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School's out forever in parts of aging Japan

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By Etienne BALMER and Elie GUIDI

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Japanese citizens have realised the nation is far too crowded, and are depopulating. 

I do not know of a single person in Japan who has ever decided not to have children because they felt the country was “far too crowded”.

Too busy to have kids? Yes. Not financially stable enough to have kids? Yes. Can’t find someone I’d want to have kids with? Yes. Just plain don’t want to become a parent? Yes.

Country is too crowded? No. That is just projection completely unconnected to the reality of Japanese society.

Once it hits ~80 million, the population should stabilise as people will actively start having babies again. 

Why and how? The idea that people are just waiting until things get less crowded ( about 33% less crowded according to your numbers) seems to be little more than a figment of your imagination. But even if that were the case, if the population shrinks to 80 million then the number of women in child bearing years is going to be so small that it won’t be enough for them to start having 2 babies each (near replacement levels), rather they’d have to kick it into overdrive and start having having 3 or 4 each to stabilize the population at that point. Its naive in the extreme to think that such a radical social transformation is going to be caused by the country being slightly less crowded than it is now (without even getting into the fact that people in the least crowded parts of the country are the ones experiencing the sharpest population declines, which is another fatal flaw in your theory).

18 ( +30 / -12 )

The problem driving low total fertility rates is global and is, I believe, driven more by the excessively high demands of the modern workplace, a combination of long hours leaving parents too exhausted and pay that is insufficient to afford kids.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

To add to GW, those at post-reproductive age (over 44) outnumber the rest (53 to 47%). Those in upper reproductive years (30 - 44) are 19% of the population but 15 to 29 year-olds are only 15%. Each reproductive cohort has produced fewer children. Now there are only 13% who are below 15 years old and for each 5-year cohort within that category the proportion is less than the one above. And these are figures from 2017, since when everything has worsened. As GW says, look at the pyramid.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Sorry, but this doesn't calculate. Can you explain why we would need more than replacement levels to stabilize (which I assume means to maintain replacement levels)? People talk about this as though there is a point of no return, which makes no sense.

It does calculate, its basic demographics. And I'm not saying there is no point of return.

If Japan's population decreases to 80 million (assuming it remains on its present course it'll reach that sometime after mid-century), its population pyramid will have much greater sized elderly cohorts and much smaller sized younger cohorts, including those of child-bearing years, than it does today.

If the birthrate shoots up to 2.1 (replacement level) at that time, the population will continue to decline for decades thereafter. It'll eventually stabilize if the birthrate remains at that level, but at a much smaller population than 80 million.

The post that I was replying to said that as soon as the population decreases to 80 million, people will start having babies again and the population will stabilize. But that just isn't how things work.

If you want to stabilize the population at 80 million, you really need to get the birthrate up to 2.1 now or in the very near future.

Personally I think 80 million is an arbitrary number that doesn't have any particular significance, I was just replying to what was written.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

There were waves of Japanese emigrants in the early 20th century, mostly because the country was deemed too crowded. The population then was around 70 million. Now it’s 120 million. The country today doesn’t need more people.

This is a spurious and misleading comparison. In the late 19th/early 20th century Japan was an agrarian society that had only emerged from feudalism and complete isolation a few decades earlier. Emigration was encouraged not because 70 million people was "too crowded" for the country, but rather because the country's economy wasn't able to produce enough food or jobs for everyone.

That is not a problem Japan has today or at any time since the 1950s. Nobody is starving here, there is no mass unemployment or homelessness, even with a larger population because today's Japanese economy and society is nothing like what it was over a century ago.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Here are the government's own population projection for Namegata. It's grim reading.

https://ecitizen.jp/Population/City/08233

forced to close in 2009 when the last few dozen children left to join a bigger one "because they couldn't make any friends",

This can be a huge problem for small schools in the countryside. People should not romanticize them as being like extended happy families. The cost per child of running them skyrockets for what is often a lesser experience. No team sports etc. etc.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

“The Japanese Government must encourage parents to have more children!” Yeah, I bet they hadn’t realized. And encouraging people, that’ll do it.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Why not turn all these thousands of unused schools into cheap housing projects, I am sure it can be done.

Most of them are built so badly it would cost much more than newbuild houses to get them as good as a newbuild house. Badly as in single pane windows, no insulation at all, asbestos, poor earthquakeproofing, ....

Abandoned schools also tend to be in areas with lots of abandoned houses. There is no housing shortage in these places.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

On the one hand schools were built all over and in many cases more than needed per area during the baby boom years. Makes sense they have become unneeded in rural areas. Tie that with the brain drain to Tokyo and the staunch lack of desire to spread industries/business to other prefectures and you got it.

Reusing the buildings for community centers, selling them for commercial space or just demolishing them to make a new clear space is the best we can do with them i guess.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

For all those saying this is great it won't be when there is no tax payers to support the massively expensive pension and social care bill.

The solution to being hopelessly in debt is not to get even more hopelessly in debt. At some point, a reckoning is inevitable. Maybe next time around, those in charge will be more responsible with finances.

Japan will have to use immigrants like Singapore for most manual labour at least .

Japan won't be able to pay anything near what is paid in Singapore.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Japanese citizens have realised the nation is far too crowded, and are depopulating.

This is by far NOT an intelligent response to verified knowledge by the people of Japan.

This is not Japanese people making an educated decision to breed less. This is the result of an inability to even find a partner for love and companionship! Or even just a one-night romp in the hay sans procreation!

And it has a LOT to do with the government and corporations being hell bent to create an inhuman workforce of robotic consumerists who have no idea what it means to enjoy life. Show me a Japanese student not claiming to be tired and sleepy from too much homework, needless hours at club, and too many tests!

There is one word to explain all of this and that word is DYSFUNCTION.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

And the site is profitable: the town of Yokoze last year made 200,000 yen.

But cost 40,000,000 to bring up to standard.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is an extremely interesting and prescient subject.

Here in the Ryukyus ,the demographics are fascinating.

Obviously,we have the largest number of very elderly people.

Also,there are a large amount of families with three or more children.

Nevertheless, numerous schools are closing or amalgamating due to a drop in student numbers.

Talking to those elders,they invariably tell me that when they were kids just after WW2,a huge amount of job creating concrete construction projects were started all around the islands, leading to huge influxes of workers and families from Kansai especially.

So,this decline in younger numbers over the postwar years shouldn't come as any surprise.

Contrarily,there has recently been a boost to the island community population from JSDF and their families.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Just like Korea.

They are getting close to a point of no return on the population.

Everyone saying it'll be much better with fewer people are deluded on how this happens.

Over half the JHS I went to as a JET in Ehime in the late 90s are closed now.

At least 15 out of nearly 30.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

It's not nonsense.

Sorry, but it is. “Lets just give up trying to solve a problem because its difficult” is a nonsense approach to anything,

Those of us that have been here for decades knows that it can't be changed. They've tried for the last few decades.

I’ve lived here for more than 20 years, but so what? Living here a long time doesn’t automatically make your argument make sense.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Why not turn all these thousands of unused schools into cheap housing projects, I am sure it can be done.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

If they can find a way to use these school then great, but I think most often the problem is that the towns are also going the same way as the students.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I find is stunning to see so so many on JT who dont know what a population pyramid is...Zone2Surf, Fighto, suggest you search for Japans & LOOK at the BASE, it is narrowing at an alarming rate!!!

As Rainyday says correctly, the longer this current state of de-population continues even if the birthrate jumps to 3+ per couple the population will likely still be declining!!

And NONE of the core issues have or will be dealt with in any likelyhood.

It is indeed sad to literally watch Japan rot, those that say the population will stabilize just arent looking at how many elderly there are & how FEW young people are in Japan, its likely too late for Japan to fix without REALLY opening up to the rest of the world, Japan likely wont have a choice in the matter the way things are going!

1 ( +11 / -10 )

Perhaps few of you are able to remember when the narratives were not about decay; when there seemed to be a hubristic account of the future of Japan. But even during that time, back in 1989, Bill Emmott (The Sun Also Sets) was warning about how demographic changes and essentially xenophobia, along with other factors, would lead precisely to this current pass. Obviously the government didn't get the memo, or ignored it, happy to believe their own hype. Maybe some still wanna believe the hype.

Pay attention to who wrote this, and then you should have your answer.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In fact, Japan is showing the world that she can grow her economy whilstdepopulating - pretty much a unique achievement that has the world looking on.

This is a ridiculous statement. Japan’s economy has been stumbling along with anemic growth rates for more than 30 years now. Its economy was more than twice the size of Germany’s 20 years ago. Germany is expected to overtake Japan next year, despite having a smaller population (and demographic problems of its own). Numerous other examples abound.

The rest of the world is looking at Japan as a cautionary tale, not as a success story in terms of its economy and demographics.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Wny is Japan's population declining at such an alarming rate?

It's unaffordable for many to get married and raise a family. Current wages just doesn't cut it.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Contrarily,there has recently been a boost to the island community population from JSDF and their families.

Dont be fooled by this. It's more on the outer islands than the main island, and not everyone is happy either.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I think Japan will go the route of giving citizenship more and more to those from East Asian and South-East Asian countries. 

And then...

Japan will never go the route of western countries as they prefer their norms that have worked in making Japan one of the safest countries in the world and they don't want the fragmentation of society along multi-ethnic lines 

A little conflicted. So you are saying Japan is not going to imitate the "western nations" and their immigration route - yet is going to bring in many SE Asians?

South East Asians are very, very different ethnically and culturally to Japanese. We are already seeing issues with large numbers of certain SE Asian trainees "disappearing" as well as being charged with crimes, to name one example.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sorry, but it is. “Lets just give up trying to solve a problem because its difficult” is a nonsense approach to anything,

No, its not nonsense. And what you call "giving up" is not giving up. When you beat your head against a brick wall, after a while you begin to realize that, perhaps, the brick wall isn't going to move.

Japan has been trying to address this problem for 3 decades. You may argue that they haven't done enough or haven't done the right things and if they were to only do the "right things", the situation would change.

However, and this is the key, even if Japan did everything "right" and the birthrate were to stabilize and and then increase, the demographics still work against Japan for the next 30 to 50 years. And even in this scenario, those having children would most likely not be moving to / living in the regions / in rural Japan.

So, what is more important right now? Trying to continue to stabilize the birthrate despite unsuccessful efforts for the last 3 decades? Or preparing for what is coming to ensure that the country and the citizenry is as prepared as possible for what IS going to happen in the next 3 decades?

I’ve lived here for more than 20 years, but so what? Living here a long time doesn’t automatically make your argument make sense.

Actually, living in Japan a long time does make one's argument / views potentially more informed. It doesn't mean you have to agree with them or that you don't have a different viewpoint. However, there is something to be said for time and experience It doesn't automatically make or do anything, but, again, there is something to be said for it.

Here is the thing. Things are going to get really bad in the next 30 years. I don't think anyone fully appreciates how bad it is going to get. And that's not "giving up" or "fatalism", that is just realism. And if Japan doesn't do more to prepared for what IS going to happen, it is going to be horrifically bad. The government needs to work to try to make it less bad.

And that's just realism. Sort of like preparing for a typhoon that is coming your way and there is nothing you can do to change the fact that it is going to hit you dead on.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan has been trying to address this problem for 3 decades. You may argue that they haven't done enough or haven't done the right things and if they were to only do the "right things", the situation would change.

This is simply not true. What I think are the right things to have done is irrelevant, the fact is that governments and society as a whole have done almost nothing to try to address the problem.

However, and this is the key, even if Japan did everything "right" and the birthrate were to stabilize and and then increase, the demographics still work against Japan for the next 30 to 50 years. And even in this scenario, those having children would most likely not be moving to / living in the regions / in rural Japan.

Yup, this is true.

So, what is more important right now? Trying to continue to stabilize the birthrate despite unsuccessful efforts for the last 3 decades? Or preparing for what is coming to ensure that the country and the citizenry is as prepared as possible for what IS going to happen in the next 3 decades?

This is where I have a problem with your argument. Policies to increase the birthrate and policies to deal with an aging and shrinking population are not mutually exclusive options, society can, and must, do both at the same time. Yet you are arguing that Japan should only do the latter, which makes no sense.

Why do I say that it makes no sense? Because the two are mutually dependent. Any approach to dealing with the aging, shrinking population is going to be made way more difficult the fewer young people Japan has. You can’t deal with the latter without also dealing with the former.

Actually, living in Japan a long time does make one's argument / views potentially more informed. It doesn't mean you have to agree with them or that you don't have a different viewpoint. However, there is something to be said for time and experience It doesn't automatically make or do anything, but, again, there is something to be said for it.

Experience is of course useful and can lead to better informed judgments, but its not going to fix flaws in an argument by itself.

Here is the thing. Things are going to get really bad in the next 30 years. I don't think anyone fully appreciates how bad it is going to get. And that's not "giving up" or "fatalism", that is just realism. And if Japan doesn't do more to prepared for what IS going to happen, it is going to be horrifically bad. The government needs to work to try to make it less bad.

Yup, I don’t dispute that. Population decline us here, its already baked in for decades to cone and yeah, the government desperately needs policies to mitigate the effects of that right now.

None of that supports your argument that the government should abandon trying to raise the birthrate though, in fact it just makes the argument in favor of doing so all the more persuasive.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Perhaps few of you are able to remember when the narratives were not about decay; when there seemed to be a hubristic account of the future of Japan. But even during that time, back in 1989, Bill Emmott (The Sun Also Sets) was warning about how demographic changes and essentially xenophobia, along with other factors, would lead precisely to this current pass. Obviously the government didn't get the memo, or ignored it, happy to believe their own hype. Maybe some still wanna believe the hype.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

This post and the comments mirror the discussion going on worldwide, especially in the West, if I may use that term.

The dropping birthrates, the change in mix of economic output, and the increased concentration of population in more urban areas.

Japan is not going to go back to the Japan it once was. Which was a largely an agrarian nation and then a mix of agrarian and industry spread all over the country, with far more people living in the regions. It just isn't.

And, equally, there is no chance that the birthrate will increase anytime soon. It just won't. And the government will not be able to do anything about it. All the government can do is plan for what is inevitable.

For those that argue that immigration will solve the problem, there are so many issues with mass immigration in the context of Japan. Perhaps on the margins in specific areas immigration could be helpful. But there is no evidence that mass immigration will benefit Japan or somehow stabilize the situation.

More important, at what cost? Japan will no longer be Japan with mass immigration. What has made Japan what it is will be lost. The traditions, the culture. You need to look no further than Western Europe and the effects of mass immigration in the last 30 years, especially the last 10 years, to see that the Europe of today is not what it was even 15 years ago. And there is absolutely no evidence that Europe is the better for it. There may be more people in Europe as a result, but is Europe the better for it? Unless, of course, the intent or goal was / is to change what Europe is.

I am not Japanese but my entire life has been spent in Japan and molded by Japan. I have spent much of my life in parts of Japan most foreigners haven't. Including a long, long time ago, before many JT readers ever set foot in Japan.

I love Japan with a passion. I ache for the Japan of old, when, for example, I was able to go to a small town in the mountains of Akita and the town was bustling, with a mix of farmers and local industry. And I have watched that town, like so many, die a slow death. It's still there, but it will never be what it once was. Never. And no government initiative will change that.

The only answer is for the government to realize that what is coming HAS to come. And it will be painful, very very painful. But that is the story of history for so many countries. Measured in centuries, not decades. The key for the government is to find the best way to manage the change in demographics and the drop in population. Not try to change it but accept it and go about try to do its best to manage it in the best way possible for its citizens and its country.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

I think the crisis of interpersonal relationships contributes to that a lot as well as women realising traditional Japanese marriage is often not satisfying. A woman can make her own living now without a man, so is chilly loveless marriage with a strict schudule everyday worth it? A marriage with little (as a rule) emotional connection that often doesnt hold test of life challenges and has no deep authentic basis. Do you want to make kids with men of such culture/worldview who are obssessed with their work/hobbies/leisure activities and rarely appreciate human relationships?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The only answer is for the government to realize that what is coming HAS to come. And it will be painful, very very painful. 

Uh, no thanks.

Some change has to come, and already is here, but this fatalistic “just let the disaster happen and don’t try to do anything about it” attitude makes no sense.

The low birth rate is attributable to a lot of stuff, but they all generally fall under the rubric of “things in society that make having kids unattainable or undesirable for many young people”. The fact that it is difficult to change these things doesn’t mean we should give up and just accept a much much worse society as an inevitability, screw that nonsense.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

The low birth rate is attributable to a lot of stuff, but they all generally fall under the rubric of “things in society that make having kids unattainable or undesirable for many young people”. The fact that it is difficult to change these things doesn’t mean we should give up and just accept a much much worse society as an inevitability, screw that nonsense.

It's not nonsense.

Those of us that have been here for decades knows that it can't be changed. They've tried for the last few decades.

So, which is the better choice? Accept reality and proactively deal with the situation.

Or deny the reality and just make the inevitable that much harder to deal with.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

One fundamental fact to keep in mind is that Japanese society is also going the normal trajectory of first world societies - that is, the more educated a population is and the more women working, there is a corresponding drop in family size and even in children to the point of choosing to have no children at all.

You cannot compare Japan to immigrant countries in the west as the fertility rate is maintained by immigration, especially by those from developing/third world countries who often arrived as asylum seekers/refugees as is the case in Europe. The USA and Australia for instance prioritise immigration to maintain the economy via a young/younger population. France I think has the youngest population in the EU and this is mostly from immigrants of those kind of countries/demographics.

I think Japan will go the route of giving citizenship more and more to those from East Asian and South-East Asian countries. They are the ones already with significant to high Japanese language skills and despite political problems with China, there are still many people from the PRC who want to invest in Japan, buy property here and see their future in a country where they can own their businesses without coercion from the state.

Countries like Taiwan too will provide more people who get citizenship in Japan. Japan will never go the route of western countries as they prefer their norms that have worked in making Japan one of the safest countries in the world and they don't want the fragmentation of society along multi-ethnic lines - Japan will never accept many people who have ethnic/religious/political conflict with each other. And that is their decision alone to make.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posters like 'fighto' seem to look at this issue in extremes. It doesn't have to be that way and in fact I don't see Japan dealing with its ageing population by allowing people who don't have solid finances and cannot deal with its society to immigrate here.

The trainee example is one of those extremes - it is part of Japan's agreements with countries like south-east Asian ones to bring in manual labor and labor in industries where there are not enough Japanese doing those jobs. It is not and never was intended to be about those people immigrating and obtaining citizenship. This is why there are some problems with some trainees as well as the fact that these programs are not well thought out and not monitored enough by J gov at different levels.

I don't know what bubble you live in but I know Japanese citizens of East Asian origin such as Taiwan and Korea. They adapted far better to Japanese society than most others by prioritising learning Japanese and being business-oriented. There are also cases of PRC Chinese who have invested in Japan and don't want to go back home as they appreciate their opportunities here. There are also Filipinos and Malaysians who speak fluent Japanese and are citizens here, they run businesses.

That looks like a way forward for Japan. When was the last time you saw East and South East Asians battling each other in the streets of Japan, bringing their home countries conflicts, feuds and inter-ethnic hatreds here? It hasn't happened and it won't. Unlike the west where citizens/residents of the US, UK, Europe and Australia are conducting these dysfunctions openly and sometimes violently under the guise of free speech or somehow the tolerant countries they live in have to also become hotbeds of tribalism and inter-ethnic conflicts.

Japan will not tolerate this, it knows that trainee programs aren't the path to citizenship and it also knows that all those English 'teachers' who proudly say they have lived in Japan for 10 yrs but can't speak two sentences correctly in Japanese and show this on twitch and youtube and wherever, and are living on 200,000 yen or less before tax are not the future either.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

@ Black Samurai - so essentially you are proposing ramping up immigration to Japan to make up for the depopulation.

I'm pretty sure the average Japanese citizen will not vote for that model - if it was ever presented which I doubt.

I don't know what bubble you live in but I know Japanese citizens of East Asian origin such as Taiwan and Korea. They adapted far better to Japanese society than most others by prioritising learning Japanese and being business-oriented. 

Koreans and Taiwanese are now from wealthy, first world nations. There may be a trickle of them that wish to emigrate permanently to Japan, but not many. Their living standards and wages are high - so theyd need a compelling reason to emigrate i.e. Taiwan was attacked by Communist China.

I know this is controversial to some, but I do not believe that immigration is the answer to Japan's depopulation. In fact, Japan is showing the world that she can grow her economy whilst depopulating - pretty much a unique achievement that has the world looking on.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

For all those saying this is great it won't be when there is no tax payers to support the massively expensive pension and social care bill.

Japan will have to use immigrants like Singapore for most manual labour at least .

-2 ( +17 / -19 )

zones2surf | Today 04:01 pm JST

A great posting...epic! Prophetic! Visionary...

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

We don't need to spend a dime to 'study' the reasons.

①Japanese people don't value family time as much as they try to tell you in those books, etc.

Being physically present at the workplace 1st,

spending time fishing, playing pachinko, going to the izakaya or building your models/collecting cards or doing whatever you take for a hobby 2nd,

Cook with your partnet, play with your own kids, being with your family last

②My avatar explains it all

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Japanese progress, innit

But cost 40,000,000 to bring up to standard.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

There were waves of Japanese emigrants in the early 20th century, mostly because the country was deemed too crowded. The population then was around 70 million. Now it’s 120 million. The country today doesn’t need more people.

“…when there is no tax payers to support the massively expensive pension and social care bill.”

Japan doesn’t use tax revenue to pay for social security.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

sometimes rented for filming, cosplay events -- where fans dress up as game characters

yes....cosplay events.....I may even have heard of films of such events being freely available on the internet....LMAO

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

It's a bit depressing that decay seems to be increasingly the narrative of Japan.

Wabi-sabi... learn to enjoy it. It will pass and there will be an eventual boom again. Not soon, though.

if the population shrinks to 80 million then the number of women in child bearing years is going to be so small that it won’t be enough for them to start having 2 babies each (near replacement levels), rather they’d have to kick it into overdrive and start having having 3 or 4 each to stabilize the population a

Sorry, but this doesn't calculate. Can you explain why we would need more than replacement levels to stabilize (which I assume means to maintain replacement levels)? People talk about this as though there is a point of no return, which makes no sense.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

If only they had known such a time as coming! I mean, being warned for 4 or 5 decades is never enough.

-4 ( +7 / -11 )

It is indeed sad to literally watch Japan rot, those that say the population will stabilize just arent looking at how many elderly there are & how FEW young people are in Japan, its likely too late for Japan to fix without REALLY opening up to the rest of the world, Japan likely wont have a choice in the matter the way things are going!

Great, so Japan will just turn into Indonesia or Pakistan at this rate.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Country is too crowded? No. That is just projection completely unconnected to the reality of Japanese society.

I'm inclined to agree. Japan is not "too crowded" - one region of it is. As the smaller towns and cities in Japan wither away, the Tokyo area just keeps getting more and more packed. People keep moving to the city, they take up meaningless careers in big corporations, and then they basically surrender the rest of their lives to the employment apparatus, endlessly toiling away for a third of what people overseas are making for a third of the work. This religion of work conformism and corporate hierarchy is what is ruining Japan. Even the people that have children barely get to spend any time with them because they are too busy trying to please their boss and their team. This is what is actually happening in Japan even though people spend an absurd amount of time obsessing over totally unimportant affairs like Shibuya Halloween or IRL live streamers.

It's worth pointing out, Namegata isn't even that far outside of the capital. Maybe an hour away. If this is what is happening within Kanto, just imagine the decay taking place in rural Japan.

-8 ( +16 / -24 )

Got to thank the LDP for it.

That party still believes it can return Japan to the 'bubble era.'

Someone on here said a few months ago that Japan needs a party that can manage the decline of Japan,and that is what is needed.

Going downhill really fast and only snowballing.

The Japanese workforce are its biggest assets.....hardworking,diligent and educated, but at the same time they are also its biggest liabilities for not being bothered to vote the useless LDP out of power.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

If only they had known such a time as coming! I mean, being warned for 4 or 5 decades is never enough.

Smith, you always nail it.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

It's a bit depressing that decay seems to be increasingly the narrative of Japan.

-9 ( +26 / -35 )

This is a positive.

In 50 years, this will stabilize and Japan will still be Japan.

-9 ( +13 / -22 )

This is a positive.

In 50 years, this will stabilize and Japan will still be Japan.

I agree.

Japanese citizens have realised the nation is far too crowded, and are depopulating. Once it hits ~80 million, the population should stabilise as people will actively start having babies again. And some of these schools may start reopening.

It's great they are repurposing these schools - win-win for business, the environment and the towns.

-13 ( +12 / -25 )

It's a bit depressing that decay seems to be increasingly the narrative of Japan.

I concur.

-15 ( +19 / -34 )

Thousands of schools shut in Japan in the last twenty years? Swimming pools used by swimming ducks ? Hshigakubo used for films? Eight thousand and fifty schools closed? Since when? Wny is Japan's population declining at such an alarming rate? The Japanese Government must encourage parents to have more children!

-17 ( +14 / -31 )

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