lifestyle

Neighboring suburbs in Japan face divergent futures as one grays, one grows

6 Comments
By Elaine Lies

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Sakura has by contrast grown in the more piecemeal fashion typical of other Japanese cities, with little thought given to bringing in new blood. Residents say its government, controlled by one political party since 1955, allowed local stores to fold and did not attract new businesses.

Ongoing decay and people still vote for the same party.

The other place, Inzai, sounds like a typical successful local government in Japan, one that pulls in as much money as possible by using various subsidies and schemes set up by the prefecture and national government. This is good, but is not necessarily going to be sustainable in the long term. Subsidies should be for jumpstarting, not producing eternal dependencies on the money printer.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

*Sakura has by contrast grown in the more piecemeal fashion typical of other Japanese cities, with little thought given to bringing in new blood. Residents say its government, controlled by one political party since 1955, allowed local stores to fold and did not attract new businesses.*

Sounds like Sakura is a micromodel of Japan as a whole. The lack of empathy, innovation, activity, and openmindedness that is slowly turning Japan into a backwater. The same old boys watch and shrug their shoulders while the nation slowly dies off.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Key takeaway:

"The population of young people is falling all over Japan, so it becomes a fight for them," he said. "There will be winners and losers, forcing local governments into competition. The places that make efforts to win will see growth."

With the population set to drop by 20% by 2050, coupled with unchecked centralization in Tokyo and on a smaller scale in other large cities, there will thousands of places like Sakura in the decades to come. Or a lot more losers than winners.

I'd also venture to guess that the overwhelming majority of Sakura residents would choose extinction over immigration.

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Give me a free house and I will move anywhere.

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Nobody wants to move to an area full of rundown shacks. A large "empty house" tax should be imposed to force the owners to sell up. Then the shacks can be rebuilt and new residents attracted.

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It's a difficult situation for Japan. Very sad to see so many young people not marrying and not having kids. As an American, my maternal great grandmother had 15 children! Grandmother had 5, my mother had 7 of us, we have one, but wanted more (couldn't have kids, medical reason). Materialism has definitely gotten in the way of children. This problem in Sakura is like the kindergarten problem, a deep competition for people! And, immigration is NOT the answer. That's just moving people from one country to another and changing the language, traditions, and culture. Don't get me wrong, I love melting pot places like California, Hawaii, but the world needs homogenous societies like Japan. Have kids Japanese.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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