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Japan's births fall 3.6% to 370,000 in Jan-June

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The number of babies born in Japan and to Japanese expatriates in the January to June period fell 3.6 percent from a year earlier to 371,052

Japan so desperate to get those numbers, even Japanese abroad that living in really different work life balance environment is being included.

-11 ( +13 / -24 )

This is just another "wash-rinse-repeat" news item, with a small change in "numbers".

Only mildly surprising thing here is that there is no "holiday" like "Children's Day" or "Coming of Age Day" or "Respect for the Aged" day to make a connection.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

The growing trend of people marrying later in life or not marrying at all is thought to have exacerbated the birthrate decline, according to the health ministry.

It’s refreshing to see the likely reason for this decline presented — instead of just blaming it on COVID, like they did three years ago.

“I reckon the spread of the coronavirus is having many people worried about getting pregnant, giving births and rearing babies,” Tetsushi Sakamoto, minister in charge of responses to Japan’s declining birthrates — 27 October 2020, “Coronavirus pandemic deepens Japan's demographic crisis,” https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-japan-ageing-idUSKBN27C0GV

9 ( +10 / -1 )

@Saiurasuki

Maybe you do not know about statistics, but what has your comment "Japan so desperate to get those numbers" has nothing to do with only Japan. Statistics are important for every country. Statistics includes nationalities from a country, which may or may not include overseas Japanese, as long they have the Japanese nationality.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

Hard to raise a family when you earn ¥150,000 as a full-time OL like down here in Kyushu.

4 ( +14 / -10 )

you want babies?

stop raising prices

give people paid time off to enjoy their free time

done

12 ( +15 / -3 )

Japan clearly a lap ahead in the race to the bottom.

They have known about this problem for decades but did nothing about it other than inhibit wage raises and support ultra long work hours with no extra pay

You reap what you sow.,LDP.

-7 ( +13 / -20 )

The title of the article, Japan's births fall 3.6% to 370,000 in Jan-June

The statistic in the article states,  371,052. Does not seem proper to omit the 1,052 others?

or else simply state, *"Japan's births fall 3.6% to over 370.000"*?

1 ( +6 / -5 )

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

What a joke. How many of these Japanese nationals abroad are planning to come home, and how many of the foreigners residing here are going to still be here in 5-10 years? Trying to sugarcoat the problem by fudging the numbers isn't going to change the facts.

you want babies?

stop raising prices

give people paid time off to enjoy their free time

done

Exactly.

Japan clearly a lap ahead in the race to the bottom.

They have known about this problem for decades but did nothing about it other than inhibit wage raises and support ultra long work hours with no extra pay

You reap what you sow.,LDP.

Well said.

-10 ( +11 / -21 )

Hakuo Yanagisawa was the health minister of Japan from 2006 to 2008, under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

In January 2007, Yanagisawa sparked a controversy when he described women as "birth-giving machines" and urged them to have more children to address Japan's declining population.

Whatever goes up goes down, laws of nature.

Humanity as a whole has reached the point of too much, too many.

There is no human planning that can defeat Mother Nature.

As an individual who cannot change the state of affairs, I just laugh folks, just laugh, as a hero laughs in the face of the executioner.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

this is happening when gov never cares about own citizens wellbeing.

never cares about young families with kids,their problems,costs.

never cares about future of own nation and country.

this happening when taxpayers money are burned in unecessary projects/tokyo olympics,expo osaka and list is endless/,unecessary involving in some other countrys conflict/sending money to Kiev junta/ first,buying unecessary overpriced US weapons...

this is how it looks like when useless LDP gov is acting in name of own LDP and USA interests instead of own nations interests.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

Simple Math, how could you have a child and increase your expenses and obligations by about 50,000 to 70,000 jpy / month when your income is either STUCK or increased by about 15,000 / month???

It's annoying to hear it over and over again when the solution is so Obvious.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Having a baby in materialistic Japan is considered a burden, compared to a less popular Christian belief system where babies are considered as blessings. I know, because I have met many Christian Japanese couples who have many kids but are far more sufficient and content with their lives compared with others.

-13 ( +6 / -19 )

Hard to raise a family when you earn ¥150,000 as a full-time OL like down here in Kyushu.

First of all, the OL is usually making around 300,000 and is married to guy making around 500,000. Just because you are making 150,000 teaching the ABCs, doesn't mean everyone else is. Some people have more skills.

-13 ( +4 / -17 )

Every developed country is having the same problem. Go take a look at Italy or France.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

A continuing trend of course, but I would argue that this is still news. 370,000 for a half year is on course for under three quarters of a million. The number of births fell under a million not long ago in 2016.

I thought there might have been some recovery with young couples (understandably) putting it off children during the pandemic. Maybe that will happen in the next half year's data or the one after. Covid was still a worry for most until spring this year.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The only problem is that they all have replaced love by monetary considerations. In every of such discussions you find concerns about wages, income, money, work-life balance, governmental support, nursery and kindergarten costs and so on. Not even one time you hear the word love. And that's why it can't work. Just have a look at where all the babies are born. They don't even have any money or kindergartens there. But they make love 24/7.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Every developed country is having the same problem. Go take a look at Italy or France.

The other developed countries have immigration, which will solve the birthrate problem.

Japan doesn't.

-11 ( +6 / -17 )

First of all, the OL is usually making around 300,000 and is married to guy making around 500,000. 

HAAAAA????

What OL makes 300,000 a month? And the only people making 500,000 are the civil servants and bureaucrats.

Just because you are making 150,000 teaching the ABCs, doesn't mean everyone else is. 

most salarymen and OLs are making that.

>

-3 ( +8 / -11 )

Well if all those future people are just gonna end up living in Tokyo, then that's a good thing, maybe un-clutter the city a bit.

I'll begin to support Japan's goal to increase population the day they come up with an affective method to spread out people throughout this country. The tax breaks offered to companies clearly wasn't enough to keep them out of Tokyo.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

leading to a population decline of 426,664.

This 6 month figure would suggest that we are already getting very close to the point at which Japan is shrinking by a full million people a year, which is quite alarming.

Its one of those problems that everyone knows what the solution is (have more babies), but nobody has a clue how to accomplish in practice.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Aly Rustom

First of all, the OL is usually making around 300,000 and is married to guy making around 500,000. 

HAAAAA????

What OL makes 300,000 a month? And the only people making 500,000 are the civil servants and bureaucrats.

Just because you are making 150,000 teaching the ABCs, doesn't mean everyone else is. 

most salarymen and OLs are making that.

Agreed. Something that everyone seems to be forgetting is that we have to pay the second highest tax rate in the world here. So since the tax rate is about 40- 48%(sales tax included), the OL would be taking home 180,000yen/mo and the komuin would be taking home about 300,000yen/mo. After paying bills, it is hardly enough to raise a family and have a decent standard of living.

0 ( +11 / -11 )

First of all, the OL is usually making around 300,000 and is married to guy making around 500,000. Just because you are making 150,000 teaching the ABCs, doesn't mean everyone else is. Some people have more skills.

HAHAHA! Tell us you know nothing about Japan without telling us you know nothing about Japan. An OL making 300K per month?! At least I am not a hotel room cleaner, as I know you are.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

No children = no future. In the short term, demographics is nothing, in the long term it is everything.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

First of all, the OL is usually making around 300,000 and is married to guy making around 500,000.

Maybe in Tokyo, but not in these parts buddy. You really havent got a clue if you think OLs making 300k.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

https://www.orixbank.co.jp/column/article/189/

It's all here ... Average annual income 4.4 million yen (not just wage and salary earners). Average male income 5 million yen, average female income 3 million yen.

If you are not a "seishain", halve that. If you are under 35 (i.e. a good age for having kids), take off at least 1 man a week. If you live outside Kanto, take off another 1 man per week. And another 1 man goes bye bye if you work for a company with less than 100 employees.

Please don't nag your working Mom coworkers because your boss says it's their fault that you have to do more overtime. It's not their fault. It's the bosses' fault for assuming that the workers they will nbe trying to recruit in 20 years time are somebody else's babies.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Get a job in finance and you can make waaaay more than that.

Sure, but it's not really relevant because there are only very few finance jobs relative to the number of workers overall. You can triple the number of high-paying finance jobs and they still won't be making enough babies to maintain the population.

There is not a cat in hells chance that the birth rate is going to go back up to anywhere near the level needed to maintain the population any time soon. With the population declining everywhere, except Tokyo - the place with the lowest birth rate of all, the problem is only going to get worse over the next 20-30 years.

The government will just have to increase the retirement age if the pension system is to remain viable - 70, 75... it's no big deal - this isn't France, nobody will really complain about it.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

Having a baby in materialistic Japan is considered a burden, compared to a less popular Christian belief

That's a wrong perception, maybe due to blindness caused by religion?

Take South Korea for example. A country with similar culture to Japan but where most religious denominations are "Christians." There are as many "Christian" churches in the country as there are conbinis. There are so many churches that walking around at night, would make you believe they're trying to ward the country against an invasion by vampires (because of all the crosses lit up).

And yet, their population is decreasing just as Japan.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

A disaster for those of us with English schools

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The days of growth at all costs is over. We need new leadership and ideas to manage the shrinkage and decline.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I like and welcome debate about culture, including modern culture, which is too rare when talking about the birthrate.

Economic struggles when raising children have happened throughout history. Most children ever born were to economically vulnerable people. What is new is the struggle to afford children is combined with a massive cult of individualism, driven of course by late-stage capitalism. Raising children reduces freedom and involves sacrifices, so is an affront to individualism. Parents can't do what they want, when they want as individuals.

There are many worthwhile things you can do without raising kids, so that is not my point. If anyone chooses a career or hobby over having kids, I honestly hope they gain fulfillment from it. However, when I hear Japanese people rejecting romantic relationships as "mendo kusai", I feel individualism has gone too far and become toxic. I would question what thing of value has taken a loving relationship's place in that person's life.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Get a job in finance and you can make waaaay more than that.

Sure. Yeah. Piece of cake.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

With the cost of living going up and no prospect of it going down in near future, what can anyone expect! Children are expensive!!! A friend's wife just had a baby. Every time I see him, he only talks about how much he has to pay!

3 ( +4 / -1 )

"The days of growth at all costs is over. We need new leadership and ideas to manage the shrinkage and decline."

This is the wisest comment so far. The whole system paradigm of "more, increased, growth, up, expand" is coming to an end. All the world's "isms" up until now have been founded on the premise where nonstop growth and more is always a given. It's no longer a given. And the world had this thing called a "Baby Boom"? They don't use explosive terms like "boom" to denote a normal situation: the postwar, unipolar world was the greatest aberration in history, for many reasons, a global boom in babies being just one. So to use a "boom" as a measuring stick to be "outdone" is simply impossible, not to mention irresponsible...yet people simply cannot fathom a world that won't eternally, automatically, GROW.

The ONLY place in the world that is growing is Africa and amongst the poorest of less-developed countries (like in India). These people simply will NOT replace the economic weight that an equivalent consumer in America, Japan or the UK used to do. The Chinese have already hit peak consumption, and their population is set for a spectacular collapse in the next decade, as is Europe, Japan, South Korea and much of the world.

Yet, Japan isn't alone in its demographics problem, and since it has to face the music first, it just might be able to find some post-growth solutions that the whole world could then emulate...TBD!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Seigi When the rubber meets the road I guess they say "the devil made me do it" religion goes out the door!!

Having a baby in materialistic Japan is considered a burden, compared to a less popular Christian belief system where babies are considered as blessings. I know, because I have met many Christian Japanese couples who have many kids but are far more sufficient and content with their lives compared with others.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Having a baby in materialistic Japan is considered a burden, compared to a less popular Christian belief system where babies are considered as blessings. I know, because I have met many Christian Japanese couples who have many kids but are far more sufficient and content with their lives compared with others.

Indeed.

It was analyzed and shown that the trick is women (and men) thinking they can't live with their current whatever situation and having children is not feasible, while society is assessing you by your working input only.

Hence the number of materialistic singles instead of the valuable families.

It is not a mater of wealth in any case, no one is dying of hunger or because not possessing the latest iphone.

Money helps though, sure.

Considering love, sex, romance, family as good social virtues help way more.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

And reading the number of comments concluding only money will save families, best to have a Japan Minister of the falling demography ready to tackle the needs of a 50 million population much sooner than expected.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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