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Japan saw fewer than 400,000 births in Jan-June period

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With current price hikes it just add more reason why not to have more births in Japan .

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/08/22/national/japan-household-budgets-inflation/

A 2022 white paper on the declining birth rate released by the Cabinet Office said the coronavirus had weighed on the number of marriages and pregnancies, adding that people in their 20s and 30s had become more worried about marriage, income, jobs and families than other age groups compared with prior to the pandemic.

So far not so much being done for this.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

At this stage I think only a radical change of government can start to halt this. More female MP's (not feminists but females). More younger men, and heaven forbid perhaps a few mixed race parents Japanese MP's to offer diverse opinions.

And stop blaming covid, it's been a sustained downward spiral since 1970's.

9 ( +18 / -9 )

Like any animal, humans need a healthy environment to encourage husbandry...

Worked to death in indentured slavery, overtaxed, every facet of your life managed by unknown entities, no fun, little hope... hardly a tank that would breed fish...

7 ( +16 / -9 )

Fewer births are adding to pressure on the government, which is grappling with soaring social security spending to cover pensions and medical care for the elderly in the rapidly graying society.

And what are the Japanese people ‘grappling with’?

Less job security,outsourcing,higher cost of living, lack of innovation by Japanese companies,stagnant wages, selfish politicians etc.

These are all factors behind the lack of confidence amongst the young.

8 ( +14 / -6 )

And will see even less in the future, have you seen how difficult is to get a place to live where a family can be raised? how difficult is to get a leave to take care of it without hurting your prospects in your work?

7 ( +11 / -4 )

The annual number of newborns, which has been on a downward trend since the middle of the 1970s, is declining faster than the government anticipated.

DOH, how in the world does the government expect birth rates to stabilize when they continue to screw up economic growth?

People are not going to be getting married, or having kids, particularly when the costs associated with raising children today is going through the roof. Childcare services are woefully lacking, support for single parents almost non-existent, and a plethora of other reasons that the government is directly responsible for.

The other thing the government fails to look at or accept, is that for an island nation, with almost no natural resources of it's own, and one that MUST rely on imported goods to survive, the question that MUST be asked is, "What population level is sustainable?"

Can Japan continue to sustain a population of over 100 Million people?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Who in the right state of mind would want to give up the good food, good night outs, good drinks, good fun friends, and good vibes for having a child???

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

There were a handful of people at the start of the pandemic who made the bizarre claim that Japanese would probably start having more babies as they spent more time at home. They were way off, of course.

Japanese are choosing to reduce the population, to a level that is sustainable in the long term - around 60-80 million. The environment and future generations will be thankful. Proof to the world that a high living standard can be maintained with a declining population.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

by the Cabinet Office said the coronavirus had weighed on the number of marriages and pregnancies, adding that people in their 20s and 30s had become more worried about marriage, income, jobs and families than other age groups compared with prior to the pandemic.

Sure, it has nothing to do with the policies of the government, right?

Hint: you can only blame COVID, Ukraine and the supply chain for all the problems for so long.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

People keep bringing up all these external factors but the truth of the matter is Japan's work/life balance is terrible. And they keep changing everything except for their toxic work culture.

It's honestly the same reason for lower birth rates in most developed nations. People everywhere are already worked to the bone and barely getting by before adding a family to the equation.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

Just in time for the new law requiring everyone to join Japan’s broken pension system. I can watch what little spending cash my wife and I have be sent to the elderly who, for the most part, are loaded.

What with salaries stuck in place, the wife and I aren’t going to be having kids at this rate, unless she agrees to move back where I can get a higher paying job and the cost of raising a child isn’t so prohibitive.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Its accelerating and can't be stopped now.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

I seriously have no idea how the average Japanese person affords kids.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

I seriously have no idea how the average Japanese person affords kids.

Help from MIL and FIL of both families?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

gov do nothing to support young families with kids.

so here is result.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

No need for rhetoric. Just look where the government spends money and you will see its priorities.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Time to lower the costs for receiving education and get rid of the unnecessary juku fees and actually start teaching in schools. There is also the mentality that the parents need to pay for a portion of the child's university.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Interesting how they felt the need to include Japanese overseas and foreigners in Japan .

Kind of pathetic

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

*The data include figures for Japanese nationals living abroad and foreigners residing in Japan.*

Well, we're all in the same (sinking) boat, aren't we...?

The number of babies born in Japan and to Japanese expatriates... 

...

The data include figures for Japanese nationals living abroad and foreigners residing in Japan.

Genuine question: do other countries include in their national birth-rates their nationals living abroad and their children born abroad?

My take would be that, living abroad, contributing to (foreign) local social security and pension funds, these would be the other (foreign) government's responsibility and be included in that country's own stats...? Also, some countries have the concept of double-nationality (possibly until adult age when the person then needs to choose one of both).

As such, Japanese nationals and children born with Japanese nationality born abroad are generally counted in their country of residence as a part of that country's population (albeit as being holders of a foreign passport). So why is Japan counting some other country's population as part of their own? You can't be part of 2 "populations" at the same time...Funnily enough, Japan also considers foreigners residing in Japan.

If you want to count Japanese "nationals" or Japanese "passport holders", I guess it's ok but then you shouldn't include foreigners residing in Japan. But as we are talking about births/deaths, we are talking about the "population" (of Japan) which is a different topic with different stakes.

For reference.

Merriam-Webster:

Definition of population

1 a: the whole number of people or inhabitants in a country or region

b: the total of individuals occupying an area or making up a whole

c: the total of particles at a particular energy level —used especially of atoms in a laser

Here a link to the MOFA's data on Japanese expatriates.

https://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/toko/tokei/hojin/index.html

As of October 2021, there are 1.34 Mio JPY residing abroad with 807K long-term residents (60%) out of which 537K having permanent residency for their (foreign) country of residence. Why would these people be counted as the "population of Japan" for births/deaths stats purposes???

Again, it may be just Kyodo fuzziness generating more questions than answering them...

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Why would these people be counted as the "population of Japan" for births/deaths stats purposes???

I don't think it matters much (e.g. 1% difference?) as long as they are consistent year after year. Of course, there is a problem if they are trying to obfuscate numbers, which is possible.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Babies born overseas by Japanese expatriates doesnt make them Japanese Babies

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

A lot of people in Japan get a lot of help from grandparents and large inheritances.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Young people can hardly afford to get married, and if they do get married, they can't afford to have a family. That is why you see so many young people walking their pet dogs. They can afford dogs.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Maybe government should subsidize university fees start lowering teacher student ratios so kids can actually learn then no need for expensive cram schools baby bonus scheme and maybe make it exciting to have a family without all the financial burden of education should be free

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The main problem in Japan is with jobs and housing, especially for young men. Either you stay in the big cities, earn a good salary, but why should you consider a family, if you do you are deeply in debts and have to repay loans for decades - or you prefer to live in small cities, cheap housing, but no regular jobs, only part-time, seasonal work ... and in such rural areas often young men outnumber young females by a huge margin.

Many young men don't really know what to do, they just rent a small room and do some occasional jobs - their workplace cannot offer them much, just a basic income, good enough only for themselves.

To find a female friend is not easy for a Japanese man either, many just gave up living only for themselves, not even willing to try. As a young man working in a car repair shop told me why even to look out for a girlfriend, he has nothing what he could offer to her and if she meets any other guy she will leave him anyway.

On the other side, you might argue, some reduction of the population is not really such a bad thing. 100 million people is enough for Japan, the country is quite small.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Why are they counting births outside Japan. That is weird.

Again, the ojisans in charge are baffled by these figures. Let me help them. Low pay, long hours, a rubbish work life balance, females treated like second class citizens, lack of childcare, lack of career advancement and inflexible social rules mean people don’t want to settle down and have kids, especially women. Why would young women want to have the same lives they saw their mothers and grandmothers endure.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Who in the right state of mind would want to give up the good food, good night outs, good drinks, good fun friends, and good vibes for having a child???

Actually this is one of the causes. Younger generations only think about the now, and are interested in themselves. It's a kind of narcissism that's being accelerated by social media too. And it's only going to get worse as everybody gets onto the Metaverse.

You actually don't need much money to raise children. People are just rejecting the very notion of having a family.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Japan an extreme example of a worldwide developed nation phenomenon. Plenty theories as to why it is.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

toraToday 02:33 pm JST

You actually don't need much money to raise children. People are just rejecting the very notion of having a family.

Honestly, are you serious? It might be true that you don't need much money as long as the children are still very small. But when they are getting older, you need an acceptable living space for them and you have to pay for their education. Do you have any idea how much this all costs in Japan?

Our two daughters are adults now, but it was a hard time for us and we were often almost out of money, luckily I had a regular full-time job with stable income and my wife could do some part time job to pay for all those bills.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Japan is going end up being a country filled with elderly because mass immigration will never happen.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

ChibakunToday 03:03 pm JST

Japan is going end up being a country filled with elderly because mass immigration will never happen.

Filled up with elderly is not only limited to Japan, other economically advanced or advancing countries have the same issue.

About mass immigration, the question remains if this is really a good thing for Japan, you can do that in large countries which are still underpopulated, like Canada or Australia for example, but there are already 125 million people living in Japan which is a rather small country and there is still a fairly large land area which is unfit for housing.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

As a young man working in a car repair shop told me why even to look out for a girlfriend, he has nothing what he could offer to her and if she meets any other guy she will leave him anyway.

Spot on. Rare to hear someone with their head screwed on this much in Japan.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

You actually don't need much money to raise children. People are just rejecting the very notion of having a family.

Sure throughout history most of us were dirt poor. Humans have always chosen kids. They are no longer, it seems. This runs deeper.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Add to all the above correct diagnoses (cost, time, exhaustion, lack of support for mothers, etc., etc.,) I will add a time-specific cause: Covid.

Turns out, couples in a relationship don’t really feel like getting jiggy with it when they’re worried about dying of a new disease, and even less so (as us long-time marrieds can attest) when they’re essentially locked down together. Turns out absence (and basic hygiene) really does make the heart grow fonder

Furthermore, meeting new people, starting a relationship or just hooking up (let’s not kid ourselves) are also actives not conducive with global pandemics.

And less sex in the aggregate means fewer births in the aggregate.

This one-time problem is likely to be alleviated with the coming end of the pandemic, only to be replaced with another problem: STDs.

Almost exactly as predicted, semi-involuntary celibacy, new freedom to mingle, physical and emotional urges, and (quite frankly) a happiness to still be alive have led to a “loosening of precaution (and possibly standards) and an explosion of new STD transmissions.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Humans have always chosen kids.

A lot of the time they didn't have good contraception.

They generally had more kids than they wanted.

In the past Sueko, the last child, was a common name in Japan.

But it was an invocation, hoping there would be no more children.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Daycare up to 60000 a month (at the time when they were at that age I was earning an ok amount and the thresholds were not fair)

I think it's free now?

Youchien is free now (since 2019). That was a huge deal for us, with two kids it has saved us about 30,000 a month for each of them.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

By first world standards, childcare isn't expensive in Japan. The average in the UK is about a thousand pounds a month, so more like 150,000 yen. The problem is wages are low, not things are expensive. In countries where childcare is state covered, there is a stronger social contract and taxes are far higher than Japan.

We have three kids and we need about 350,000 a month for our expenses plus our mortgage. Our eldest is in an SHS dorm, but its cheaper than her being at home, feeding her, and her commuting to school, which would be 45km each way.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sure throughout history most of us were dirt poor. Humans have always chosen kids. They are no longer, it seems. This runs deeper.

We've made it all to complicated so it's easier to get a pet dog.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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