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Japan child population shrinks for 43rd straight year

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Long term thinking has never been a forte. The demographic cliff has arrived. What these fist pumping politicians think they can do about it? Very little really.

Such a beautiful culture and country too. The work life balance has played a huge role, as well as tight fisted corporations and companies saving for that rainy day and not paying people a wage that would be worth celebrating with children. Everything is someone else’s problem.

7 ( +22 / -15 )

Good news, especially for Planet Earth. The last thing the world needs is more and more people.

The demographic cliff has arrived.

Already? Wasn't there supposed to be a collapse or something? Because Japan right now is in many so much better in terms of the environment, safety, etc., than it ever was before.

-5 ( +16 / -21 )

Japan does not NEED a population of over 120 million. The lack of land and natural resources alone dictates that Japan would be better off with a much lower population.

Problem is that the government, and previous one's as well, have placed such a burden on future generations through it's debt machine policies, it needs a higher population just to pay the interest !

20 ( +31 / -11 )

Kishida's government seeks to pass into law a bill for tackling the country's rapidly declining birth rate by providing more financial assistance to child-rearing households and expanding daycare services, although critics doubt whether such initiatives can reverse the decades-long trend.

Should have done it during Abe or even earlier, however during that time Olympics was promised to solve all problem in Japan. However we see what actually happened now.

By now it's point of no return, Japan just need to learn to accept it. That's why Japan's policy is to open widely to cheap labor from Vietnam because Japan realize there's no way Japanese can replace current labor shortage from inside Japan.

https://thediplomat.com/2023/01/japans-population-crisis-nears-point-of-no-return/

.

JGovt never really care about this situation, only after it really impacted Japanese future growth

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2024-05-04/japan-s-record-low-children-population-weighs-on-growth

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

Government data also showed that as of Oct. 1 last year, the child population exceeded 1 million only in Tokyo and neighboring Kanagawa Prefecture, while the figure sank below 1 million in Osaka Prefecture for the first time since the breakdown by prefecture began in 1970.

So? This is meaningless in the overall scheme of things. Who cares about how many kids live in Tokyo? It's all psychological propaganda that gets slurped up by the lemmings!

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Japan does not NEED a population of over 120 million. The lack of land and natural resources alone dictates that Japan would be better off with a much lower population.

But in order to stay with current GDP growth and size, Japan need population that can sustain its own domestic demand and labor force, never mind, India will pass Japan by next year.

https://asia.nikkei.com/Economy/India-to-surpass-Japan-as-4th-largest-economy-in-2025-IMF-says

-12 ( +5 / -17 )

Pay people more and allow them to work less. Not rocket science.

21 ( +23 / -2 )

sakurasukiToday  07:18 am JST

But in order to stay with current GDP growth and size, Japan need population that can sustain its own domestic demand and labor force, never mind, India will pass Japan by next year.

GDP growth by inflation is what the IMF and people-in-power are driving. It’s not real growth. India’s population will never stop growing and that is the driver of their GDP.

“Advances in productivity” outside of technology is just that unit price is higher so your gdp grows on paper.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

WeiWeiToday 07:29 am JST

GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity takes into account inflation.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Japanese have consciously made the decision to depopulate in order to make life more sustainable and comfortable. They recognise that a population of around 80 million will lead to positive outcomes : cleaner environment, ease of entering any school or university, less crowded trains, hospitals, restaurants and so on.

The developed world will likely follow Japan's lead - for the sake of the environment which is on life support, let's hope that is very soon.

-2 ( +12 / -14 )

@fighto

Japanese have consciously made the decision to depopulate in order to make life more sustainable and comfortable

It might be true, or not. However now since there's no young generation Japan really having difficulty in finding who really pay pension to support those elder. Is that really "consciously" made decision?

https://mainichi.jp/english/articles/20240412/p2a/00m/0na/021000c

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/community/2023/11/05/how-tos/retirement-savings-finance/

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

Japan's child population has fallen since 1982, having peaked in 1954 at 29.89 million, with a second baby boom observed between 1971 and 1974.

So now much easier to enter good high schools and universities. Bad news for the low level ones which should be left to die out bit of course the government will waste money supporting.

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Japan need population that can sustain its own domestic demand and labor force...

It's funny how that has never held back the likes of Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, Singapore, ie countries with the world's highest socio-economic conditions.

The world's top 10 ranking of wealthy nations is dominated by ones with small populations and low natural birthrates. Or is that just a massive coincidence?

6 ( +15 / -9 )

Such a beautiful culture and country too. The work life balance has played a huge role, as well as tight fisted corporations and companies saving for that rainy day and not paying people a wage that would be worth celebrating with children. Everything is someone else’s problem.

Agree entirely.

Also the thing that makes Japan so great is its passive people which is also the reason things have gotten so bad for so long.

-4 ( +8 / -12 )

The retirement age will be raised.

The pension will be reduced.

Taxes will go up.

All this will reduced household expenditure and further exacibate the population decline and economic hardship here.

You can spout on about the environmental benefits but when the economy collapses and you are living on ¥30,000 a month in 2050 ( pension ) you won't be that interested in global warming you will be more worried about where you will find your next meal .

-9 ( +8 / -17 )

You can spout on about the environmental benefits but when the economy collapses and you are living on ¥30,000 a month in 2050 ( pension ) you won't be that interested in global warming you will be more worried about where you will find your next meal .

The Japanese government will ensure those on pensions are taken care of. Welfare and social services are non-negotiable.

Japan is showing something unique to the world : that a declining population as well as economic growth can be maintained. Economists everywhere are probably stunned.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

@Fighto

The Japanese government will ensure those on pensions are taken care of. Welfare and social services are non-negotiable.

How they'll achieve that? More fiscal surprise? More cut here and there? More Debt? Tell us here.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

The Japan Government Pension Investment Fund remains the largest pension fund, with assets of USD 1.4 trillion.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Japan does not NEED a population of over 120 million. The lack of land and natural resources alone dictates that Japan would be better off with a much lower population.

Well said !!..

0 ( +8 / -8 )

Less kids, more pets..

-7 ( +4 / -11 )

Whether Japan would be better off with fewer people is beside the point, especially because the ones remaining will be proportionally older and more decrepit. It is clear that, as far as rhetoric is concerned, it is not widely considered such a good thing. Many of those downvoting comments that are pessimistic about intervention to change anything are part of the problem. A pollyanna-ish stance often seems to be a triumph of patriotic "she'll be right" (Australians will know this one) over reality, as if somehow Japan will prevail because of some innate qualities. The evidence for 40 years is that measures have either failed or not been taken.

-5 ( +7 / -12 )

Whether Japan would be better off with fewer people is beside the point, especially because the ones remaining will be proportionally older and more decrepit. It is clear that, as far as rhetoric is concerned, it is not widely considered such a good thing. Many of those downvoting comments that are pessimistic about intervention to change anything are part of the problem. A pollyanna-ish stance often seems to be a triumph of patriotic "she'll be right" (Australians will know this one) over reality, as if somehow Japan will prevail because of some innate qualities. The evidence for 40 years is that measures have either failed or not been taken.

What?

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

Sorry, FizzBit, did I make some logical error? Or some vocabulary error? It's always possible.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

It's funny how that has never held back the likes of Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, Singapore, ie countries with the world's highest socio-economic conditions. 

The world's top 10 ranking of wealthy nations is dominated by ones with small populations and low natural birthrates. Or is that just a massive coincidence?

Its idiotic to attribute the success of Scandinavian and other countries to their population size and low birthrate. Singapore has a much higher population density than Japan does, I have no idea how you square that with your idea that too many people is bad for a country.

And to flip that, the top ten least densely populated countries in the world include Libya, Suriname, Mongolia, Western Sahara and Namibia. Hardly models of socio-economic success.

So much for that inane theory.

3 ( +7 / -4 )

Japan does not NEED a population of over 120 million. The lack of land and natural resources alone dictates that Japan would be better off with a much lower population.

Problem is that the government, and previous one's as well, have placed such a burden on future generations through it's debt machine policies, it needs a higher population just to pay the interest !

While it's true that Japan's limited land area and natural resources pose challenges for accommodating a large population, maintaining a sustainable population size is about more than just physical space and resources. A declining population brings challenges, including an aging workforce, strains on social welfare systems, and potential economic stagnation. Striking a balance between population size and sustainable development requires careful consideration of various factors, including demographic trends, financial needs, and environmental sustainability.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Sad reading.

Heading towards only 11.75 millions at most.

I wish Japan would help way more by giving a full salary to mothers who raise properly their children.

Sooner or later they'll have to resort to serious measures but so far hardly no perks being a parent rather "forced" work instead of pleasure of sharing a new life.

I am all for more children myself if possible.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

JeffLee

Good news, especially for Planet Earth. The last thing the world needs is more and more people.

Hate to pop your bubble, but the world population is still massively increasing, just not in the developed world.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

JeffLee

The world's top 10 ranking of wealthy nations is dominated by ones with small populations and low natural birthrates. Or is that just a massive coincidence?

Reversing cause and effect a bit here? Yes, the high living standards and governments taking over the role of family does have the effect of reducing birth rates. By the same logic, you could argue that carrying umbrellas causes rain...

0 ( +5 / -5 )

I wish Japan would help way more by giving a full salary to mothers who raise properly their children.

I think UBI for parents is the way to go. In some places it actually exists in the form of extended paid maternity leave that is backed up by government subsidies.

I think it is vastly preferable to childcare, which actually costs the taxpayer much more. I think Japan has it right in having formal group-based childcare from age 3. I think parental care is preferable before that age.

One of my kids has just started going to one of the lowest ranked senior highs schools in our area. It was actually oversubscribed (!), so there are still plenty of (formal academia) nonachievers out there. Fewer kids doesn't shift that particular Bell curve.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Hate to pop your bubble, but the world population is still massively increasing, just not in the developed world.

The world population is still growing but this will reach a peak and fall according to trends worldwide.

The peak of the fertility rate worldwide was in the 1960s. It’s been declining since then.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

World population is decreasing, that is a fact. May be there just to many people already, but I am very sure that economics is a huge factor. The wealth distribution is upside down, with the 1% wealthiest getting greedier whilst the poorest suffer just trying to survive. Until this is reversed nothing will change.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Short-term pain for long-term benefit.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

rainydayToday  11:43 am JST

It's funny how that has never held back the likes of Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, Singapore, ie countries with the world's highest socio-economic conditions. 

The world's top 10 ranking of wealthy nations is dominated by ones with small populations and low natural birthrates. Or is that just a massive coincidence?

Its idiotic to attribute the success of Scandinavian and other countries to their population size and low birthrate. Singapore has a much higher population density than Japan does, I have no idea how you square that with your idea that too many people is bad for a country.

And to flip that, the top ten least densely populated countries in the world include Libya, Suriname, Mongolia, Western Sahara and Namibia. Hardly models of socio-economic success.

So much for that inane theory.

The collective conclusion drawn from a survey of prominent well-being researchers worldwide suggests that within affluent nations, those that are smaller in size and exhibit greater social cohesion typically boast populations with higher levels of happiness, on average.

Happiest Countries in the World 2024

Finland

Denmark

Iceland

Israel

Netherlands

Sweden

Norway

Switzerland

Luxembourg

New Zealand

https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/businessreview/2017/09/28/expert-panel-people-from-small-socially-cohesive-countries-are-happier/#:~:text=Among%20the%20world's%20rich%20countries,wellbeing%20from%20around%20the%20world.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

According to research, Japan is one of the least happy nations (ranked 51 last year) among developed nations.

Given that the happiest nations in the world have less than 18 million,, I'd say Japan could be happier if it decided by half at least.

Smaller countries often exhibit higher levels of happiness due to factors such as greater social cohesion, effective governance, emphasis on quality of life, economic stability, and cultural values prioritizing community and work-life balance.

Finland - 5.5 million

Denmark - 5.8 million

Iceland - 340,000

Israel - 9.3 million

Netherlands - 17.5 million

Sweden - 10.4 million

Norway - 5.4 million

Switzerland - 8.7 million

Luxembourg - 634,000

New Zealand - 5.1 million

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

According to research, Japan is one of the least happy nations (ranked 51 last year) among developed nations.

Ever heard of the word Tatemae?

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Don’t forget that the actual number of children is actually far lower than what the government reports.

They count foreign children and children born overseas to Japanese parents who might never return to live in Japan, a real possibility with the demographic time bomb about to explode.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

toraToday  01:46 pm JST

> Ever heard of the word Tatemae?

Yes, I have. Can you explain why that is relevant to happiness levels?

If you live in Japan and know quite a few Japanese people, especially in large cities, you would not be surprised by the low happiness rating.

Factors such as Japan's demanding work culture, societal pressure for conformity, challenges associated with an ageing population, economic uncertainty, and cultural norms may inhibit the expression of happiness (i.e. being able to (cultural restrictions on openly and freely expressing yourself, the lack of affection among family members etc.).

-7 ( +7 / -14 )

toraToday  01:46 pm JST

Ever heard of the word Tatemae?*

The effect of Tatemae would potentially make the results even happier than they are rather than unhappy.

That means, due to Tatemae, people will report themselves as happier than they actually are, so the real ranking would be much lower than 52.

Tatemae, could impact survey results on happiness in Japan by prompting individuals to provide responses that conform to societal expectations rather than reflecting their genuine emotions, leading to an overestimation of reported happiness levels and underrepresentation of unhappiness in survey data.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

SpitfireToday  01:57 pm JST

Don’t forget that the actual number of children is actually far lower than what the government reports.

They count foreign children and children born overseas to Japanese parents who might never return to live in Japan, a real possibility with the demographic time bomb about to explode.

Great point.

I didn't consider that our kids who have been born and raised in NZ are registered as part of the child population in Japan.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

Fighto!

The developed world will likely follow Japan's lead - for the sake of the environment which is on life support, let's hope that is very soon.

I am sorry to break it for you. Japan is leading noone and nothing at all.

Just for expanding your knowledge: Germany is 357,000 km2 in land area. And their population is roughly 84 million people. This has been this way for DECADES!

Japan is about 380,000 km2 in land area. And their population is around 120 million people.

Japan is showing something unique to the world : that a declining population as well as economic growth can be maintained.

LOL. I am sorry, but that's not at all unique. There are many countries with large landmass and small population. Japanese is decades late to this game.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The Japan Government Pension Investment Fund remains the largest pension fund, with assets of USD 1.4 trillion.

So? With a population of over 120 million the per capita amount pales in comparison to No 2 on the list Norway, which has nearly the same amount a close to 1.4 trillion as well, with a population of just over 5.2 million.

Not to mention that the largest stock holders in nearly all major Japanese corporations are the pension fund and the BOJ.

Not to mention that the government wants more control over the fund, to support the economy, and if that happens, kiss that 1.4 trillion goodbye.

The Japanese government is not capable of managing money, nor does it have any "smart" fiscal policies!

1 ( +5 / -4 )

danToday  08:38 am JST

The retirement age will be raised.

The pension will be reduced.

Taxes will go up.

All this will reduced household expenditure and further exacibate the population decline and economic hardship here.

You can spout on about the environmental benefits but when the economy collapses and you are living on ¥30,000 a month in 2050 ( pension ) you won't be that interested in global warming you will be more worried about where you will find your next meal .

I have to agree. If the fiscal problem is compounded with a demographic problem,debt problems, it seems logical retirement age may well be pushed up to 67+.Much to our chagrin of the younger generations, who won't really care as it is pushed 30+ years in the future.

The gov may FORCE everyone to do a NISA, and then the pension may become means tested. I see that going to some other countries. You saved too much, payed your government pension but you saved too much, so your pension will be cut. Maybe 30+ 40 years down the road.

I do see sales tax going up, further. Gradually to european levels.Disguised as either defence expenditure or for child care, pension system. I don't think itll be right fenced though. Or they cut pensions, or do something with everyone who works in the gig economy that don' t pay anything into the system.

I don't think they'll be much of an environmental benefit at all, as small towns and villages start to disappear, younger people will just move to the big cites for jobs, and opportunities, night life and fun. So the roads, aren't going to get les busy anytime soon. At the end of the day, we want our internet, TVs, cars, night life. I don't think population decline will reduce power consumption either. Especially as we will need more air con to stay cooler. I think thats only going to be solved by builder greener.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

…when the economy collapses and you are living on ¥30,000 a month in 2050 ( pension ) you won't be that interested in global warming you will be more worried about where you will find your next meal.

The good news is that there will be plenty of land and abandoned farms for you to grow your own food, that’s if you can afford to live outside of Tokyo.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I'm not sure why so called happiness surveys of countries add any reality to the whole debate going on about population numbers in Japan compared to the world.

Somebody claimed that countries with smaller populations like NZ, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland etc often 'exhibit' greater happiness' based on 'greater social cohesion', 'cultural values priortizing community and life-work balance', and 'effective governance'. But these kind of surveys are usually more PR than anything and don't reflect the non simplistic realities.

New Zealand has been having political conflict for some time between the indigenous Maori population and various national governments including leading Maori organisations challenging the legitimacy of the NZ legal and political system. Maori gangs continue to be an obvious social problem. Economically NZ isn't doing that good with an over reliance on govt spending as there aren't enough private industries providing jobs. Many NZ people seek work in Australia because of that.

The Netherlands, Denmark, Norway and Sweden have all been involved in divisive public and political debates for years about the impact of constant flows of 'asylum seekers' from the ME and Africa in particular, some of whom are actually drug cartel members, militia members and just plain ol criminals.

Sweden has undergone significant damage to its social cohesion by taking in so called asylum seekers who turned out to be gangs and run drugs and guns in urban areas. Sweden was once known for its proud record of being among the few countries with very low levels of sexual assaults and armed violence but letting in men whose identities were not checked properly for years has resulted in a surge of those crimes for the past decade or so.

Denmark was showing some worrying signs of these developments but has now pushed back and requires more proof of genuine asylum seeking and refugee status, insists on respect for its host culture and has beefed up ways to remove those connected with terror groups and organised crime from its territory.

Luxembourg is an incredibly elitist, wealthy country has has always picked and chosen its citizens and residents with a very high bar. It is 'happy' because it excludes the great majority of the world.

None of these countries are models for Japan - Japan's social cohesion is famous and is based on common and accepted culture and ways of doing things that its people have done for centuries successfully. Most Japanese do not and will not accept a rise in the birth rate if it's coming from single mothers or families who don't have the financial resources to support multiple children and need the much higher welfare payments of western countries yet don't plan to restrict the number of children they have - very common in third world families in the west.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

"...while Prime Minister Fumio Kishida's government scrambles to address the issue through "unprecedented" measures."

Sitting on your hands and just saying you'll do something is not "taking unprecedented measures", it is just par for the course here. Hasn't he already vowed several times to beat this problem?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

By gender, there were 7.18 million boys and 6.83 million girls.

Confused. Is this how many children are left in japan out of 120+ million people, or is thar how many were born this year?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The governments of the world must ask themselves who would want to bring a child into this world most women and men who are in their active years can barely take care of themselves let alone a child. The government want these young women and men to have children but leave it up to them when it comes to needing support when they become struggling and down and out. Low income's, expensive housing, high cost of education low self esteem and worrying about their own future is only some of the reasons for low births. The governments produced nothing but controls everything their products is the people and if people are not being born to keep them in business then the government will no longer be needed because their no one to govern and to get taxes from. People live to pay taxes if you are employed in other words you are paying to work by paying taxes even though you are working to get paid. There is no way around it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

By gender, there were 7.18 million boys and 6.83 million girls.

Confused. Is this how many children are left in japan out of 120+ million people, or is thar how many were born this year?

As the title of the article refers to population, and the rough math that if 14 million kids were born every year, an average lifespan of 75 years would be 1 billion, I think it's probably referring to the number of children in Japan, rather than just those who were born in the year.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Confused. Is this how many children are left in japan out of 120+ million people, or is thar how many were born this year?

There are just under 1 million children born every year in Japan, and that number has been declining as well. So this number is the number of children, 0 to just under 18 years of age. So about 11% of the total population are "children".

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Why the declining birthrate?

Young adults are far more prescient than the Japanese government knows.

Low salaries don’t allow happy families in Japan.

It’s presently a massive financial burden to pay the number of taxes in Japan and children add more to that expense.

The ‘unprecedented measures’ taken by the government to make children more appealing mean very little in reality.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@Kumagaijin - The good news is that there will be plenty of land and abandoned farms for you ...

But you'll have to share with encroaching bears ... judging by your moniker you already know that, or maybe you're a bear?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Yubaru

Your stats are far from up-to-date : far less than 800 000, about 758 000 !

It is not decreasing, it is dropping from cliff.

Just imagine 8 years ago it was above a million. Nearly 25% fall. And call me if you see any possible rebound wit ladies having 3 kids for all of them, while you have women only staring in the mirror to see if they have wrinkles instead.

Hardly only Africa is up above replacement rate.

So future will be black, whatever you may wish or not ;)

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What can leaders do?

Push hard on 'work from home' with big incentives to move back to the heartland. Who wants to have kids in a 1 bedroom apartment surrounded by concrete?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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