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Japan's population falls at fastest rate since 1968

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Japan's population, excluding resident foreigners, fell at the beginning of this year at its fastest pace since comparable figures were kept in 1968, highlighting the demographic challenge to economic growth.

How convenient, include the foreigners when they want to make it look rosy, but exclude them at their convenience to make what ever point they are trying to make here.

Like it or not, the population is falling and will continue to do so, and it's not such a bad thing either, in my opinion. This country will be better off with a smaller, less import dependent economy and population in the long run.

9 ( +14 / -5 )

Yes, because more and more men nowadays prefer to marry plastic women and anime characters! :-( They should put a little more efford in having and enjoying real relationships with real women

3 ( +13 / -10 )

If you have so many incentives against falling in love, marriage, and having children then of course population growth will be negative.

This is just where Japanese culture is headed. No one in Japan really cares enough to change it.

16 ( +17 / -1 )

As of Jan. 1, the number of Japanese people fell by a record 308,084 from a year earlier

last year it dropped by around 260,000. The drop continues to increase. Scary

1 ( +4 / -3 )

In one hand, Abe wants to get women to have careers and have a family. On the other hand there isn't enough daycare facilities.

The government needs to open more day care facilities and make them cheap.

How is he going to achieve it? Giving money to his nationalist friends?

13 ( +13 / -0 )

I've been here 20 years and by now it's completely obviously the government is just going to let this problem work itself out. No one cares!

11 ( +12 / -1 )

And yet new condos are springing up here in Shinjuku all over the place. Who is going to live there?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Agree that for one of the most population dense places in the world this can't be such a bad thing. Finding a new equilibrium perhaps? It just means people will have to save for their retirement, which the Japanese people are good at anyway, as the pension system is down the creek without a paddle.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

"The overall population, which combines both Japanese and resident foreigners..."

" Many Japanese pride themselves on what they see as their cultural and ethnic homogeneity"

This is a pretty tired and recycled group of phrases that tossed around in every English article written about Japan's population.

I welcome less people on my crowded island. May the tax revenue fall if it must. What good does tax revenue do if we throw 15 billion at the Olympics?

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Yeah, well, it's pretty easy to understand when nearly 30% of women over 30 years old prefer to stay single. The problem is not the women. The problem is the childish and fetish fascinated men who are not suitable for marrying.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

And yet new condos are springing up here in Shinjuku all over the place. Who is going to live there?

Condos in central locations are popular with elderly wealthy people. We bought our house in the suburbs from such a guy in his 70s who had moved into the city. The population of Tokyo is still growing and is projected to carry on growing for a few more years.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

On BBC this morning short piece about the number of under 34's in Japan who claim to be sexless - almost 40%.  Was pretty eye opening (and also a little pathetic).

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The old geezer politicians (mostly millionaires) don't have a clue about what life is like for normal young people, and don't have a clue about how to make a situation favorable for marriage and raising children. It does not look good.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Do other countries exclude resident foreign nationals from their populations? I do not understand why it is a meaningful number, or at least a more meaningful number than the population with resident foreign nationals, given almost as an afterthought at the end of the article.

Anyway, what the numbers say is that we clearly have de facto immigration into Japan. Its potentially a huge problem politically, so maybe that's why no-one is going out of their way to talk about it. From the numbers though, it is definitely happening.

Lack of daycare is only preventing a relatively small group of women from working for two or three years. There are other, far bigger cultural and structural barriers to women's advancement. One barrier is spousal dependency, and the biggest opponents to change there are women themselves.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Like it or not, the population is falling and will continue to do so, and it's not such a bad thing either, in my opinion. This country will be better off with a smaller, less import dependent economy and population in the long run.

I would be hard pressed to find much good in this trend. I don't see how the declining population is going to help Japan's import dependency (if that is the main benefit as you seem to suggest). A smaller population with the right demographic balance might be less import dependent, but Japan isn't evolving in that direction. It is getting a smaller population but one which will have a huge elderly population with a very small cohort of young workers, who will increasingly be kept busy caring for the old folks. All signs are that the countryside, where food is grown (one of the main things Japan depends on imports for) is going to continue to be hollowed out as working age people flock to the cities. You might have fewer mouths to feed, but you are going to have disproportionately fewer people available to grow food domestically and foreign imports will probably become more rather than less important. And in other areas of imports (raw materials, energy, etc) the rate of dependency proportionate to the population will remain the same even if the absolute volume goes down due to the lower population.

I really fail to see in any possible scenario how Japan's population trends will help its import dependency in the long (or short) run.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

you can't have endless economic growth with declining population. Probably a steady state economy makes more sense as it matches the population as it goes down. Would have been great if Japan paid off all its debts but you knew that. Meanwhile trade agreements with countries with better demographics is not going to make a lot of sense with a declining workforce that can't innovate. Making everything robots isn't going to work.

Therefore a new phase of country will have to emerge whether it wants to or not, forced by debt load, to ratchet itself, should there be any services at all

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Like it or not, the population is falling and will continue to do so, and it's not such a bad thing either, in my opinion.

Yes & no, if the decline was smooth & the base of Japan's population pyramid WIDER then yes, but neither of these are true, the decline will increase steadily if nothing is changed & the base of the pyramid is rather sharply tapered inwards, indicating further dropping in the number of newborns.

Japan is in for a real rough ride the next 2-30years!

> Yes, because more and more men nowadays prefer to marry plastic women and anime characters! :-( They should put a little more efford in having and enjoying real relationships with real women

While men are part of the problem women also are a LARGE part of the problem, many have INSANE expectations that would have been hard to fulfill even back in the 80s!! So woman ARE part of the problem as well.

And lets face the ldp just DOESNT CARE about their own country & it SHOWS!!! Hopefully Koike san can gain some traction & not slip into the old & useless ways of the ldp!!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Needs to loosen up immigration rules and restrictions. Maybe that will help save the lifeblood of the nation.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

We don't need so many people. Ever been to a beach? Plastic, plastic. Go diving, all the fish are infants. Australia has about 22 million people and its land size is...their lifestyle is...family size is?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It would also help the population if women in Japan where less interested in how much money the man makes. Love should be for love and not financial support. Even as a foreigner when I go on dates I'm ask how much my salary is. It really annoys me that many women in Japan think this way.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Goodlucktoyou - We don't need so many people. Ever been to a beach? Plastic, plastic. Go diving, all the fish are infants. Australia has about 22 million people and its land size is...their lifestyle is...family size i

You cannot compare Australia to Japan. Australia is 30 times bigger with one sixth of the population and it is a very modernly created society. Australia also has a huge wealth of natural resources. Japan's most valuable resource is its workforce, which is declining rapidly. Furthermore, due to a complete lack of foresight, the current declining population is being financially penalized to pay for the previous generation's 'make hay while the sunshines' economic policies. Higher taxes, insurance and pension premiums are killing Japan's consumers, which is driving he economy down and will only get worse as the population shrinks and ages.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

"Japan's most valuable resource is its workforce" Probably true, but terribly sad, considering they're consistently ranked from 17th to 21st in the world depending on who does the math. And by math, I mean hours worked to GDP calculations.

"Higher taxes, insurance and pension premiums are killing Japan's consumers, which is driving the economy down and will only get worse as the population shrinks and ages."

Absolute truth there.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

This is what happens when you sit on your hands until it's too late. And still, nothing effective will be done. They'll tell women to have more babies as they increase taxes, and that's all.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If they could find more eco-friendly material to make Silicone Sallys or maybe Silicone Stephens, I'd be in favour of more of them.

We need fewer people. This planet is becoming a rubbish tip.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

During the war the government called on the people to increase the number of children in order to provide new soldiers. That was seventy years ago and now the excess numbers are gradually passing on and the population returning to normal.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

This is nothing to fear or worry about, in fact it is great news...

The global population was 3 billion in 1950. It is now 7 billion. It is forecast to hit 9.7 billion by 2050.

A global population decline is a ideal scenario. Our planet cannot sustain the current population explosion. So, any little decline is a step in the right direction.

We do not have the resources to sustain the current population growth. So encouraging a decline should be the norm, not worrying about it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

National population is falling but the population of the cities and especially Tokyo is rising, as are property prices.. If this is because of foreigners then you're going to see a backlash

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This is nothing to fear or worry about, in fact it is great news...

This is too simplistic a view, take a look at the 2016 population pyramid for Japan below

http://countrydigest.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Japan-population-pyramid-2016.png

It illustrates just how TOUGH its going to be here in Japan! Overall population decline is good I agree, BUT you need to look at HOW it will proceed, in this case Japan, the numbers are downright scary when you look at from economic, taxes, pensions, birth rate, Japan will be lucky to survive it intact imo!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Issues of global population aren't the issue here as Japan isn't overpopulated for its land mass. If anything towns are disappearing due to population decline. I expect that to continue unless immigration is embraced, but Japan is not an immigrant country. The 300,000 a year my Canada takes in a year is the complete opposite with our population growing from 30 to 35 million. When the Boomers go though it'll drop like the rest of the countries. This will affect Japan more severely due to a loss of skills and innovation with higher and higher taxes on a tiny working population to support those that remain. I don't think an arubaito at Lawson's is going to cover it. Nor will it attracts immigrants even if Japan wanted them. It doesn't of course, so there's only decline ahead unfortunately. I can see why more savvy Japanese leave

Give it ten years but once out of school I wonder how many will stay?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But recently, the government has been increasing its efforts to attract students and high-skilled workers from overseas.

Would this be the insane program they created in which over the course of 2 or 3 years, aimed to hire 3000 professionals from various industries but only garnered 1500 applications, and only 20 or 30 people are accepted?

Get real. Japan is only seriously focusing on exploiting the cheap 2 year student labor and the 2 year trainee program at which point it requires the person to leave Japan.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is too simplistic a view, take a look at the 2016 population pyramid for Japan below

No it isn't... It's only a problem if you view it from a selfish and/or short-term point of view.

Longer term, a dramatic reduction in the population is great news for our planet and the survival of our species.

Countless inept former leaders and their irresponsible spending and borrowing (national debt mountain) combined with a failed and corrupt (central) banking and 'ponzi' government pensions schemes are no logical reason to justify an ever increasing population.

Yes it will be tough. But we need to stop sucking on the dirty 'debt' titty and install widespread fiscal reforms. Trouble is, most global governments are addicted to the dirty 'debt' titty and they fear anything that will affect it, like accepting that the current monetary system 'will implode' with a lowering birthrate and population. So instead of fixing the problem, all they do is try to convince everyone that continued population expansion is a good thing. Which it simply isn't.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Japanese women sadly are also to blame for this decline, otherwise there'd be more demand for Plastic sex dolls for rich men.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

otherwise there'd be more demand for Plastic sex dolls for rich men.

sorry I meant so say "No demand for"...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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