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Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga has appointed Tetsushi Sakamoto, minister in charge of dealing with Japan's declining birthrate and promoting regional revitalization, as the "Minister of Loneliness," in an attempt to reduce loneliness and social isolation as the country deals with rising suicide rates due to the coronavirus. What are your views on this?

22 Comments

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I really hope Mr Sakamoto is good at playing blues guitar.

" They call me Minister of loneliness, and I got a policy for you...

I said I'm the minister of loneliness, I got a policy for you (twang twang twang twa-twang)

Baby when you feeling lonely,

Just sing them lonely Nippon blues"

12 ( +12 / -0 )

If he is single handedly responsible for reversing Japan’s declining birth rate he is going to be far too busy not to mention tired to tackle this as well!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

And they have realized this just now? The declining birth rate is an issue since 1980s. That's 40 years, almost 2 generations.

Instead of promoting, having meetings, discussing over and over, they should rather support young people who want to start a family, have kids. Instead of wasting money on utterly stupid things like Go2 campaigns, hostess clubs for politicians, they should rather give our, taxpayers money to people who just got their baby, etc. Or help covering costs of raising a newborn in the first year of life.

Right now, delivering a baby is extremely expensive in here, i'd say even discouraging.

But yeah, now we have the "Minister of Loneliness", great. Another title created, that'll take another job positions to be filled and feed the bureaucracy.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

"minister in charge of dealing with Japan's declining birthrate and promoting regional revitalization" Wow, who did he get on the wrong side of?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Suga: Oiii, Sakamoto, fix that loneliness issue thing stuff, would you? I have a steak dinner with Dentsu on how to suck the country dry ...

10 ( +10 / -0 )

lets start from scratch.

why Japan have declining birth rate?

let me say my opinion .

its because

-little or zero support for mothers with kids who stays at home/compare with Europe as good example/

-costs for kids education from day one say till 23 yo are sky high and yes again-gov doing nothing about this

-we live in strange covid world,too much of stress poured by MSM to all,mentally more vulnerable people prefe invest in dogs instead.reason is simple-no support from gov for these who are forced work from home/makes much less/ or for these who were forced to close business/companies and get no support from gov.no cash handounts,no support plans whatsoever

-mental setting of majority of jpn people,when kids have no idea what is childhod about,missing time with parents...and instead are getting tablets,electronic games and are pushed for juku etc etc to make them busy and occupied young human robots

all in all-nothing new for me.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

"Minister of Loneliness," 

LOL!!!!!

I would LOVE to get his business card!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Typical form over substance. Make it financially easier to have kids. Address the social disjoint that leads to isolation and feelings of inadequacy. Promote family values or at least promote the ideal of forming and maintaining stable relationships. so much time and money wasted on ridivulous vanity and infrastructure projects when the money could be way better spent on the several social issues that plague Japan, including this one.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Got to start from scratch, for example with all that increasing suicides, as those people surely don’t couple or contribute to a higher birth rate anymore. With measures addressed to that the most of the other severe problems will disappear automatically too. After that, of course those often stated supporting for younger people, families and single mothers, fathers. That’s already said by other commentators. If that first base point is reached we can surely continue to discuss about fine tuning and additional measures, of them a lot exist, but take the first steps first. That’s a lot of work to do already.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And they wonder about the image of Japan abroad. A minster of loneliness. Give me a break

4 ( +4 / -0 )

@Kaerimashta

Make it financially easier to have kids. 

You mean like DON'T TAX FOOD. Ancient Rome didn't even tax food.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Doesn't the Ministry of Loneliness promote loneliness as a lifestyle option?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm waiting to see his new ministry's 'white paper' on 'Loneliness vs Aloneness' and all the jabbering university professors' comments that it's sure to contain. I figure it should only take about ten years.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

When are they introducing a "Ministry of Funny Walks"?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Suga can't be bothered with loneliness and declining birth rates. He has 700 sit-ups and a steak dinner to attend to. It's about our money... err future!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Lonliness and the old birds are complaining about noisy schools!! Suicide when you have kids going to school until the wee hours of the evening just to get in a good high school/college only to get bullied at work. Salary are low and the country expect people to get married and have children. The J-women refuse to do what the older women did. Stay home, now they want their freedom to go out for dinner with their friends come home when they want to and don't have to cook dinner for a drunk salary man who comes home and complains about his boss. The J-women don't want kids because they don't want to take care of them and lose their freedom, times changed and the only way they will give up that freedom is their husbands have a high salary where she could continue to hang out with friends while he is at work, go to the beauty salon etc. Nothing is going to change because the behaviors are taught once you see the yellow hats and pink hats. Thats where it starts!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The Japanese culture is based on a patriarchal family with children. It will be excruciating to change that to a more egalitarian system, and may take generations. I suggest they just try to manage the declining population because you can't force anyone to have children. Loneliness and smaller families go hand in hand. Maybe opening up civil unions and gay marriages/unions would improve the social situation. For example, in other countries getting remarried or living with someone is not a big deal, but in Japan you may be outcast for doing such things. Good luck to him.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I remember a couple of years ago seeing some statistical analysis that basically pointed out that there is no stopping the depopulation train at this point. Robert Cikki points out 40 years in the making, the usual form over function in governments (everywhere really) will have zero impact on this issue.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'm the type of person that tends to focus on the grass roots level and I think having a minister for such will not be enough unless they encourage change on a personal level like encouraging people to live more and work less, learn to reach out more and be open to their feelings. Japanese are great with keeping up with appearances and I think it's obviously not healthy with them continuing to bottle up those bad vibes without periodically releasing them. But I also think this is probably too hard for the old guard to take.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This problem as stated above has been festering for at least 4decades now.

As I mention on occasion Japan is in DIRE need of a new RESTORATION. Way things are going is clearly leading Japan into a NOSE DIVE it will never recover from. There will if not already be too few young being born to even maintain a smaller population, evin if the birthrate hits 2 or higher the decline in population will continue.

Without a re-set & a drastic improvement of QUALITY of life & more opportunity & flexibility Japan is toast!

The loneliness thing has been increasing BIG TIME ever since things digital started kicking into gear.

And if the locals dont care why should we, appears most locals dont care enough to do much except complain a bit here & there, good luck Japan you WILL need it, I wont be betting any of my $$ on it though, too far gone!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

My thoughts? If you need to hire someone else to deal with YOUR loneliness, you've already failed and will never adequately deal with the problem.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's a cultural thing that goes back hundreds of years, Loneliness , and Suicide go back so far that many historians believe it is part of the culture, Changing it is a major undertaking that require a complete overhaul of the society, people believe it is normal and it is part of life, at lease this has been my conclusion al along, I may be dead wrong but this is what i think.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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