This paper examines the nature and role of the idea of a new order of East Asia based on the “East Asian community” theory of reformist bureaucrat Hideoto Mouri. While previous studies have emphasized the acquired nature of the new order as a rationale to justify the Sino–Japanese War, the present study clarifies the logical attributes of Mouri’s theory. The practical activities that Mouri conducted in accordance with his theory are also outlined. In addition, the nature and role of this theory, which Mouri attempted to apply in real life, are examined. Unlike general theories of international order, Mouri’s is not a theory of a federal organization that perceives nations as components; rather, it is an attempt to create an anthropomorphic organization wherein people living in a widespread region are united across national borders based on a universal philosophy, striving together as one toward achieving a goal as they transcend existing national and ethnic frameworks. Accordingly, the establishment of a universal philosophy that could be shared by Asian nations and ethnic groups became the most important aspect for the construction of a community; however, the war ended before the philosophy could be fully realized.
Middle Eastern countries have been undergoing a decline in fertility since the 1990s. In Tunisia, the fertility rate dropped close to the demographic transition level, even in rural areas. This article examines the factors contributing to fertility decline in rural Tunisia, based on data from questionnaire surveys conducted in 1997 and 2016. Because the same households were surveyed 20 years apart, change in fertility and reasons for this change could be analyzed at the micro-level.
Results of the analysis confirmed that fertility declined between 1997 and 2016 in the villages studied. (1) Direct causes were postponing marriage later until in life (which was due mainly to time spent pursuing higher education and the difficulty men faced seeking employment) and the prevalence of family planning. (2) Although the women in 2016 exhibited the same preference as in 1997 for giving birth to their first child within 1 year of marriage, they preferred greater spacing for subsequent births in 2016, which reflects a change in their attitude toward quality of life. Notably, their ideal number of children did not change. The preference for a large family persisted, reflecting the actual socioeconomic role of family in the study villages.
These results led us to conclude that the fertility decline in the region was not caused by the so-called ‘modernization’ of the family. Marriage and family continue to play important roles in the region’s society, and this seems unlikely to change. In such a society, the demographic reaction of households to socioeconomic conditions is to delay marriage.