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Japan's population declines at fastest pace yet to 125.2 mil

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maybe if you let working men spend time with their families they might want to make families bigger morons...

21 ( +26 / -5 )

Over 125 million Japanese is a still lot of people, I don't see where the concern is.

-8 ( +14 / -22 )

no day care available, working unpaid overtime even on weekends, where is the motivation to make children?

24 ( +25 / -1 )

Apparently, all talk (sometimes even shaming) on the government's part with little practical action, doesn't seem to work. Go figure.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

@Oldman - I agree that 125 million is alot of people for a country having a land area less than my home state of California. Also the geography of Japan is such that people need to live in relatively crowded conditions. From that perspective a declining population is not necessarily a bad thing.

On the other hand from a mathematical perspective and trying to support an aging population it is a bad thing.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Japan will face enormous problems due to its policy of centralization and lack of investment in outlying areas.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

no problem here, just enact more foreign trainee visa laws. nothing to worry about. make sure to increase tax too. don't forget to tell those damned women to have more kids because that's their only worthwhile job.

sarcasm impaired alert: These are things that have been spoken of or done by JPolitards in the past 6 months.

the country is doomed, live in Japan if you love it and have loved ones with you, otherwise there are greener pastures just about everywhere.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

Remember the Tokyo assemblywoman who was heckled by LDP boys: "You're the one who should get married as soon as possible," one said. Another asked if she was able to have children, prompting laughter among other male councillors.

Remember the Kumamoto assemblywoman slapped with an official warning for trying to bring her kid to work to highlight the challenges working mothers face, her male colleagues looking on aghast.

Remember just two weeks ago when LDP heavyweight Toshihiro Nikai said women who don't have babies are "selfish." Left unsaid, of course, is the equal number of men opting against fatherhood, not to mention their 100 hour of OT a month, leaving little time for any would-be family. In this Jurassic logic, man's duty is to work and woman's duty is serve him and his progeny--all else is whining.

Anyway, if you remember these endlessly repeated news items, I'm sure every young woman and girl in this country certainly does.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

This is a good thing.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

Over 125 million Japanese is a still lot of people, I don't see where the concern is.

Japan is roughly the same land size as Italy, yet Italy has less than half the population (roughly) at around 62 million people.

The concern is the demographics of an aging population that will not be able to continue to support the social welfare system through tax income, and pressure will increase on the younger generations to prop up the elderly who through a sense of entitlement, rightful or otherwise, will expect the government to support them to the fullest.

Hence Abe continually playing to the older generations, and paying lip service to the people, women, and children, who are the one's that HE needs to be employed to pay the taxes that he is responsible for increasing, and not giving much if anything in return.

Japan will face enormous problems due to its policy of centralization and lack of investment in outlying areas.

Centralization? The prefectures have a large amount of autonomy, however depend upon the national government for many public services and monetary support.

Kind of hard for any one to invest in the outlying areas when there is no one to support it. People are gravitating to Tokyo and Osaka for a reason, they have little choice, as they can not support themselves on the incomes that the aging society is willing or capable of paying, particularly in the outlying areas.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

For those of us who work overly long hours for our peanuts here in Japan, having a baby is expensive.

My wife and I are about to pop one out, and the money situation scares the fjords out of me.

I have a fairly good wage in comparison to many Japanese around me, I wonder how the average Japanese person would be able to afford a kid.

18 ( +19 / -1 )

Still the original and best article on this subject, Hiroya Masuda's work makes grim reading:

http://www.japanpolicyforum.jp/archives/politics/pt20140120152454.html

"It is estimated that if the current situation prevails, Japan’s population of 128 million in 2010 will fall below 100 million in 2060, and stand at below 50 million in 2110, in 100 years. "

"Based on a preliminary calculation using the figures in the projection made by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, there are as many as 373 municipalities (20.7% of the total number of municipalities) whose population of females aged 20–39 years old contracts by more than 50% over the thirty years of 2010–2040. Of these municipalities, there will be 243 small-scale municipalities (13.5% of the total number of municipalities) whose population is below 10,000 in 2040. I cannot help but conclude that these municipalities are highly likely to disappear."

"On the other hand, reflecting a time lag in the aging of population by areas, the big city areas will enter a period when their population influx up to that point will abruptly become old. Particularly in the Tokyo area, because the medical and nursing care service foundation is weak, with the number of doctors per 100,000 people and the capacity of nursing care facilities per capita low, the supply of such services for the elderly will come up significantly short and a shortage of human resources for medical and nursing care is likely to intensify in the future."

That's a bleak picture of Japan's future. The LDP's response to the demographic collapse they have known was coming since the early 1970s has been a pitiful disgrace.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

The title says:

Japan's population declines at fastest pace yet to 125.2 mil

It is not Japan’s population but Japanese population that stands at 125.2 mil

The JP government and media’s always tend to point out the total of Japanese when it comes to population statistics as the foreign population is just an adjustment variable and foreigners just the alpha force needed but not expected to stay forever

A country population comprises all people living in that country

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Good! Too many people on this planet already. Now, if only the government would get off their lazy backsides and do something to promote life away from the Tokyo region.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Yet another article on this sight reports that the LDP needs 6 more representatives in the Diet to represent a reduced population. If prefectures are depopulated then so sould the government depopulated. Not expand? Requiring more tax yen. Madness.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I think if there was a stable demographic this wouldn't be much of an issue, but because everyone is too dang old, us younger people need to pay for their care. So it's an issue.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

My wife and I are about to pop one out

She will be popping, you will be a bystander.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

It would seem that, the fact that deaths are increasing means the era 'longevity' is coming to an end. People forget the current generation of oldies grew up before fast foods and most of the 90 plus year olds grew up in the countryside. With more and more people moving to the cities and more and more people having stressful and unhealthy lifestyles it is inevitable the longevity rate will decrease rapidly. Even childhood obesity is becoming a problem in Japan, which was unheard of 20 years ago. The plus side of this is, it 'may' decrease the burden on the failed pension and welfare systems.

The declining birthrate is due to a number of factors. As stated above, the lack of daycare facilities, insecurity in jobs and ridiculous amounts of overtime work do contribute greatly, but there is another more pressing social issue. Around one-third of Japanese women in their 30's are single by choice due to a lack of marriage-worthy men. Many of the young Japanese women I speak with have stories of violence and childish boyfriends who want to their partner to be their mother. The Japanese women of the new millennium are waking up to the prejudices in the male dominated Japanese society and want nothing to do with it. They choose a career over marriage.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

CrickyToday  08:53 am JST

Yet another article on this sight reports that the LDP needs 6 more representatives in the Diet to represent a reduced population. If prefectures are depopulated then so sould the government depopulated. Not expand? Requiring more tax yen. Madness.

That is just what I came here to say. I saw that news this morning and I am LIVID! The nerve of those LDP bastards!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It would seem that, the fact that deaths are increasing means the era 'longevity' is coming to an end.

I've been thinking the same thing for some time now, and wholeheartedly agree. The lifestyle, and extra stresses, experienced by the average Salary-man Taro now is really unhealthy compared to previous generations. Yet another issue that is ignored and brushed under the carpet. Suicide and familicide rates are higher than previous generations, too.

There is a massive overall 'unhappiness' that is completely unaddressed in Japan these days. People are disconnected and do not have faith in the future, or other people. There is so much potential for improvement, but no desire to. Or rather, too many forces against the greater good.

People have been living the lies for so long that they truly believe them now.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

The decline in population isnt all that bad. This country is overpopulated already. And assuming most of the deaths are occuring in old and retired, it also means less burden on our social systems support less retired.

As long as the GDP doesnt shrink, or at least shrink at a slower pace than the population, i say its fine.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

@updoot congratulations. Dont worry about the money, you will be fine. The first 5 years will be really cheap. It’s when they start to go to a proper school where things gets expensive.

Don’t forget free airfare for children 2-years and below, take advantage of that.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Headlines should stop framing a declining or small population as a problem. It is not. The problem is a population imbalance.

Perhaps millions of people crowding into earthquake- prone cities and mountainous flood-prone countryside is not a particularly wise idea.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Here in the US, my Japanese wife earns 4 times what she earned to do the same exact thing she did when we lived in Japan (dental assistant). 4 times. Far less hours, too.

Had we stayed in Japan, we probably wouldn't have had our kid.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

And assuming most of the deaths are occuring in old and retired, it also means less burden on our social systems support less retired.

As the article clearly states the number of old people is increasing while the number of young people is decreasing. The burden on the social support system is also increasing as the number of people able to support that is decreasing.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It would seem that, the fact that deaths are increasing means the era 'longevity' is coming to an end.

There is nothing in the statistics to support that, longetivity is still increasing. The increasing number of deaths is simply an inevitable result of the increasing number of old people.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The number of deaths is increasing because the large number of people born just after the war ended are now in their 70s. Longevity is still increasing, slowly.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"It is estimated that if the current situation prevails, Japan’s population of 128 million in 2010 will fall below 100 million in 2060, and stand at below 50 million in 2110, in 100 years. "

That's not serious science. Nobody can project a population 50 years in advance, much less 100 years. All that kind of fear mongering is based on "if current trends continue," which they never do. Things change all the time. Always have, always will.

The problem here is one of poor planning and profligate spending, and now the crunch is coming. I haven't heard a word from the government, or many voters, about how to address the budget and make sure it doesn't happen again. All we hear is "have more kids."

That's like someone who has run up their credit card to the limit insisting that the solution is more credit, and never even considering that they might have poor spending habits.

People are going to struggle mightily to get through this debt hole that the older generations have left for them. We will know the government is serious about it when they stop screaming "more kids" and start seriously cutting budgets.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

That's not serious science. Nobody can project a population 50 years in advance, much less 100 years. All that kind of fear mongering is based on "if current trends continue," which they never do. Things change all the time. Always have, always will.

I agree. The idea that population change is going to happen at in a linear level is silly. Populations will automatically adjust as necessary - right now the population is too high, so it is sinking. Once it's too low, it will swing back up.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

commanteerToday 12:52 pm JST

Awesome post!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

That's not serious science. Nobody can project a population 50 years in advance, much less 100 years. All that kind of fear mongering is based on "if current trends continue," which they never do. Things change all the time. Always have, always will.

Actually it is serious science. They note the limitations (if current trends continue), its up to people reading the facts they are putting out there what weight they want to put on them given the limitations.

Vague assertions that "things change all the time" aren't an adequate response, given that we know what changes will be necessary to alter the "if current trends continue" dynamic (radically increased birth rate) and no clear or even remotely realistic path to achieving that.

I agree. The idea that population change is going to happen at in a linear level is silly. Populations will automatically adjust as necessary - right now the population is too high, so it is sinking. Once it's too low, it will swing back up.

The idea that populations will "automatically adjust as necessary" is also silly. Give me a single example where a country with a greying population akin to Japan's has "automatically adjusted as necessary". It has never happened. There is nothing on the horizon which suggests this is going to reverse itself in the next 50 years and with each passing year it becomes more and more difficult to do anything as the child bearing population shrinks further and further.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Tokyo-EngrToday  07:08 am JST

On the other hand from a mathematical perspective and trying to support an aging population it is a bad thing.

There comes a time when the old are nothing more than a burden. In a country with such little real resources to take care of kids their population is going to continue to go down but that ok more room for the rest. I still do not see the problem. At least unless they are wanting soldiers for war which would be the only reason to pump up the population.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

That’s good news. Japan still has too many people. A smaller population means each person counts. We’re not living in the 17th century. Population decline can be more than offset by increasing productivity.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Comanteer

Good post but I also don't agree with your first paragraph.

That's not serious science. Nobody can project a population 50 years in advance, much less 100 years. All that kind of fear mongering is based on "if current trends continue," which they never do. Things change all the time. Always have, always will.

Actually, we can do a reasonably good job of making population projections. Barring social and environmental collapse and war, we have a very good idea of, say, the number of 30 year olds there will be in Japan in 30 years (i.e., roughly the number of babies born this year), and birth and death rates only slowly vary over time - the birth rate has been 1.3-1.4 per woman in Japan for the last 15 years. Assuming that we don't impose ecogeddon on us, something I'm increasingly worried about, population predictions for 2050 are likely to be reasonably accurate.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Actually it is serious science. They note the limitations

The limitations are so limiting and unlikely that they make the projection meaningless.

Give me a single example where a country with a greying population akin to Japan's has "automatically adjusted as necessary". It has never happened. 

There are none specifically for graying populations because until recently people were killed off when they were still relatively young by plagues, famine and war. However, there are countless examples of populations contracting and then booming again. Far more that there are of populations contracting and eventually disappearing altogether.

You can start by reading up on the Black Plague in Europe (which, as we know, didn't disappear). 30 to 50% population decline was followed by a couple centuries of greatly improved living conditions and longevity. I'm not suggesting the Black Plague was a great thing, but the surviving generations benefitted greatly in the aftermath - much of it due to the lower population.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

That's not serious science.

Indeed, when I was a kid, our teachers told us that there were too many people, and that planet Earth's salvation lay in reducing our population.

Demographers have a very bad track record when trying to predict the future.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The limitations are so limiting and unlikely that they make the projection meaningless.

I'll leave you with cucashopboy's response on that point.

You can start by reading up on the Black Plague in Europe (which, as we know, didn't disappear). 30 to 50% population decline was followed by a couple centuries of greatly improved living conditions and longevity. I'm not suggesting the Black Plague was a great thing, but the surviving generations benefitted greatly in the aftermath - much of it due to the lower population.

Right, you are holding up the black death as exhibit A as a model for Japan to follow?

The comparison is meaningless since as you yourself admit Japan's situation has no historical precedent. The Black Death didn't leave 14th century Europe with a surplus of old people and not enough young people to support them. Other than the generic fact that both involved a trend towards fewer people, the two have nothing in common and the black death tells us nothing useful about the situation that Japan is facing.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Barring social and environmental collapse and war, we have a very good idea of, say, the number of 30 year olds there will be in Japan in 30 years (i.e., roughly the number of babies born this year),

Yes, because we know how many 30 year olds we start with. When attempts are made to predict future birthrates, that's a whole other story. How many 10 year olds will there be in 30 years? That's the tricky question.

Right, you are holding up the black death as exhibit A as a model for Japan to follow?

I was hoping you wouldn't go that route. You asked for a historical precedent. I gave you one. Nobody suggested the black death was a plan. Now can we get serious again?

 The Black Death didn't leave 14th century Europe with a surplus of old people and not enough young people to support them. 

But that's not what you were concerned about. You were concerned about a 50 million population is 100 years, and the population not recovering. The plague shows that not only do populations recover, but they can thrive after such a drop. I am happy to change the subject, though, if you wish to move on.

The problem of too many old people and not enough young people to support them is a short term problem. It will be over in a couple decades, and will not leave long-term damage anywhere near what overpopulation will. There is no solution for it, other than to suffer through the best we can. Back to my overspent credit card analogy. The harm has been done, there is no easy way to deal with the consequences. We can, however, at least have an honest discussion why we got in this position. I haven't seen much of that yet, just dire predictions of imminent horror and demands for more babies.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

But that's not what you were concerned about. You were concerned about a 50 million population is 100 years, and the population not recovering. The plague shows that not only do populations recover, but they can thrive after such a drop. I am happy to change the subject, though, if you wish to move on.

Sorry, please direct me to where I said anything of the sort?

The problem of too many old people and not enough young people to support them is a short term problem. It will be over in a couple decades, and will not leave long-term damage anywhere near what overpopulation will. There is no solution for it, other than to suffer through the best we can.

What is the mechanism by which this is going to be over in a couple of decades? The youth population is going to continue declining while the elderly is going to continue to increase over that time period.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Rainyday - There is nothing in the statistics to support that, longetivity is still increasing. The increasing number of deaths is simply an inevitable result of the increasing number of old people.

How can the number of old people increase in a year? That just not make sense. It is the number of deaths that has increased dramatically in the last year, not the number of old people.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

The harm has been done, there is no easy way to deal with the consequences. We can, however, at least have an honest discussion why we got in this position. I haven't seen much of that yet, just dire predictions of imminent horror and demands for more babies.

Exactly!

What's the point of forecasting population growth when you are not willing to invest as much energy into open discussions around it. Overworked slaves, international relations in disarray (read: potential for war), an environment that we're not sure (and don't even want to know) how much damage we have done to it, climate change - bringing on water shortages/war, peak oil, imminently fished out oceans, natural disasters etc etc.

Then factor in technological and medical advances, shifts in markets, countries developing etc.

How can you begin to profess that you know where this is all going with any real accuracy?

That energy is better spent on openly and actively confronting the issues that past and current generations have made, overpopulating key parts of the Earth being one of them - not wowing people with your calculus. We can't just grow our way out of the mess we have made, trying to do so will just make it harder yet for future generations. Which generation will take responsibility? Or will nature just take care of things for us?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

es, because we know how many 30 year olds we start with. When attempts are made to predict future birthrates, that's a whole other story. How many 10 year olds will there be in 30 years? That's the tricky question.

Comanteer - I did cover that in my previous post - I said that birth rates do not usually change rapidly over time and gave you some figures. If you want to know approximately how many 10 year olds there will be in 30 years, you take the number of women between 20 and 45 there will be in 20 years (all of which have already been born) and apply the current fertility rates.

I think it's safe to assume that fertility rates are not going to improve significantly as the government absolutely refuse to make things easier for young people by passing laws that will help them have the time, money and confidence about the future to get together and have children.

Rainyday - the demographics will improve to some extent in a few decades as the huge number of elderly people currently in Japan die, but they will still be top-heavy with people leaving it late to have children and only having 1-2 children.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

History show that population can rebounce, like after WWII. That is totally normal psychologically.

But nowadays Japanese are like frogs in very slowly boiling water in a pot. They can't see what is happening.

If education was doing its job, young Japanese would flee their country for better horizons. Instead, they are brainwashed and do overtime.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Bang on, Jonathan Prin!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

What is the mechanism by which this is going to be over in a couple of decades? The youth population is going to continue declining while the elderly is going to continue to increase over that time period.

1-The disparity will be greatest in the first 20 years because we are coming off a peak. It will gradually diminish. 2-On top of that, society will make adjustments to deal with the issue, for better or worse. We cannot say what they it will be now, but there will be a response. 3-With antibiotics failing and overcrowding become more common, the odds of an epidemic of some sort are always increasing. (Note, please: I am not saying this is a good thing. It's just a likely thing.) In such cases, the elderly usually suffer greater losses than younger people.

Whatever the big issues are 30 years from now, I would pretty much bet my house that graying demographics will not be near the top of people's minds. It will be mostly settled, and we will have far greater problems to deal with, many brought by global overpopulation.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

giod news! If only the rest of the globe would follow this trend. More space for nature, more resources per head, win win

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Still calculating population without including non-Japanese residents. Foreigners are just a note at the bottom on the chart. 2,000,000 of us though, and living here does make us part of the population.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

How can the number of old people increase in a year? That just not make sense. It is the number of deaths that has increased dramatically in the last year, not the number of old people.

Its not that complicated. If the number of people turning 65 in a given year (going from "middle age" to "old") exceeds the number of elderly people who are dying, the number of old people will increase. Which is what is happening.

1-The disparity will be greatest in the first 20 years because we are coming off a peak. It will gradually diminish.

Mathematically it will only diminish if birthrate is raised to replacement levels, after which the "peak" becomes a legacy that will resolve itself over time. That has not occurred yet, the birth rate is about 1.4, so you can't say this will work itself out in 20 years.

2-On top of that, society will make adjustments to deal with the issue, for better or worse. We cannot say what they it will be now, but there will be a response.

This isn't something that can just be brushed over because it is a precondition for your point 1 to be correct - until that something happens, you can't say that this is just a blip that will work itself out when the generation representing the blip passes away. There is nothing on the horizon that will do anything to halt or reverse the trend. Probably something will change at some point, but that tells us nothing since the question of when that will happen and what it will do are the key to understanding how bad things will get.

3-With antibiotics failing and overcrowding become more common, the odds of an epidemic of some sort are always increasing. (Note, please: I am not saying this is a good thing. It's just a likely thing.) In such cases, the elderly usually suffer greater losses than younger people.

This is highly speculative given that the last pandemic to seriously affect populations in the developed world happened about a century ago. If you reject predictions of population numbers in the future for being unreliableI don't see why you'd accept a possible but highly unlikely pandemic as one of the top three factors to consider.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

If you reject predictions of population numbers in the future for being unreliableI don't see why you'd accept a possible but highly unlikely pandemic as one of the top three factors to consider.

Most epidemiologists consider a pandemic more likely than not. It's widely discussed in the media, not an obscure topic. You can choose to call that bad science if you wish, but it's a far cry more accurate than population predictions for the year 2118.

That's just one of the many serious threats the world faces that makes me annoyed with people who call for more population rather than less.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Most epidemiologists consider a pandemic more likely than not. It's widely discussed in the media, not an obscure topic. You can choose to call that bad science if you wish, but it's a far cry more accurate than population predictions for the year 2118.

I'm not debating the science (I don't know the science), I'm just questioning why you are convinced it is so likely that it is one of the top 3 factors that you think will affect Japan's demographics in the next 20 years? You have to make a huge number of assumptions (a pandemic will strike in the next 20 years, it will strike Japan, it will have a mortality rate like nothing in living memory, it will disproportionately affect the elderly, etc etc) with very little factual basis for that to be the case.

That's just one of the many serious threats the world faces that makes me annoyed with people who call for more population rather than less.

I'm not calling for more world population, clearly overpopulation is a global problem that needs to be dealt with. That is distinct from Japan's problems, which are the opposite.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The "Japanese" component of the population is simply playing out as calculated by demographics decades ago. It is very concerning, as is the lack of preparation and likely ramifications, but it is not news. Any politicians who claims to be surprised by it should be sacked for basic ignorance.

The news part of this story is the foreign population. It is young and healthy, so it is actually good news that half the population drop for Japanese (kokumin) has been covered by young foreigners who work for low wages and are not a burden on any form of welfare. Japan has big problems, but they would be even bigger without these extra 200,000 foreign workers.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The 500 000 visa for foreign workers to be provided until 2022 in all, is just a one year population replacement.

Keep in mind soon ( ten years or so), drop will reach and exceed 1 000 000 per year ! Read again if necessary.

When women prefer going shopping/drink tea during all their hobby time and men do overwork, that it the result.

As clear to see as my nose on my face (=crystal clear).

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Nobody seems to care.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Population decline correlates with poverty and disease and ignorance and depress, scientifically reported and proven.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

This is the crucial data point for the long-term health of the economy.

Data showed that the number of births in 2017 fell to a record-low 948,396 and deaths totaled a record-high 1,340,774, with deaths outnumbering births for the 11th consecutive year.

For it's land mass, topography, lack of resources and current level of food security, Japan would be better off with a population of around 100 million. People bemoan the lower than replacement birth rate, but if deaths continue to exceed birth for the next decade, Japan should be better off economically in a decade or so. Immigration need not exceed current levels.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

@Akie

"...population decline correlates with poverty and disease and ignorance." 

What planet are you on!?! Poverty, disease, ignorance, famine, etc. are nearly always found in countries with high birthrates. Low birthrates and low growth are consistent among the world's most affluent and peaceful societies.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

JeffLee, you are confused death rate with birth rate.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Population decline can be more than offset by increasing productivity.

You realize what country you are talking about? Just saying it, and actually seeing it happen are two very different things here. You have a better chance of hitting the lottery here than seeing this happen!

Nobody seems to care.

Curious to know why you think this way?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Let it get down to about 80 million.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Population decline correlates with poverty and disease and ignorance and depress, scientifically reported and proven.

Yeah, when the cause of the population decline is war or famine that makes sense. When the cause is simply a low birth rate that is a completely irrelevant observation though. JeffLee is correct, the countries in the world today with the lowest birthrates are among the most wealthy (Japan, Germany, Korea, etc) while the ones with the highest birthrates are among the poorest (most of sub-Saharan Africa).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It might be true a lower population would fit Japan's limited landmass better, but you have to remember the population decline is NOT happening evenly, neither geographically nor demographically--countryside and farming towns are depopulating much faster than cities and suburbs, and the number of young people of working age is shrinking more quickly than the retiree population.

Socially and culturally, I think most Japanese expect to keep the same high standards of living, amenities, services, high-quality goods, convenience, Japan-grown rice and produce, etc. but not many people seem to be thinking about WHO is going to continue to provide all these things when countryside villages are becoming ghost towns and there are fewer and fewer young people to work to produce goods (and taxes!).

Robots? Foreign "trainees"? The latter seems to be slowly and quietly gaining momentum.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It's all hype and nothing to get fussed over:

https://www.census.gov/popclock/print.php?component=counter

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

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