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Japan's working population drops further

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Depending on the definition of population, Japanese working force could be increased too.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

I am not amused at the way the government uses these statistics to talk about "declining" population. They include the "foreign" population to artificially make it look like while the population is declining it's not as bad because of the influx of foreigners.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Squeeze a modicum of efficiency out of the available works and the issue won't be as acute.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Number of workers dropping, wages dropping but One thing is going up and it will never be paid back. Japan's National Debt. It now sits at $12 Trillion. Or about $90,000 debt for every man, woman, and child in Japan. Japan miracle.... they've written bad checks for the last 30 years to keep this economy running. But you don't see that on the news.

12 ( +14 / -2 )

Japanese nationals decreased 430,000 from a year earlier to 124.22 million,

That's a drop of almost half a million. The year before the drop was in the 3 hundred thousands. The year before that was around 270,000 if my memory serves me correct. I'm guessing in a year from now it'll drop by over half a million and within 5 years, it'll start dropping by more than a million.

The National Institute of Population and Social Security Research predicts Japan's population will fall below 100 million in 2053.

Nah. It'll drop MUCH more quickly than that. Much more quickly.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I will tell you why the working population is dropping, because so many men stay at home and let Mommy and Daddy take care of them

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Japan has over 120 million citizens. Compare that to the US which has 327 million, but is 27 times bigger in area. Japan has more people than most other Asian/Southeast asian countries. What's the big deal?

-3 ( +6 / -9 )

One of my income sources depends almost exclusively on the aging population so this is good news for me.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

They may not qualify as the "working population" due to age, but a lot of the 65s and over will still be working.

Demographics are easy to predict, so are a good test of whether a government is planning for the future or merely sticking its head in the sand.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Yubaru - I am not amused at the way the government uses these statistics to talk about "declining" population. They include the "foreign" population to artificially make it look like while the population is declining it's not as bad because of the influx of foreigners.

Mate, that is how populations are calculated all over the world. Countries like the US, Australia, England, etc. have rapid population growth due to the large amount of immigrants that move to those countries each year.

The above statistic of 20% of the population being over 70 does not seem so alarming. It’s quite on par with many other countries. Japan’s biggest problem is the declining birthrate, which has been decreasing rapidly for over twenty years. However, they have done very little to address this issue. There are many contributing factors to this. Lack of daycare facilities, uncertainty of their financial future, poor work/life balance and the lack of fraternizing with the opposite sex. These problems have been documented, but they are afraid to change anything due to the Metathesiophobia mindset.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

The fact of the matter is, Japanese indigenous population is declining at an increasingly faster rate.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

The most suitable Japanese population is less than 50 millions, as simple as that.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

The most suitable Japanese population is less than 50 millions, as simple as that.

Not if 40 million of them are old and retired.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Folks as I have been saying for ages here, the decline I predict is going to be much more rapid than the govt's usual lame predictions!

At some point it will likely nose dive once people realize the costs of raising kids & the FUTURE COST their kids will be expected to pay, ie the countries DEBT!

Japan is in for s super rough ride, again like I have been saying LOOK at a population pyramid for Japan it is quickly INVERTING! We are perhaps witnessing the demise of a people.

At some point also the # of foreigners willing to come to Japan will likely decrease rapidly so Japan will be getting hit HARD at both ends of the age spectrum, hell this is already happening, but it is going to get a hell of a lot worse over time

This is SO MUCH MORE than just a decline in population going on here in Japan!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

with the worst work culture and daily suicides , and anti-foreigner mindset, JAPAN will suffer more

5 ( +9 / -4 )

I heard the average age of farmers in Japan is over 65. Seems quite high.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@oldman13

higher population than most other Asian countries?

how does 120M put a dent in 1.4B in China and 1.2B in India?

Mentioning that 20% of population is over 70 may not sound alarming by itself. But it was used to note the stark contrast between that percentage and that of those aged 0 to 15 which stood at 12%.

Currently the US sits at 15% of the population being over 65 and 18% of the population being under 15.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

I heard the average age of farmers in Japan is over 65. Seems quite high.

Where we live there are many farmers, male and female over 80 years. The other day, I saw a 80+ year old female driving a very large tractor ploughing her field in preparation for planting daikon and carrots. Se looked both healthy and very capable. I commented to my wife, probably when she was young she did it by hand.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Another issue that causes the shrinkage in the Japanese workforce is the old system of forcing the workers to retire at age 60 at a time they are most qualified to contribute to the economy. Also the resistance to hiring women on a full time basis aggravates the shortage. Strange tax on married full time workers adds to the problem.

These are cultural and traditional issues that need to be addressed. But good luck with that.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Build more schools... It's that simple.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

Bringing in hundreds of thousands of unskilled, non-integrated low paid workers will definitely destroy japan. Because of their low income, they will spend absolutely zero to support any kind of Japanese business or services. Only pot noodle companies and ones that sell 4 liter bottles of whiskey. They will create slums where migrants will be exploited and subject to third world living conditions. Any income they can save will be sent back to their countries further harming Japanese economy. Middle class Japanese citizen may find gated communities more secure.

Countries like Australia and NZ also have an aging population problem. Their population is much smaller than japans. They are prospering quite fine thank you (apart from some immigrant slum areas).

japan has enough workers. Skilled workers. The reason japan is failing is that we stick to stupid beauracratic work practices and last century business modals.

6 ( +12 / -6 )

Shrinking population would have been a problem in the pre-industrial revolution world but not in the 21st century. We can more than make up for a decrease in population by increasing productivity. What’s all the fuss about?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I want to drop out of labor force soon as well! Get me some welfare.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Meiyouwenti

Being productive is not working hard. Japan doesn’t want productive and skilled workers. If they did, companies would have invested more in employees.

They want long/hard working non skilled worker bees.

Farmers in many countries work for many years past retirement. Even if they have money. They still go out and work the fields. It’s more of a way of life for some of them.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Keep children healthy, physically fit, so they are able to survive this world.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Build more schools... It's that simple

You clearly haven't seen the number of empty schools all over the country! Empty because there are no more kids to fill them!

8 ( +10 / -2 )

@Goodlucktoyou - japan has enough workers. Skilled workers. The reason japan is failing is that we stick to stupid beauracratic work practices and last century business modals.

I think this is the most sensible comment you've ever made. Japan is its own worst enemy clinging on to ancient ideals and failed business practices are definitely killing Japan. Abe and his best mate Aso are recycling the same economic, business and society plans from the bubble era, but they are applying it to economic climates and export markets that no longer belong to Japan. Japan needs to fix itself internally, not from overseas.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Ask not what Japan can do for you, but what you can do for Japan. Put down those smartphones, X boxes and videos. Get out there and let the women know you are ready to put out.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

It is a common mistake, but Japan's fertility rate has not been falling for the past twenty years. For the last ten years or so, it has been rising. The big fall was in the 1970s and 1980s. Since then it has been low (but not necessarily falling.

https://www.google.com/publicdata/explore?ds=d5bncppjof8f9_&met_y=sp_dyn_tfrt_in&hl=en&dl=en#!ctype=l&strail=false&bcs=d&nselm=h&met_y=sp_dyn_tfrt_in&scale_y=lin&ind_y=false&rdim=country&idim=country:JPN&ifdim=country&tstart=-306752400000&tend=1460473200000&hl=en_US&dl=en&ind=false

The reason this matters is that 21st Century explanations, waiting lists for childcare etc., are insufficient to account for something that has been happening since the 1970s. The fall in birthrate happened during the Bubble economy, so it's not strictly how rich or poor people feel either.

Most of Japan's farmers may be over 65, but most of those are/were only part timers. Japan has been holding out against the First World trend of farms being incorporated into every larger units for economies of scale. There aren't many advanced countries now where a dairy farmer can have 30 cows or a grain farmer can have a couple of acres. That is simply too inefficient.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The decrease in working population is definitely one of the biggest concerns for Japan. So it is a welcome change that Japan decided to increase Foreign workers.

It is not really an issue if the population of retired people were not as big. But smaller working population have to support much larger retired population - that is really a big problem Japan faces. And it's not easy to solve.

But there are a few things working for Japan, which will alleviate some pains.

(1) Japanese retired population are relatively rich compare to many other countries.

(2) Japanese retired population are relatively healthy and can keep working many more years after their retirements.

(3) Japanese major corporations are mostly international. Both workers and consumers of their products are readily available outside of Japan.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

SaikoPhysco:

Japan's National Debt. It now sits at $12 Trillion. Or about $90,000 debt for every man, woman, and child in Japan.

It's not "National Debt" and definitely not for "every man, woman, and child."

Unlike many other countries like Spain or Argentina, Japanese debts are all internal, based on Yen. The debtor is Japanese government, not the nation, and the creditors are Japanese people. The people ("every man, woman, and child") do not owe money. The government does.

The government, however, is a sovereign entity which can print money at anytime at their will; therefore, they can always pay. Besides, because Japanese currency is considered as safe haven, printing money does not crash its value unlike other nations.

As a nation, Japan is a creditor nation. In fact, Japan is the biggest creditor nation in the world for many years.

"Japan: largest creditor nation for 27 years running"

https://www.devere-group.com/market-news/Japan-largest-creditor-nation

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@socrateos

While I can’t fully vet the OECD population, currently almost 30% of those age 63 or higher are below the poverty level in Japan. 80% of those that are 63 or over said their pensions cannot sustain them month by month.

Also, Japan has a rise in elderly crime because they see prison as a viable retirement option. Free meal and boarding.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The almost 30% is one of the lowest in the OECD. Again, I can’t fully vet their information.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan has national debt of about $13 trillion but it's also owned 100% by the Japanese. Less than the total by America at $22 trillion. American national debt is owned by other countries, China and Britain.

Japan greatest national debt by GDP at about 210%

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

@zichi

incorrect. Only 88% is owned by the Japanese. 12% of Japan’s national debt is foreign owned.

Also, only 28% of US debt is foreign owned. With China and Japan owning in the trillions. Brazil and Ireland are the next largest holders of US debt.

Japan and China own 73% of the 28% of US debt that is foreign owned.

Also, the real reason the aging population is an issue is because many government programs are about to get hit hard as the baby boom generation retires. That is an incredible amount of people taking out and not putting in. Also, Japan spending is currently at 250% of its GDP. Meaning it isn’t producing enough to make a dent in the debt or even slow its rise.

America’s debt levels are enormous but the rate at which it is rising is far less than the rate of the Japanese debt. Japan and the US are not the only ones in trouble. The world debt is sitting at over $247 trillion.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

socrateosToday  02:17 pm JST

It's not "National Debt" and definitely not for "every man, woman, and child."

Unlike many other countries like Spain or Argentina, Japanese debts are all internal, based on Yen. The debtor is Japanese government, not the nation, and the creditors are Japanese people. The people ("every man, woman, and child") do not owe money. The government does.

The government, however, is a sovereign entity which can print money at anytime at their will; therefore, they can always pay. Besides, because Japanese currency is considered as safe haven, printing money does not crash its value unlike other nations.

As a nation, Japan is a creditor nation. In fact, Japan is the biggest creditor nation in the world for many years

"National debt" is the phrase used to describe government debt. And governments represent "every man woman and child.

The government debt may largely be internal, but it still owes money and will have to raise money somewhere to finance it.

Yes, the government can print its own money, as can countries such as the USA and the UK. However, status as a "safe haven" depends largely on not printing money recklessly. If it does print its money to repay debt, the value of its currency would crash. Yes, the Japanese government has been spending more than it gets in revenue and has been able to do so by borrowing money. However, it has been able to do so at such low interest rates because the purchasers of its debt believe that it will not devalue the currency by printing new money to repay it.

As a nation, Japan is a creditor nation. In fact, Japan is the biggest creditor nation in the world for many years

It is ironic that here you proclaim Japan as a creditor nation, yet at the beginning of the post, you deny that Japan is a debtor nation, making the obscure point that it is the government and not the nation that is in debt, yet when it comes to the credit, it is suddenly the nation and not the government. Make up your mind!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

One remedy would to IMMEDIATELY abolish arbitrary retirement ages. As a university instructor, I know that good teachers get better with experience. Please fix this before I reach 70!!!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Amir Marzouk

Thank you for the more accurate update.

24% of the government budget is used to service the national debt. ¥20-¥25 trillion.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan’s indigenous population is not only trending toward zero, it’s accelerating to zero. Japan’s fecundity has already been below the replacement rate, where in 2010, Japan was approaching the point of no recovery. Now we are finding that Japanese homosexual virginity rates are rising, further exacerbating the indigenous population decline. As a result, Japan is reluctantly opening the doors to foreign immigrants, but these adjustments may be too little too late. We can predict that over 100 years, Japan will become a nation made up mostly of immigrants in order to remain economically relevant.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And in terms of Japanese productivity, this isn’t necessarily keeping pace with the rest of the industrialized world. Japan still performs many job functions manually and is slow to overhaul its offices with software. No matter how hard Japanese employees work, their productivity cannot keep pace with automated systems and software being used in industries. Japan’s attempt to use humanoid robots in offices, such as Asimo and HRP4C, has not translated into real productivity gains. Japan’s inability to address productivity with appropriate technology has missed some crucial opportunities to reverse the effects of its aging and retiring population.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

we Indians are here. U don't worry. Give us opportunity to serve ur nation.

we are part of building nations like US, Malaysia , Arab nations, UK etc.

we have long history of promoting peace and co-operation.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Do you really see the working population as in the photo? Middle aged men in suits?

while importing 1/3 million mostly Vietnamese to the workforce, with much Tamtam.

What an isolation.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Shrinking population would have been a problem in the pre-industrial revolution world but not in the 21st century. We can more than make up for a decrease in population by increasing productivity. What’s all the fuss about?

Meiyouwenti,

You really NEED to look at the population pyramid for Japan, look at this to better grasp Japans problem:

https://www.populationpyramid.net/japan/

Then imagine over time as the bottom narrows while the top fattens up! it AINT going to be pretty!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why are we not celebrating this? When I was a kid in a the 1970s overpopulation was a real threat to humanity's future. There was even a star trek episode about overpopulation from the 1960s. The ZPG (zero population growth) movement was born. Global warming ENDS if humanity shrinks to 1/10th its size. 90% of humanity is not really helping our future they are making pet rocks and kitchen gadgets in factories, this hurts mankind!

I'll tell you why we see these articles. This article is written by business interests who depend on a rising flood of workers to depress wages and produce 1% business growth annually just by sitting on their asses as businesspeople! These greedy interests DEMAND population growth and are brainwashing the masses! In the USA 1% of stock market growth is from population growth, and business greed is unlimited!

We should celebrate this article! Japan is the most overpopulated country in the world. They are becoming free from a type of slavery known as overpopulation! Well done!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

 When I was a kid in a the 1970s overpopulation was a real threat to humanity's future.

that's indeed how China saw it at the time. It instituted its one-child policy, a success, and now it's on track to be the world's most dominant economic power. I remember being told by our teachers and social scientists that reducing our population was key to our survival on this planet. I guess they've changed their minds. LOL.

The truth is that corporations make more money from overpopulation, as it creates bigger markets. A case where humanity's needs and corporate needs are at stark odds against each other.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I am not amused at the way the government uses these statistics to talk about "declining" population. They include the "foreign" population to artificially make it look like while the population is declining it's not as bad because of the influx of foreigners.

The population of Japan (or any country) by definition includes resident foreign nationals.

 they've written bad checks for the last 30 years to keep this economy running. But you don't see that on the news.

Deficit financing by the Japanese government is no more “writing bad checks” than it is for the US, UK, or any other government. Every time the budget is announced the Japanese language media takes up the issue of how much is financed by borrowing, often in some detail.

They may not qualify as the "working population" due to age, but a lot of the 65s and over will still be working.

Correct, and Japan has a notably large proportion of the population over 65 in employment.

The 15-65 age limit was set decades ago when few people went on to high school or college and people aged 65 and over would soon be dead. It is an unrealistic age cohort for modern economies.

Japan’s biggest problem is the declining birthrate, which has been decreasing rapidly for over twenty years. 

Not true. The Japanese birth (fertility) rate bottomed in 2005 and has been rising slowly since then. The really rapid decline was in the decade after 1947.

https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.TFRT.IN?locations=JP

They have done very little to address this issue. There are many contributing factors to this. Lack of daycare facilities, uncertainty of their financial future, poor work/life balance and the lack of fraternizing with the opposite sex. 

Japan actually has quite a good daycare system. Countries with everything you say Japan needs are, unlike Japan which has a slowly rising fertility rate, experiencing a decline in that rate.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2019/01/21/world/social-issues-world/babies-wanted-nordic-countries-crying-kids-demographics-put-sinking-boat-japan/

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6603263/Nordic-countries-desperate-babies-Falling-birth-rates-end-welfare-state-model.html

Build more schools... It's that simple.

Why, when in most areas there is a surplus of schools and school rooms despite many schools being closed.

Japan is its own worst enemy clinging on to ancient ideals and failed business practices are definitely killing Japan.

Not what economic analysts say. Further, there is nothing “ancient” about the lifetime employment, length of service pay system. It developed after World War II.

 Japan’s attempt to use humanoid robots in offices, such as Asimo and HRP4C, has not translated into real productivity gains.

Asimo was never intended for use in offices. It was a technology development platform. Same for HRP4C.

Japan’s indigenous population is not only trending toward zero, it’s accelerating to zero. Japan’s fecundity has already been below the replacement rate, where in 2010, Japan was approaching the point of no recovery.

Not true. The fertility rate of the “indigenous population” is below replacement in most advanced countries including the United States.  

https://edition.cnn.com/2019/01/10/health/us-fertility-rate-replacement-cdc-study/index.html

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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