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Japan's population falls for 6th year; rise in foreign residents

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So regardless of efforts for and against foreigners settling, the trend is still clear. The local population is quickly declining and more foreign residents are settling. Japan is clear on who and which kind of residents it wants and that's not a totally bad thing either given the current state of things here and the mentality.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

125 million! Thats still an large amount of people on a relatively small landmass. In contrast the UK, which is of similar size is only 64 million! I understand the population is ageing but to be honest there is little you can do about that, expect to tell younger generations to have more babies!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

while the sustainability of pension and other social security services remains unclear.

Unclear to whom? In pretty much every deviled economy, state pensions and social security programs are ponzi schemes, which require ever larger numbers of people to join and contribute. So long as more people join each year, they can afford to pay benefits, if they are properly managed (and most aren't).

Even if the population remains stable, these pension systems, as they are currently run, cannot remain solvent. When the population is in decline, even those systems which are run efficiently cannot hope to remain solvent. One need only look at Japan's vast debts, and that a record-level budget is passed every year, even though there are fewer workers, taxpayers, and revenue continues to decline.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said Friday that the government will make further efforts to address the demographic concentration and prepare incentives for living in rural areas, such as by exempting those who get jobs in such areas from repaying student loans as well as curbing the number of new universities in Tokyo.

Good ideas, but one of the first steps which should be taken is the abolishing of the hanko system. Every week I know people who have to take trains to different parts of the country, taking paperwork and contracts which have to be sealed. The cost of the travel and the time it takes to do even basic business paperwork is one of the reasons why businesses and banks tend to accumulate in Tokyo or Osaka. In America I can use an electronic signature in Los Angeles to get a loan from a bank in Texas to buy a home in Hawaii. In Japan, each of these transactions would have to be done in person with a banker, real estate agent, and/or property owner.

The hanko system incredibly primitive, and no more secure than a simple signature.

Next, the high cost of owning cars makes living in the country more difficult to afford. Expensive vehicle inspections every two years, high road tax fees, tolls, gasoline tax, and other expenses make it hard for those who live outside the metro areas to get around, or commute to and from work. Public transportation in these areas is spotty, and as many people live far from bus stops or stations, they must drive.

Medical care is also difficult. Even in the metro areas, it can be hard to find an emergency room which will accept an ambulance, many clinics and hospitals in rural areas are open from 9 to 5, and even the ones which are open are often poorly equipped, and not well staffed.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

It is feared that the rapid change in the demographic structure will put pressure on the economy and necessitate an overhaul of the nation’s pension and medical care systems. In 1965, the social security system assumed 9.1 workers aged between 20 and 64 would support each individual aged 65 or older, but in 2065 the figure is projected to drop to only 1.2 workers.

This is a huge problem for Japan. They are not importing workers. They are importing contributors to the pension system. This is where they will fail. People are not gonna come to Japan to work if they have to pay 20-30% of their salary into a pension they have no intention of receiving and will never get it back. At present, if you are drafted into paying the pension scam, you will only get 50-60% back and the way it is set up makes it nearly impossible to do so. To apply for a refund you have to be living outside of Japan for at least 12 months, but the forms needed to apply can only be obtained and lodged in Japan. For this reason, most foreigners who leave Japan never see the money again. Working in Japan and paying into this scam might be attractive to people from poorer countries who fill the lower paid non-skilled positions. However, Japan will also need skilled workers who will not come to Japan to work for a third-world salary.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Sounds like a doomsday film (for Japan) ... "2016: Rise of the Foreigners"

2 ( +4 / -2 )

This look like Japan must be multicultural or it won't survive and same is with Europe...

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Sounds like a doomsday film (for Japan) ... "2016: Rise of the Foreigners"

LOL, I like this title, and it could maybe really be perceived as a doomsday anyway right wing Japanese people here.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

125 million! Thats still an large amount of people on a relatively small landmass. In contrast the UK, which is of similar size is only 64 million! I understand the population is ageing but to be honest there is little you can do about that, expect to tell younger generations to have more babies!

The landmass of Japan is significantly larger than that of the UK, so even though the population is about double the population density is only slightly higher.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

You know what I think is disgusting about this whole issue? The Japanese government won't let a 60-year old 3rd-generation Canadian on a pension emigrate to live in the countryside of Japan for the rest of his days. Healthy and fit, he'd work with the rural farmers, for nothing! But the Japanese government won't let it happen. Do you know why?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Japan's population falls for 6th year...

And will continue to do until some big changes occur. For the better anyway.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

rubs hands together in glee and chuckles evilly*

Well done Team Gaijin! The Foreign Agenda continues apace!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Japan’s population has fallen for the sixth consecutive year, but the pace of decline was mitigated by a rise in the number of foreign residents, government data showed Friday.

Maybe it's just me, but by including foreigners, it skews the data. Including foreigners who are permanent residents is one thing, but those only here 3 months or longer? That number fluctuates greatly.

To me the impression trying to be given is that Japan is "welcoming" to more foreigners with the decline in overall Japanese . That aint true.

In contrast the UK, which is of similar size is only 64 million! I understand the population is ageing but to be honest there is little you can do about that, expect to tell younger generations to have more babies!

Japan is nearly twice the size of GB by landmass alone.

United Kingdom is approximately 243,610 sq km, while Japan is approximately 377,915 sq km. Meanwhile, the population of United Kingdom is ~64 million people (63 million more people live in Japan).

http://www.mylifeelsewhere.com/country-size-comparison/japan/united-kingdom

More comparisons here;

https://country-facts.findthedata.com/compare/28-82/United-Kingdom-vs-Japan

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Why not give young women an incentive to have more children say 3 to 4 would be ideal for 10 years Japan could afford this by cutting back on overseas aid that dont realy help all of those receiving it without japan overseeing that the people ment gets the aid not some profiting military person or corrupt government,s officials

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Why not give young women an incentive to have more children say 3 to 4 would be ideal for 10 years Japan could afford this by cutting back on overseas aid that dont realy help all of those receiving it without japan overseeing that the people ment gets the aid not some profiting military person or corrupt government,s officials

Because Japan spends little on overseas aid. What it mainly does is supply goods, materials, and resources, which are supplied by Japan Inc. Japan's overseas aid (like that of many other countries) is not really aid, but corporate welfare. Japan would do better to end it's own corruption before doing anything else.

Subsidizing families to have more children is not going to work, because that requires money which Japan doesn't have. Spending more would mean collection more revenue, which would mean higher taxes, which would make having children even more expensive, which defeats the purpose.

Between the LDP doubling or tripling the cost of food via tariffs and subsidies to buy votes to keep itself in power, and Japan Inc closing off Japan to foreign competition (which makes higher prices, and allows price fixing), currency manipulation, high taxes, and regulatory costs, people cannot afford to feed, clothe, and educate children.

The government would do better to spend far less, and tax even farther less. To stop taxing imported food, and stop manipulating the yen to keep imports expensive, and allow Japan Inc to become competitive, instead of reliant on the state for cheap yen, favorable trade deals, and endless corporate welfare.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

"While it is clear that the process of decline has numerous drawbacks, these are only important if the decline is fast and protracted. Smaller population size, however, has social, economic and environmental advantages." -Who's afraid of population Decline by David Coleman and Robert Rowthorn, page 20

It's a bit old, but still holds true to this day. Give the "population is falling so we're doomed"-meme a rest, will you? Not only that, but it's something the government can fix at any time if it so wanted. That nothing is done about this just reflects the insignificance of the so-called "problem". Also, immigration doesn't have that big of an effect in the long run, since it doesn't affect fertility that greatly. (since people who immigrate to a prosperous country will tend to not get as many children)

I don't see the need to needlessly inflate the population just because the ojiisan-generation (which I'm glad will be gone not far too long from now) can't grasp that having a never-ending growth in population will most likely be counter-productive. But it's not your generation that has to deal with the results of this, right ojiisan/obaasan?

You can cry "They don't want more fertility because of " but that doesn't change the fact that your cries for further overpopulating an already overpopulated island have neither basis, nor logic.

Have a good day and think again before you really want to cause more problems for the generations that come after you.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Diss

" They are importing contributors to the pension system. This is where they will fail. People are not gonna come to Japan " Yep

All of Asia does this scam, especially to/if you are non asian. S.E.A. is a vacuum cleaner when it comes to so-called "pensions". I just saw an article on another website alt -right type website alluding to only other asian countries make up the "foreigners" who come to Japan seeking work. Ie. Nepal, philippines, thailand, vietnam etc, and when you think about it, that has been the case .historically, there has been eastern euros who come but their numbers are small as compared to the other asians who come to Japan. So don't ever let that word foreigners fool your subconscious into thinking it a huge chunk of westers , sort of a window dressing reverse image ploy- tactic. And who are they whining their population problem to? Certainly not the so called foreign world, and particularly the Asian region, cares much about the JN population, issue. That's a forever internal problem, (mandated by the hitlerhihara program) unless they want to send their women to Europe for artificial inseminations.- which I'm sure the total nationalist are vehemently against.

"Every Nation has its term"

0 ( +1 / -1 )

The short-term fix is to keep on raising the retirement age. I know it's not a pleasant thought, but this is what I think the government will do. In 2013 the official retirement age was 61. In 2016 it was raised to 62. By 2025 the government is expected to raise the retirement age to 65. Maybe by 2065 it will be 78 - who knows for sure, but the trend looks like the retirement age is raised by 1 year every 3 years.

In any case many senior citizens already are continuing to work after their official retirement age - for better or worse, depending on your point of view. But it seems many of these people do low-pay, part-time work. Personally, I think the government and companies should have beneficial policies that promote this post-retirement work, and at the same time promote immigration.

Diversity is a good thing. In Nature it is how species survive - they change and adapt. Yes, it's great that Japan has some unique characteristics - like having 4 seasons (just joking, please don't troll me). But having lived in other countries for many years, I do miss seeing the diversity I have seen elsewhere. It just makes life much more fun and interesting. Japanese culture is strong enough that people should not fear losing it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Why count foreign residents, they are not Japan citizens, they are visitors with special arrangement for tax, heath and educations purposes. Most foreign residents return to their home country. very few die here, Plus most foreign residents have a better pensions and heath system then whats on offer here in Japan and take avantage and live the last years in the brith country.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

TrevorPeaceAPR. 15, 2017 - 10:45AM JST You know what I think is disgusting about this whole issue? The Japanese government won't let a 60-year old 3rd-generation Canadian on a pension emigrate to live in the countryside of Japan for the rest of his days. Healthy and fit, he'd work with the rural farmers, for nothing! But the Japanese government won't let it happen. Do you know why?

I don't know why. What was the reasoning? Please elaborate. I am being serious. I assume you are speaking of your own situation or an acquaintance of yours. I don't see why someone like this would not be granted a visa of some sort to do free work in Japan and contribute to society. The only thing that would be from the government if said person would want medical or any other benefits from the government and not from the company/person they are doing free work for.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hasnt Tokyo got enough Universities anyway ? What's needed are better use of Schools, additional Nursery places, and if you wish to encourage growth in rural areas, show the lead by moving many of the huge Government entities out to those areas.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

This look like Japan must be multicultural or it won't survive and same is with Europe...

Europe is "multicultural" and does not seem to have a great future either...

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

At over 80 million it would just match the largest EU nation. But the ambitions of influence always have been local, not even neighboring.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

On the positive side, the decrease of people in rural areas, and concentration in urban areas will finally bring the end of the Japanese governing model of ''democracy without competition''. For those of you who are more informed on the way the Japanese democracy works, you would know that the Japanese elections and voting system is heavily flawed to favor only the LDP, which is why they have been winning for more than 30 years despite the fact that they are not popular at all, most people do not want them. The thing is thing, the rural vote counts for more, and the funding of political parties is very centralized, which pretty much means that, small parties can never win, and people vote for candidates of big parties because that is where the funding is. In urban areas, small parties can get more funding, and LDP have more competition, but until now, they had enough votes from the rural areas to win, but now the rural area is getting de-populated, which means LDP can no longer afford to rely on it, which means, competition will emerge from smaller parties. If you are more interested on the topic, type in YouTube - Japan: Democracy without competition.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Why count foreign residents, they are not Japan citizens, they are visitors with special arrangement for tax, heath and educations purposes.

By all means count the permanent residents, and I know plenty that take offense at your assumption here! I used to be a permanent resident until I took Japanese citizenship and if someone made the comment, to my face, that you wrote here, I think I would slap them upside the head! We, they, and all of us here as residents are not here with any "special arrangements", we work our butts off just like Japanese citizens!

Encourage childless couple to adopt while they are not old yet.

And how is this going to stop the decline in population? I personally would hope that NO ONE over 50 adopts a child! That is just not right, adopt a kid and then expect them to take care of you when you are old and sick. No thank you!

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Yubaru

Surely "... while they are not old yet." suggests what you're saying....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Older people need to work longer in many cases. Many are not of sound mind though for various reasons.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Surely "... while they are not old yet." suggests what you're saying....

Old or otherwise, adoption has nothing to do with "increasing" the population!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Like Europe, nobody questions the origin of foreigners migrating to Japan. It would take many generations to balance an ageing society, but Japan needs to pay attention to who they are opening their doors to, and read some non-fiction history books.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The number of people who died in the year through last September exceeded the number of babies born in the period by 296,000, producing a natural decline in the nation’s population for the 10th consecutive year.

So that means, each and every day there are 819 less Japanese people...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru: good you for working you butt. I have never work my butt off, If I did, it would mean that I am going about it totally wrong way. I2 hour is the most I will work, and have worked. If I you ask me to work more then 12 hour, to me that means management has failed. So I would turn it back on the management and tell them to get their act together, and get rid of the person making the problems. If you have a problem fronting your management on their failing, that is your own fault. This is the problem with Japan population not enough quality family time. More time with the family means you can manage a bigger healthier family. I not wise to work your butt off for any Boss, Company or Country

0 ( +0 / -0 )

John-san, that is just a common English saying, "Working one's butt off" does not just mean business or "work",

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Most of the foreigners coming here are only here short term doing training, and most are from Indonesia and China...

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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