policymaking.
  • Promoting human security as a pillar of its foreign policy, Japan has improved its preparedness for disasters and emergencies. By linking human security with the challenges faced by women and girls, Japan's message to the international community will have a greater impact.
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