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Japan births hit new record low in 2020

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As always, the world could stand to lose population numbers. Overpopulation is in fact at the root of many of today's ills the world over.

9 ( +25 / -16 )

Good news.

A declining number of births is a common trend among rich nations... 

Which is why they're rich.

1 ( +16 / -15 )

So does this mean more money and services for those with children? Or more tax to support the status quo?

9 ( +12 / -3 )

This is good. The world is over-populated. It is okay to be this way for about 9 more years.

-5 ( +13 / -18 )

This is obviously expected, even without the pandemic, nothing has changed about the almost complete lack of social support to having families in Japan, if anything it has become even more difficult to do it lately, without complete reform in this aspect this trend will only continue in the foreseeable future.

16 ( +21 / -5 )

... with couples hesitant to reproduce as the pandemic fuels financial instability and fears over hospital trips.

Or more likely less intimate contact (heavy breathing, kissing, close proximity) during a pandemic to reduce the risk of virus transmission.

-12 ( +0 / -12 )

Or more likely less intimate contact (heavy breathing, kissing, close proximity) during a pandemic to reduce the risk of virus transmission.

The article is about 2020. You realize the heavy breathing needs to happen 9 months earlier, right?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

ZorotoToday  07:10 am JST

The article is about 2020. You realize the heavy breathing needs to happen 9 months earlier, right?

Oops. My bad.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Almost 40% of Japanese above 30 are still virgins. Get these people to date each other, then you’ll have an explosion of babies. What’s wrong with these people? I dated at least 3 different girls a week on average. C’mon guys, do your job.

-15 ( +5 / -20 )

... with couples hesitant to reproduce as the pandemic fuels financial instability and fears over hospital trips.

I guess the births being in 2020 might equally make the above claim rather ridiculous.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I guess the births being in 2020 might equally make the above claim rather ridiculous.

The fact that JGov used this nonsensical excuse just show how inept they are on every level.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

You are never going to convince people to have more kids, the real solution is to reform the economy so pensions do not depend as much of having more people paying fees, it is of course very difficult to do it, but not as much as making people have bigger families when it is impossible to do it without going bankrupt.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

Every few weeks the same report. I have already seen it so many times already. If this is the way they try to convince us, it ain't working. We aren't interested in having more kids.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

One continuing problem is the unnecessary work hours and meetings that produce absolutely nothing. Japan is still hung up on a culture where being present and visual is more important than actual production. As a result, many employees do not have time to spend doing other things they enjoy or spend time engaging with others socially. Others would also include family.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Just change the title to "Japan future tax payers diminish as adult diaper population explodes".

8 ( +8 / -0 )

I really think the Japanese need more free time to just rest, relax, and really open up and connect with each other. They're so overscheduled by work, school, club activities, family obligations, etc that they don't get much down time. I knew a woman about 35, she only saw her boyfriend twice a month! How can you expect a couple to feel close and connected with such little contact?

Not to mention, they don't have a culture of inviting people over to their houses spontaneously, so hard for romance to develop naturally in private, in a comfortable setting.

Lastly, they approach dating with such a heavy handed, serious, marriage focused approach that there's little room for a romance and connection to gradually develop and for people to connect intimately. Couples generally decide to have kids when they feel ready to, as individuals and as a couple, not because they want to save the Japanese economy lol. They usually feel ready to when they know their partner well, have had lots of conversations about all kinds of things, and have made some financial considerations too. This isn't to say that happy accidents don't happen after a crazy night, but more generally speaking I think most couples who plan, plan it in this way. And I really think it's impossible to think, plan, and feel close if you don't have time together. Smartphone messages are nice but just can't compensate for direct communication, one on one.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

Its not hard to see the connection between Japan’s greying society on the one hand and its economic decline on the other. Back in the 60s, 70s and 80s Japanese companies were dominating world markets because they were producing really neat products. Sony’s Walkman, Nintendo’s game consoles, Toyota’s cars, etc etc. The people making decisions and developing those products were mostly young, in their 20s or 30s.

Corporate Japan today has a much older workforce and its not surprising that it isn’t coming up with new ideas like it used to, and thus not only have established companies slipped, but also no new ones have come around to replace them. Its not the only factor at play, but I think this dynamic is probably a big one.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

It's good, overpopulation is a big problem, fewer people is always good, economic problems can fix with time and technology..

Better cats than kids !! lol !!..

Almost 40% of Japanese above 30 are still virgins.

And??, live and let live..

What’s wrong with these people?

Nothing, live and let live..

I dated at least 3 different girls a week on average

Pffff... Easy valentino, can I have your autograph??. lol !!..

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

It seems to me low income is one child at most or none in Japan or not married. Low birth rate make sense. Other developed countries seem same.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Another thing is that gynecologists in Japan are mostly elderly men. It is really hard for young women to open up to them and ask embarrassing questions about reproduction, women's health, birth control, etc. Not to mention most maternity hospitals don't offer any pain medication during birth. So, the medical care for women really, really needs to be improved too.

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Again with these articles. Yes we know, what is the plan to solve this and when is the plan being implemented.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Every developed country is under 2.1 replacement rate. Governments have to realize people don't want to have children. It is their choice. Simple.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

LOL

who could have imagined that killing the middle class goose

would stop the golden eggs?

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Wise decision by Japanese to protect their environment and give future generations a better quality of life.

Millions of jobs in Japan today simply will not be needed in 10-20 years. Most manufacturing jobs will be gone, transport related jobs (drivers, delivery etc), shop staff, and even doctors will be largely unnecessary due to the rapid rise of robotics. So the "labor shortage crisis" is a total myth.

Getting a seat on the train will become progressively easy, as will finding hotel rooms and hospital beds. As for those children that are born, childcare, nursery schools all the way through to college will become an ease to enter due to no competition.

This is a win-win and a smart move by Japan that will lead to less people sharing more wealth and space. Other nations should follow the Japan model.

-9 ( +6 / -15 )

Propagators of the overpopulation argument here (such as oldman_13, JeffLee and OlympicSupport): you're being ridiculous. You do not seem to understand the coming burden of a hyper-aged population, as well as the fact that many people in Japan actually want to have a family but forego it due to lack of time, energy and money. This was the background to Abe's pledge to raise the TFR to 1.8 (a ridiculous pledge considering he never really did anything) - it was however based on the ideal number of children that couples would like to have as indicated by survey data.

And even if Japan's number of births recovered to around 1.1 million a year, which was the case 10 years ago, the population would still decline to less than 100 million. Even recovering to the replacement level of 2.07 will yield a substantially smaller population for Japan due to the lower and lower number of women in the fertile age range. As the 1950s and 1970s cohort retires, the burden will become immense, and a continually low fertility rate will only create a compound effect on all society. A TFR of 1.34 children per woman is not "healthy". Calling this a "good thing" is pure ridiculousness, and I'm frankly tired of such narratives. You are celebrating what is obviously a sign of huge social ills. I also view your opinions as a lack of farsightedness, because whether or not 800,000 or 400,000 children are born this year, they will have to support the same number of people in their parent's generation regardless - fewer being born right now simply means a much larger burden on those very same people in the future.

In addition, if you're so concerned about the planet, the issue is not with Japan, where the decline is all but assured (my point is that recovering fertility rates is necessary to stabilize the situation and avert catastrophe), but with the rapidly expanding third world that will surely want to adapt the living standards, and thus resource usage, of the developed world.

14 ( +17 / -3 )

I feel sorry for this generation of young Japanese, so many of them are missing out on the fun and joy of having children. And who will take care of these young adults when they are old? Who will provide them with company?

9 ( +11 / -2 )

This is great news.

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

A healthy attitude towards childbearing and raising the next generation of amazing citizens is a sign of a thriving society. But negative attitudes towards having children and the breakdown of the nuclear family is a sign that a society is on the decline.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

And who will take care of these young adults when they are old? Who will provide them with company?

Technology. AI and Robots are being developed for these very tasks. And they dont need training or a salary.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

@kentarogaijin

It's good, overpopulation is a big problem, fewer people is always good, economic problems can fix with time and technology.

Exactly.

The most advanced economies of the future are the ones that reach steady-state (zero growth) and with a focus on maintaining/improving quality of life - without pointless greed/consumption

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Great news. Japan is way too overpopulated. The whole world needs a far less destructive human population if it is to survive.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

The first thing Japan needs to do is reduce the amount of time spent in the office, and increase the amount of time available for socializing.

We are only on this planet for about 80 years. Approximately 45-50 of those years are spent sitting at a desk, in a room, doing some medial paperwork. Companies in Japan then expect your soul as well as your time.

It's time for an enlightenment in this country!

14 ( +14 / -0 )

deja vu.

I’m pretty sure I read this news or something similar to it, about 69 times since 2021 started.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Several things can be done to remedy this, problem is bringing any remedy to the Japanese work culture without penalties will result in most companies saying "we'll work on being better" and nothing changes. The government can start by removing incentives for companies to use temporary / contract employees as their primary work force.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@kokegawa

That was an excellent post which presented a very logical, fact based assessment of why the “This is great news, overpopulation is the source of all evil” viewpoint is fundamentally flawed when applied to Japan’s situation.

Its depressing to see that your post has, predictably, been followed by several which completely ignore it and just keep parroting the “Great news!” Line.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Around the world, millennials are just not having as many sexual partners or sexual encounters as previous generations.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The C-virus caused alot of record lows for 2020.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

As I have been saying for 3decades & counting just saying a population decline is GOOD is often actually totally WRONG!!! It is HOW a population declines, see above the excellent post by Kokegawa who nails it!

As I always say LOOK at Japans population pyramid, the base is narrowing & QUICKLY, that doesnt mean just a decline but also heading head long towards ZERO POPULATION!!!

And as Kokegawa importantly points out even if the birthrate in Japan increases greatly the population WILL CONTINUE to DECREASE.

HOW a population is decreasing is IMPORTANT!

8 ( +9 / -1 )

I dated at least 3 different girls a week on average

Man, first, you must be loaded. Second, this not exactly considered normal behaviour. Being promiscuous and boasting of your deeds is nothing to be proud of. Seek some professional help man and have some pride. It's not all about hoe many ladies you can get into bed.

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Years ago, a Middle Eastern buddy of mine told me something that I will never forget.

I asked him for his rationale behind having children and raising a family in his war torn country, and condemning them all to an uncertain future.

His answer was enlightening.

“To have children is the quintessential expression of hope and life.”

Wow.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Given the 9 month lag, this has almost nothing to do with Covid, does it? Covid became an issue in Japan in March 2020. The effect of the pandemic will be seen in the number of births this year, 2021. I expect a much larger drop then.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Maslow's hierarchy of needs. Humans first focus on necessities such as housing and food before marriage and sex. Environmental stress is through the roof. Only mentally hardy humans are procreating. I understand in history, even in Europe, only one child would marry and siblings would become servants. Welcome to the new normal.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

As always, the world could stand to lose population numbers. Overpopulation is in fact at the root of many of today's ills the world over.

Greed, misplaced priorities, nationalism are the root cause. Wealth is overly concentrated in a few

people while the vast majority are getting poorer and poorer. Capitalism failed a long time ago, it's only

saving grace is that there isn't an alternative system.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Journalism around the world is so dismal. Next time you do an article about the birth rate in Japan maybe you can dig a little deeper than country wide numbers. You might find that Tokyo is very under-productive but Osaka is pleasantly over-productive. If it was not for the mighty people in the eating, drinking having fun part of Japan the numbers would even worse. Although I expect it has more to do with extended family support.

As for the three girls a week man he was obviously not wanting to have children. No sensible person would have a child with a man who must be so rubbish in bed he has to change partners so frequently.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Like most problems here, they are caused by too many old men in power.

Aint no young people waiting around to act on the words of an old man.

Get them out of power and watch all the problems Japan faces now fade away.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Sadly, the Japanese ethnic group could become extinct in 1,000 years if current population trends continue, according to researchers. We won't be around when that happens but sad for future generations to see their people disappear.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Wait until next year...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Damn...low birthrate..very surprising and a new 2021 problem nobody had anticipated ...let's form an expert panel no. 1367 to discuss falling birthrate again..

5 ( +5 / -0 )

@Tom Doley

Almost 40% of Japanese above 30 are still virgins. Get these people to date each other, then you’ll have an explosion of babies. What’s wrong with these people? I dated at least 3 different girls a week on average. C’mon guys, do your job.

How disrespectful can you be and also show that you do not know the problem which is causing the birth rate decrease.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Sadly, the Japanese ethnic group could become extinct in 1,000 years if current population trends continue, according to researchers.

I am no researcher, but I am going to predict that ALL ethnic groups will disappear in 1000 yrs.

Insular and xenophobic states like Japan are anomalies that cannot be maintained, as humanity “cross pollinates” at an accelerating rate.

Perfectly natural, healthy, and beautiful.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I think 50 years is generous. Most people reading this will probably be paying for your own pension.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

letsberealisticToday  11:38 am JST

Sadly, the Japanese ethnic group could become extinct in 1,000 years if current population trends continue, according to researchers. We won't be around when that happens but sad for future generations to see their people disappear.

Is there sth people don't like about this comment? I'm just curious and don't want to offend anyone.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Reckless

Future pensions could easily be covered if they spent less on defence, for one. Or cuf down on pointless public works projects. A lot of rind can be removed yet.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I urge westernized young Japanese to be like 60s tough Japanese men. Make love, make babies, take hardworking responsibilities. Not like reserved pendulum.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Im doing my part, are you?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Does Japan need a large population though? Surely they are moving away from heavy industry, leave that to China.

Being born just to work and support old people, is that a good reason for life.

Anyway the world population is increasing thanks to poorer nations, perhaps Japan can take some immigrants?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

During recent lock-downs many parents had problems looking after children 24/7 as kids could not go to school. I have a feeling many young couples might have changed their mind concerning having a child after that...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What’s wrong with these people? I dated at least 3 different girls a week on average. C’mon guys, do your job.

Eww...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

And 2021 will be even fewer, as women know that Covid is an extremely high risk factor for pregnant women. Anyone with any sense would try to avoid it and stay away from hospitals unneccessarily.

But with current economic and social conditions in Japan, there's not that much likelhood of a bounce back of birth rates in a year or two, either.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Is there sth people don't like about this comment? I'm just curious and don't want to offend anyone.

You are not being offensive, Letsberealistic. It’s actually a valid opinion you made about the demise of ethnicity.

But I personally don’t see sadness. Only change. In the end, there is always something gained and something lost in cultural changes, but it is so natural and it’s been happening since the beginning of time.

What makes life wonderful is embracing a natural progression. In contrast, what is unnatural and regressive will eventually hamper quality of life and mental well being.

Which brings us full circle to declining birth rates. Not the same as the demise of ethnicity.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Kiss to my children.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@shogun36

I’m pretty sure I read this news ... about 69 times since 2021 started.

Nice

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's too cumbersome to have kids in Japan.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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