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Japan population declines at fastest pace to 124.8 million: gov't

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The Japanese people seem determined to run their country into the ground.

4 ( +22 / -18 )

when you illegally overwork employees while raising taxes and prices each year who the heck wants to make kids!?!?

34 ( +36 / -2 )

Kick the man babies out of the house when they're young. so they can get married and start families instead of staying home playing video games until their fifties and then killing their parents.

19 ( +32 / -13 )

While I understand the concerns, I am getting rather tired of seeing articles here, that seem to keep on harping on this issue every 2 or 3 months or so.

You know, I know, we all know, the population here is dropping, and while it is going to be a problem for the next few decades, we dont need a doomsday update. We aren't blind!

8 ( +20 / -12 )

Kick the man babies out of the house when they're young. so they can get married and start families instead of staying home playing video games until their fifties and then killing their parents

Needed that laugh, thanks!

I would only add at the end, "over what will be made for dinner."

10 ( +14 / -4 )

 The only bright spots were Tokyo, which saw its population grow 73,205 to about 13.19 million

No explanation for this, but we all know the real reason. If you want to find a half decent job and be able to make some money, you have no choice but to move to Tokyo. The ineptitude of politicians and leaders in this country is unbelievable. They have done nothing to try and stem the outflow of young people to Tokyo, and try and save the local/rural areas. Maybe, just maybe if people could find work and live in smaller more habitable places they might have more children and we wouldn't see such dire numbers.

23 ( +24 / -1 )

This is what happens in a country whose men are raised by women only

13 ( +23 / -10 )

Kick the man babies out of the house when they're young. so they can get married and start families instead of staying home playing video games until their fifties and then killing their parents

Yes, because the type of person to end up in this situation sounds like they ideally situated to be great at parenting.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Yes, because the type of person to end up in this situation sounds like they ideally situated to be great at parenting

We will never know unless these kinds of people are forced to grow up before they are middle-aged and kill their parents.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Immigration is the only solution. Even the stubborn Japanese government have realized this fact of life. I think the only way for Japan to remain competitive and ahead of China is by becoming more diverse, which is the only think China doesn't have at the moment. Diversity is strength. Nobody can deny this.

-7 ( +13 / -20 )

I think the only way for Japan to remain competitive and ahead of China is by becoming more diverse

Japan is already behind China.

11 ( +15 / -4 )

Raising taxes, reducing (or keeping at the same level) salaries, little to no support for families with children (compared with other countries), and so on. Is there anything else to expect? Abe and his cronies finally need to get down from the thrones and start taking action! Increase the money/subsidies families get for their children (Yen 10.000 or so per child/month is just laughable), make education all the way to university level free, stop wasting money for projects that only help the upper class, and so on. But those guys/gals are living in their own little world and don't really care, except for the time when elections are coming up!

16 ( +16 / -0 )

The only bright spots were Tokyo, which saw its population grow 73,205 to about 13.19 million, prefectures in the vicinity and the southern island prefecture of Okinawa.

Neither of these "bright-spots" are what they seem! Tokyo is growing because there are no other locations that offer the jobs that actually pay anything decent! And Okinawa is overflowing with tourists, now over 10 MILLION a year, almost ten times the actual population of the island, and it's putting a HUGE amount of stress on the infrastructure!

Not to mention that there are a whole guano load of "seniors" from mainland, coming down here to live out their "golden years" and are stressing the insurance budgets, hospitals, day care systems, and others. Also not to mention that far too many as well, do not transfer their residences to Okinawa, so they are in effect not paying their share of taxes to support them!

> Okinawa was also the sole prefecture where births outnumbered deaths in Japan.

Yeah, probably due to the fact that there is not a whole hell of a lot to do at night!

6 ( +10 / -4 )

The total population in Japan including resident foreigners dropped to 127,443,563

Oh right. So this is fake news then. Got it.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

When women are expected to pay personally and professionally for having children without the support of the culture, they stop reproducing.

17 ( +18 / -1 )

The only bright spots were Tokyo, which saw its population grow 73,205 to about 13.19 million, prefectures in the vicinity and the southern island prefecture of Okinawa.

Not exactly accurate. Fukuoka, and probably a couple other places have been growing. But yes, the overall population is in decline - which is something that had to happen sooner or later, and is a good thing in the long run.

That said, Japan needs a major overhaul to improve the quality of life here. More openness and fairness to immigrants, a revamped and greatly slimmed down government, and work/business joining the rest of the world with decent conditions and proper pay. Right now, massive amounts are being spent so that the older generations can have comfortable golden years... at the expense of the country's future.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Like I have been saying for decades we are witnessing the death of a country right before our very eyes!

And the birth rates WILL continue to decline so even in the birthrate were to skyrocket to 2 or more the population will still DECLINE!

2 ( +7 / -5 )

Japan is teaching the Human World what it must do if it is to mitigate the coming crash. The Earth is already fatally overpopulated with Humans and, unchecked, our world population will double to 15 Billion in ~48 years. We will never get to 15 Billion before we exhaust every food source on the planet and exacerbate climate change because even if we were able to cut our energy usage in half, population growth will see the overall demand remain the same or grow. We might interpret this population decline as the collective recognition of the Japanese People to our population peril and responding as adults would respond in a crisis. I prefer the image of Japan as a 'world leader' who leads by example. It is only the psychopaths who want more bodies to fill their armies and wipe their... There are problems with a 'shrinking' population and extended lifespan but there will be many more problems within two generations in a 'growing' population and a shrinking food supply. And, seriously, it's not just the continuity of the currently extant identity groups but the continuity of our entire genepool with or without its current cultural parasites (nationalisms and religions). In short, THIS IS NOT A FLAW BUT A VERY HEALTHY ADAPTIVE RESPONSE BY A FORWARD LOOKING POPULATION STEEPED IN BELOW-CONSCIOUS CONSENSUAL DECISION MAKING. Fatal overpopulation is coming and the world's champion 'worriers' are responding. Now, they just have to teach the rest of us how to do it.

8 ( +17 / -9 )

Kick the man babies out of the house when they're young. so they can get married and start families instead of staying home playing video games until their fifties and then killing their parents.

This comment is wrong in so very many ways although I will admit the spirit of it is true. Young people are not birds to be kicked from a nest. There are two major problems at work here. The first is that they are not raised in a situation where they have to think for themselves, shoulder responsibility or find their own way. Their lives are monopolized by school, homework and overly time consuming club activities, and this dampens their social lives, particularly in regards to dating and other relations with the opposite sex. You cannot just kickstart all this after high school by suddenly declaring "get out". The second problem is that everything is so non-fluid. Prices and costs are not falling along with falling wages and lessened monetary value because of the standard systems Japanese adhere rigidly to. Landlords generally won't get tenants directly but will stubbornly insist on going through realtors, which keeps rents so high that young people are too broke to get ahead if they rent an apartment. Meanwhile perfectly good housing sits empty because there is no concept of renting out houses on your own....its not part of the system.

But anyway, tons of married people still live with the parents of one of the partners, and that partner always did. Its a great way to save money and raise kids and operate as a real family unit. Nothing wrong with it on the surface.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

"the country is bracing for an influx of foreigners"...Hardly....The new visa system is a joke and smoke screen. They're expecting 300.000 foreigners within a few years. They'd need 10 times more. Meanwhile, they do nothing to retain those who've been working here for years because they don't want you to stay and change the image of Japan.

13 ( +15 / -2 )

As hillclimber says, having a headline population figure for only those with Japanese nationality (kokumin) is a bit silly. It also slightly distorts things since many of the non-Japanese are young. In some places 10% of the people in their twenties are not Japanese.

60% belong to the working population. Of them, 5%? will be in high school or college and 20%? will be housewives or adult children caring for elderly. Another few percent won't work for various reasons. It's likely that over half the population is being supported by a combination of other people working and the good ol' money printer. The reason I point this out is that if more people realized how many people are already supported, we could then have a more informed debate about how society works and whether something like universal basic income could be introduced. Old people may have "paid in all their lives", but that went to support the previous elderly generation. They too are being supported now, this time by fewer workers.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

THIS IS NOT A FLAW BUT A VERY HEALTHY ADAPTIVE RESPONSE BY A FORWARD LOOKING POPULATION STEEPED IN BELOW-CONSCIOUS CONSENSUAL DECISION MAKING. Fatal overpopulation is coming

@ William Bjornson - Amazingly argued! Japan has made a conscious decision to de-populate, to conserve resources, protect the environment, and maintain high living standards. With robot technology, AI, drones etc, Japan will show that it is not needed to have a growing population to be successful. World, watch, learn and copy.

The economy is growing despite population shrinking. Furthermore, it will be easier to find hotel rooms, seats on the train, school entry and hospital beds.

-7 ( +8 / -15 )

Whopp dee doo. 125 million is still a lot of people, way more than many other asian countries. Much ado about nothing.

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Greater Tokyo will be more greater. Kansai region should be a foreigner friendly area. As a result society will be activated more and more.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Whopp dee doo. 125 million is still a lot of people, way more than many other asian countries. 

Very wisely argued, OldMan!

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

This is good news. Japan would be a comfortable place at around 60 million. Imagine the uncrowded trains without all those stressed 60 year olds beating up station employees, and the spacious houses with gardens and apartments. Would be quite pleasant.

3 ( +10 / -7 )

Good, more room and resources for everyone else including the chance to scale back the suburban and city sprawl to reclaim farmland and natural environments for wildlife. The Japanese archipelago cannot realistically and sustainable support anywhere near and especially not over 100 million people. Japan is dangerously reliant upon foreign imports to provide enough food and energy to it's population.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

"The only bright spots were Tokyo, which saw its population grow 73,205 to about 13.19 million"

What a bunch of caca. Miyazaki City and Miyakonojo in Miyazaki Pref. have been growing. My BIL in Fukuoka says the same there. My SIL in Kumamoto also says the same.

I get so tired of Kyodo, NHK, and all the other media seeing Tokyo as the only good place in Japan for everything. If I ever had to move to Tokyo I would take my family to my home town Baltimore. At least Baltimore is less crowded, polluted, and easier to live in. I have been to Tokyo many times and it is like a kicked in ant nest. It is far from being the heaven that the media here portrays it.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

Japan would be better off as a country, considering it's lack of natural resources and limited farm production space to a population that is far less than what it is today.

There is no problem with having "less" Japanese in the country. Eventually the numbers will even out, it's just that how far into debt is the government going to push the country into before they do.

As the numbers of elderly decrease, tax revenue from estate taxes will in fact increase, it's just how will the government earmark that money moving into the future.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Amazingly argued! Japan has made a conscious decision to de-populate, to conserve resources, protect the environment, and maintain high living standards.

I guess you aren't on the mailing list of current information! Abe and others have been making all sorts of comments about women "making more babies" Among a host of other sexist and discriminatory comments about the woman's place in society here.

They don't want the population to decrease, because it decreases their tax revenues and gives them less money to play god with!

I can not see how you can write some of the things you do here, as you sound just like Abe and these politicians that I am referring to, talking out of both sides of your mouth at the same time, while keeping one foot in place at the same time! Quite a feat!

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Japanese people continue to keep re-electing LDP so continue to reap what you sow.

19 ( +19 / -0 )

Immigration is the only solution. Even the stubborn Japanese government have realized this fact of life. I think the only way for Japan to remain competitive and ahead of China is by becoming more diverse, which is the only think China doesn't have at the moment. Diversity is strength. Nobody can deny this.

On one hand, you declare that diversity is strength, and on the other hand you declare that Japan is falling behind China. Which is it? One of those two claims must be false because China is actively, aggressively stamping out diversity. If what you say about diversity is true, then China could not possibly be growing stronger.

One look at GDP trends over the last 30 years shows plainly that China has surged past Japan, so maybe the "everybody knows" about diversity is really just a smokescreen for "my ideological preference is." Everybody doesn't know that. Vast numbers of people disagree. History, too, shows that areas with the greatest diversity and largest movements of people also tend to be flashpoints for wars.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Immigration is the only solution. Even the stubborn Japanese government have realized this fact of life. I think the only way for Japan to remain competitive and ahead of China is by becoming more diverse, which is the only think China doesn't have at the moment. Diversity is strength. Nobody can deny this.

At this rate, there will be soon be no difference between Japan and China. Population of Japanese is decreasing, while Chinese are coming and buying up property, taking over entire sections of towns.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Not exactly accurate. Fukuoka, and probably a couple other places have been growing. But yes, the overall population is in decline - which is something that had to happen sooner or later, and is a good thing in the long run.

They are measuring it by prefecture rather than city. Fukuoka city is growing, but Fukuoka prefecture is shrinking because everywhere outside of the city (including Kitakyushu, the prefecture's other big city) is shrinking.

I think the same applies to some of the other regions discussed (I think Nagoya city is still growing, but the rest of Aichi prefecture is shrinking at a faster rate which offsets that growth for example).

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Tokyo is full. Please stop coming here!

My coworkers in Tokyo want to move to Osaka but there are just not many good jobs there.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

The increase in the Tokyo population and the decrease in the overall population are related, Japan has a serious “Tokyo problem “ that it’s not really addressing. Look at the situation a lot of young Japanese are facing, you can either

a: Stay near your hometown and familial support structures where cost of living is cheap and commutes are reasonable but there are few job opportunities or

b: Come to Tokyo where job opportunities are plentiful but you are hundreds of kms from your family and face brutal commutes and sky-high living costs

Do either of those sound amenable to having children? The sky high property costs in Tokyo also impact the availability of day care, day cares require a lot of space making it fiscally impossible often times to run one. The birth rate in Tokyo reflects these issues, it’s the lowest of all prefectures and yet Tokyo is taking in all the young people. The Japanese government finally realized this a few years back but their half hearted attempts to reduce the population (convincing elderly people to go back home and offering tax breaks to companies that relocate outside Tokyo) have been abject failures

15 ( +15 / -0 )

Excluding foreigners to exaggerate the statistics... classic tactic.

The population IS declining but much slower, and will accelerate.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The megapolis draining the rest of the country of its resources is not limited to Japan. Look at Manila, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, etc., they are just like Tokyo, only 20-30 years behind.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

A falling birthrate is part of a global trend among developed countries and is not specific to Japan. Most developed countries do not have birthrates sufficient to replaces losses due to death and emigration. Many rely heavily on immigration in to bridge the gap.

The difference with Japan is that there has never been a policy of encouraging immigration, and the normal factors which encourage a higher birthrate have been lacking. These include access to quality health care, subsidized child care and schooling, spare time to actually have a family, disposable income, availability of partners, and societal pressure/acceptance.

There is an interesting BBC article on the topic here: https://www.bbc.com/news/health-46118103

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The government needs to de-centralise many of it's offices away from Tokyo.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

THIS IS NOT A FLAW BUT A VERY HEALTHY ADAPTIVE RESPONSE BY A FORWARD LOOKING POPULATION STEEPED IN BELOW-CONSCIOUS CONSENSUAL DECISION MAKING

William B,…...seriously.... what has Japan actually DONE wrt to its rapid increase of old folks & ever narrowing number of young people when viewing a population pyramid exactly...…

I honestly can think of anything other than VERY empty platitudes....the people are just reacting to poor govt & overall BAD situations for FAR too many Japanese!

The govt has set up dodgy programs to entice cheap labour from poor countries but nothing else I can think of  & the amount wont help much in the long run...….

9 ( +9 / -0 )

They are measuring it by prefecture rather than city. Fukuoka city is growing, but Fukuoka prefecture is shrinking because everywhere outside of the city (including Kitakyushu, the prefecture's other big city) is shrinking.

The stats I have seen show the prefectures are growing in Fukuoka and Saitama, and a couple others. Much of that is coming in from surrounding prefectures (Yamaguchi and other Kyushu prefectures), the rest from overseas. I don't think the birthrates are all that different. It is true that the media is often only vaguely aware that there are other cities outside Tokyo - especially the foreign/Western media.

The number of tiny villages with large and modern civic centers and hospitals needs to be trimmed anyway. Pouring so much money into places that are slowly returning to nature while urban areas struggle with shortages is just bad politics.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It would be beneficial to understand the economic risk of depopulation. How demographics especially the share of the population above 65 affects working-age population shrinkage.

There is parallel, the need for more people in employment within the working-age groups.

The result is hospitals without the ability to provide clinical or social care , transport systems without adequate provision for maintenance or motormen.

Robotics, Ai? without software developers, or application managers. The consequences that depopulation poses for the financing of the health care and social system are stark.

Define the increase risk to notional account pension system accumulated contributions that are defined or divided by life expectancy. Short term Immigration will not relieve the necessity for wholesale termination of basic transport and welfare services at present taken for granted.

Are you prepared, William Bjornson to sacrifice the welfare of your families future welfare, for your political ideology?

That is your choice, however don't believe for one moment that pertains to mine.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

*THIS IS NOT A FLAW BUT A VERY HEALTHY ADAPTIVE RESPONSE BY A FORWARD LOOKING POPULATION STEEPED IN BELOW-CONSCIOUS CONSENSUAL DECISION MAKING**. Fatal overpopulation is coming*

Well said, we all need to be looking at ways to de-populate not over-populate

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Are you prepared, William Bjornson to sacrifice the welfare of your families future welfare, for your political ideology?

Funny, because that is the question he should be asking you - not you asking him. Overpopulation is one of the greatest threats our children face in the future. Humanity and a survivable environment are at stake. And you seem to suggest that buses and social welfare systems are more important? People lived for many 1000s of years without those. See how long they can live without food, water or breathable air.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

harping on this issue every 2 or 3 months or so.

Try every other week. It's just couched in different ways. "The IMF says" this or "The World Bank says" that.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Japan has made a conscious decision to de-populate

No, it hasn't. If this were remotely true, the government wouldn't be scrambling to lift the birth rate.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Define the economics and social risks, effects of depopulation commanteer?

Do you believe at present Japan is over populated? If so what brought you to this conclusion?

Look I am not having a pop at you?

Is there a link between depopulation and the provision for social care and that defines the states ability sustaining pension annuity? How will the sustainability of Japan' elementary and lower secondary levels of education be supported especially in rural areas without teaching staff?

This reachs way beyond the political activism that has leached onto climate change.

The Impacts of Population Decline in Japan: Demographic Prospects and Policy Implications

https://www.suntory.com/sfnd/jgc/forum/005/pdf/005_tsuya.pdf

I have spent time contributing on a voluntary basis to JA in Kochi to assist and improve my language skill and become a more productive member of the local community.

I am astonished by the advanced age of members of agricultural community and the lack of next generation participation.

There needs to be policies that provide answers not political gibberish.

local authorities responsible for the provision old age social care cannot just uproot pensioners and close hospices and care homes.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The main issue for Japan is not the size of the population, but its composition. There are more and more old people and fewer and fewer young people to support them. Society was never set up for this, or to have people on pensions for 25 years (60-85).

Most environmental problems are caused by unsustainable consumption by a fraction of the world's population in the rich countries. In some cases, this consumption is still increasing (cruise ships, meat heavy diets, fast fashion etc). Focusing on population just diverts attention away from the wasteful lifestyles of the few.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

The stats I have seen show the prefectures are growing in Fukuoka and Saitama, and a couple others. Much of that is coming in from surrounding prefectures (Yamaguchi and other Kyushu prefectures), the rest from overseas.

Ah, could be.  I just know that Fukuoka city's population is increasing while Kitakyushu and most of the smaller cities are decreasing. 

Funny, because that is the question he should be asking you - not you asking him. Overpopulation is one of the greatest threats our children face in the future. Humanity and a survivable environment are at stake. And you seem to suggest that buses and social welfare systems are more important? People lived for many 1000s of years without those. See how long they can live without food, water or breathable air.

My problem with applying this view to Japan's demographic problem is that the global problem of overpopulation isn't going to be solved, or even mitigated in any noticeable way, by Japan's population decreasing.

The world population is on track to reach 9  billion by 2040 and all of that growth is happening either in Africa or south Asia.  The population of Africa in particular is on track to triple in the first half of this century.

So the modest annual decrease in the population of Japan is about equal to how much those countries add in just two days.  Its nothing on a global scale.  The solution to overpopulation really lies in policies to stem population growth in countries where it is rapidly growing, rather than counting on the populations of wealthy countries like Japan to go down.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Nobody sits next to me on the train anyway, so depopulation will give me even more space.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Japan needs more foreigners. It's really that simple. It won't dilute or replace the culture like opponents to immigration believe, it will only benefit and enrich the country. Of course, there will always be a few wrong 'uns, that goes for any country and any demographic.

This is what happens in a country whose men are raised by women only

So, you're now railing against single mothers. Could you elaborate as to why you believe this?

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

125 million people in an area roughly the size of California (which has a population of 35 million), with only ~25% of the land actually habitable due to the mountainous terrain.

I think they could stand to lose another 50 million or so.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

shonanbbToday  03:06 pm JST

Nobody sits next to me on the train anyway, so depopulation will give me even more space.

That's because we smell like cheese.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japan needs more foreigners

No it doesn't, already 3% of the total population are foreign residents with the number rapidly increasing.

 It won't dilute or replace the culture like opponents to immigration believe

This is completely false as the situation in many European cities like my own clearly demonstrates the opposite.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Massive global population decline is exactly what our struggling little planet needs. We should be encouraging it. Ignore the banksters and their puppet politicians. They only want population growth to continue in order to fuel their debt money system and fractional reserve lending. The is no beneficial reason for population growth. None.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

No it doesn't, already 3% of the total population are foreign residents with the number rapidly increasing.

2.2 million is nothing. And not all of them would be residents or citizens.

This is completely false as the situation in many European cities like my own clearly demonstrates the opposite.

Must be a different Europe to my one. I guess some cultures must be pretty weak if they've been diluted or replaced.

Am very happy living in my current host country and I would never be so arrogant as to dismiss the hopes and dreams of other migrants who come here to live, love and work. I continue to learn and appreciate the rich culture of Japan and I bring my culture too, to make it even richer and people seem to like it.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

44.0 percent sought an increase in hospitals with services in English or their mother tongue

If you choose to reside in a country you should make an effort to learn to speak the language beforehand if not just don't come to Japan.

2.2 million is nothing

According to the article there are 2.7 million registered foreign residents in Japan now which I would not call nothing.

-6 ( +3 / -9 )

Deep down inside, we know we have no future.

Why bother having children without that essential ingredient?

1 ( +4 / -3 )

When I see how the urban areas are managed, there is plenty of space for much larger population if needed be.

The so many issues of dire importance to face with time is going to hurt the working population badly first.

If I was a standard middle-aged Japanese, I would flee abroad in view of the national policies !

Example : My Japanese brother in law is working hard and cannot even travel to France because no money. All is lost for kids ' cost and plenty of excessive prices for services like shaken of car (they had 2 cars before, no longer now). And they are living in mother in law's place !

So it is about how to allocate resources indeed. And printing money line the USA in the long run wil not spare next generation from much poorer life quality.

Social brainwashing is very strong too. Don't bend rules to improve life for the ones who need and deserve most (workers and families).

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The government needs to de-centralise many of it's offices away from Tokyo.

Yes indeed spreading out administration, logistics and production facilities more evenly over the whole of Japan could relieve the stress major cities are enduring and counter the depopulation of the countryside.

If the Japanese people were allowed to take up all of their holidays, if we could cut down overtime significantly and if they were allowed to work from their homes when possible we could strike a better balance between work and private life and the Japanese birthrate would reach healthy numbers again in order to take care of the aging population in the future and keep economy afloat..

Cosmetic measures such as Premium Fridays are just not going to cut it I'm afraid.

I also think that we need to find a way to activate the more than one million hikikomori in to the job market, it would be a win-win situation and reduce the need for too much immigration in order to tackle the labor shortage.

Innovation and automation by Japan Inc should also be encouraged instead of importing cheap labor from abroad.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

Japan is already behind China.

It's not. Japan is still ahead of China in almost everything. For the past 50 years, Japan went through a lot of social, political and economic changes. The type of social issues and social changes happening in Japan right now are not even a subject of discussion in China. China is yet to experience the social, political and economic changes that Japan already went through. If you look at the Maslow pyramid of needs, i would categorize Japan at the 4th stage - the self-esteem stage, wheres China is at the second stage - safety and security, which includes employment security, wealth, prosperity, health etc.

Opening itself to foreigners and becoming a more diverse society, both in terms of population and thought, is what will give Japan the edge it needs to remain competitive with China. Remember that, while China has 4 times the population of America, America is still centuries ahead of them in terms of innovation and creativity, not because of its size, but because of its diverse population. You simply cannot beat a diverse populace, it's impossible. Diversity beats uniformity regardless of size. Windows dominates over Mac because Windows is an open system that allows people from around the world to contribute to it, wheres Mac is a closed-off ecosystem.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Japan has a problem. No, it has many problems. But, it's approach to dealing with the problems is akin to asking people to stick their thumbs into cracks when they see them within the sea wall defenses.

At the heart of the matter, are Culturally driven Identity, Satisfaction and Uncertainty issues. The local Politicians are exasperating these issues for their own short personal term gains, and "Corruption" should be reclassified as a subtle art-form here, rather than it's blatant prevalence within Japan's neighboring Countries.

Significant change is required, however in which direction that takes could be troubling. Foreigners are 2nd Class Citizens here, so if any significant trouble were to arise, they'd immediately become a focus of attention, and WWII era Jewish experiences spring to mind here. Just be aloof, and wary of events ahead, particularly when Wars kick off between certain major Countries.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Japan is the last place for foreigner immigration given the options in Asia. The 300,000 prospect is only wishful thinking without any enforceable laws to prevent discrimination and a kangaroo court system that runs on innuendo not facts along with discriminatory housing mentioned in the article all in all doesn't make a country attractive.

The demand to stay "unique" ie: homogeneous, can only end the nation

3 ( +5 / -2 )

kohakuebisuJuly 11  01:27 pm JST The main issue for Japan is not the size of the population, but its composition. There are more and more old people and fewer and fewer young people to support them. Society was never set up for this, or to have people on pensions for 25 years (60-85).

True. While the birth rate hovers just below replacement, a greater percentage of Japanese are dying annually and will do so at an increasing rate in the next decade or so. This should begin to make the population mix a bit younger, if the current birth rate holds. And, as many people have noted, Japan could lose another 25 million people and still function just fine.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@mikeylikesit

China is growing economically because it's still a developing country, and millions of rural Chinese are still migrating to big cities and entering the labor market. Their economic model is what is known as the East Asian Economic Model, it's a form of State Capitalism. Japan grew in a similar way. They have an export-driven economy. State companies with low cost labor drive exports, then use the money to invest in infrastructure, housing and other State projects, which generate even more economic activity and growth.

Eventually they will privatize their state companies and become a consumption driven economy, like Japan did in the late 90s and early 2000. China is a massive country with billion people, that's a huge market. Any business is bound to succeed in that kind of ginormous market. However, innovation and creativity is not that easy. For the past 30 years, there have been only a handful of Chinese companies that are competitive on a global scale, and even fewer than that that could be said to be leading in innovation. China still has a lot of room for growth, and they will become very rich, there is no doubt about that, and since there are millions of Chinese people living and studying abroad who return to China each other, you will start seeing real innovation coming from China. If Japan wants to compete with that and stay ahead of them like they are today, they need more diverse populace. Japan does not have millions of foreign educated Japanese who will return to Japan to start up their own companies. For the past 20 years we haven't seen any new innovation coming out of Japan.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@IloveCoffee diverse society has its vibe, but it has a ton of problems, especially if you let in a lot of people from "unfitting" culture. Japan has the most unique culture in the world by far, it has been mono-culture, and the only problem with it are birthrates.

China will become a great global player, but USA will not lag behind a lot. Population sizes of both countries with start getting closer. Even if ratio 3 to 1, USA still can compete, that is if they don't go down.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Just waiting... probably won't need to wait too much longer... for a senile politician to assign a baby count requirement for all women. For the good of Japan, of course…

1 ( +1 / -0 )

diverse society has its vibe, but it has a ton of problems, especially if you let in a lot of people from "unfitting" culture. Japan has the most unique culture in the world by far, it has been mono-culture, and the only problem with it are birthrates.

This man speaks the truth.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Ganbare Japan!July 11  09:29 am JST

Whopp dee doo.

Very wisely argued

Comedy gold!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is what happens in a country whose men are raised by women only

agreed. women can teach boys to be men, hence the rise of the herbivorous man

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Whopp dee doo. 125 million is still a lot of people, way more than many other asian countries.

so!? there are a number of countries with populations much lower than Japan yet the GDP per capita is higher and average wage is higher, meaning their average citizen has more wealth the average Japanese. Japan doesnt even rank in the top 20. Taiwan , Hong Kong , Singapore and Brunei all rank higher than Japan

World, watch, learn and copy.

Japan did just that up to the bubble, yet 30yrs after the bubble Japanese continue to become poorer

The economy is growing **despite population shrinking. Furthermore, it will be easier to find hotel rooms, seats on the train, school entry and hospital beds.**

oh dear seriously I wonder if some people are actually living in this reality at times

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Depopulation is the very essence of the see-saw effect, a 2×2 matrix.

A ball rolling between a central fulcrum of one side, the failure to achieve Japan population replacement rate 1.39 children per female (2010) and Japans changing age-structure, coupled with the spatial distribution of Japans population alongside ageing and geographical scale and distance to basic amenities.

Vulnerable municipalities will bear the disproportionate economic fallout. Tax payers will need to rethink proprieties, our ageing families, that is my aging familes, and their pride, will exasperate the failure to reform or restructure tax revenues to secure child birth rates.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Each time, when there is an article about the population decline, I see tons of answers that contains same sentence "Japan invested a lot to Ai and robotics.."

That's total joke and groundless claim. I just want to wake up the people that believing this claim.

Based on the EU's 2018 report about AI Readiness, Japan is only 10th in the world competing with Spain, not even a level that comparable with UK, Scandinavian countries and South Korea.

*Please note that developing countries such as China, Israel, Taiwan, India, Turkey not even included on the comparison.

There are couple of reasons for that:

1) Archaic business style, which depends on crowded teams

2)Low average computer skill (IT Maturity)

3)Low readiness to get adapted to new systems/programs

4) and most importantly, AI is like a continuous wall that each new development/software can be described as a brick, you need to add a new brick from everywhere around the world continuously. And, without making an effort to understand other countries' softwares and systems, rejecting them culturally and in language perspective. You are always doomed to be late, this is not like making car or television in 2-3 years and presenting to the customer after quality control, you need to be fast, and need to be open to evolve on the road.

If you understanding only "packaging tomatoes" by AI and robotics, and you believe it will solve population decline in this way, you can continue to believe that everything gonna be alright.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan's population declining IS A GOOD THING!

Until a country can feed it's population from it's own resources it is 'overpopulated'. Japan can feed maybe 40 million. QED.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Until a country can feed it's population from it's own resources it is 'overpopulated'. Japan can feed maybe 40 million. QED.

There are no countries which can 100% feed their people. Food security here was at best 60% and now down to about 40%. Almost all of the soy beans is imported along with many tons of wheat, barley, oats.

Fortunately its mostly no longer a problem.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

There are no countries which can 100% feed their people.

Just because they don't does not mean they can't. Obviously some can or there would be a lot more dead people all of the sudden. Some countries produce surplus.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The global economy is in a low growth era which means in countries like Japan having low population growth, per capita income will remain constant. Workforce headcount growth is not needed for economic growth in an age of automation and AI.

While not in an economic boom with an increasing standard of living, Japan has an advantage over economies that are leveraged upon growth to maintain financial & social stability.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The only precedent for recent polulation decline occured with the plague in Europe then after a period of adjustment increased to current levels. As Japan's population declines I anticipate it will stabilize and future persons will probably have a higher and more stable quality of life. My generation will have to bear supporting the baby boomers.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The solution is easy -- ban Abortion and severely limit birth control. These are some of the main factors that contribute to depopulation.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The solution is easy -- ban Abortion and severely limit birth control.

Yes, force women to carry a foetus, give birth to it and look after it. Pure misogyny.

This isn't Gilead.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yes, force women to carry a foetus, give birth to it and look after it. Pure misogyny.

This isn't Gilead.

Just look at the statistics for Japan and abortion. For instance google the following: "Historical abortion statistics, Japan - Johnston's Archive". Look at the numbers, then add them all together. Surprisingly enough you will find that if those numbers accounted for lives instead of deaths that Japans population would be stable, even with surplus.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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