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No. of newborns in Japan hits record low in 2018

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I wonder if there might also be some unconventional reasons for this, for instance how you hardly ever see couples holding hands or kissing in public. I never see a man with his arm around the shoulders with a woman snuggling against him like in a movie theater or park bench or anywhere. I have never heard of any my married friends here hiring a baby sitter and going out on date night and on television you never see romantic material, only straight-up porn after hours. My wife watches plenty of dramas on TV, but mostly featuring noisy families arguing. How appealing. Sheesh. I know there are some logical reasons as mentioned above, but getting in the mood is also important.

31 ( +32 / -1 )

Step 1: Jobs need to pay higer wages.

Step 2: Jobs need to be required to work not so many hours.

Step 3: Free Education -Kintergarden to 12th Grade-Inexpensive School Uniforms.

Step 4: Give mothers PAID maternity leave.

Step 5: People will have more children if you do the above.

24 ( +26 / -2 )

Agreed with all of the above. It may be beneficial if we didn't see announcements in trains such as "Use strollers on the platform and train at your own risk." It's a stroller, not bungee jumping.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

@ganbare Japan

"AI, Robots, Drones and cheap imported labor from Asia"

How revealing that you include three types of machinery and then tack some human beings on to the end of your list ,as if they are merely just another device to help you achieve your goals, rather than actual human beings with the same emotions and ambitions to live a full and free life.

Your rhetoric is similar to that recent debate in the Diet where all discussion of human beings from the content used the word 'jinzai' 'jinzai' over and over again with no regard to their humanity.

In any case, Japan seems to be shooting for the Middle Eastern model of having a three tier social system, the locals, the privileged expats, and then the "Untermenschen" who are expected to provide services to the majority while putting up and shutting up, before returning home at a time of the hosts convenience.

Once someone enters a society, they become a full constituent part of that society with all the responsibilities and rights, yes rights, that entails.

The Japanese government show no sign of understanding the psychological stress and hardship they are lining up for new immigrants, by "welcoming" them based on an exclusionary mindset that they are here to do the dirty work before leaving again.

The current Technical Trainee system is an example of this abuse. If Japan is intent on having people from other countries come to make up for the population and labor shortfall, a massive rethink is required in terms of commitment to inclusion, opportunity, and paths to citizenship.

Otherwise, people will get wise to the scam, stop coming (as is already the case with the South American Japanese, who have started to realize all that glitters is not gold), and Japan will be back to square one with fewer arrivals and ridiculous expectations that robots and drones (did you really mean to emphasize drones as one of four key drivers to overcome the upside down population pyramid???) will solve Japan's social ills.

Robots, drones and Asians. Robots, drones and Asians.

What a despicable mindset.

16 ( +16 / -0 )

the government solution for lack of babies here: raise taxes and allow farmers and utilities providers to raise prices while allowing companies to overwork employees under the books illegally.

they need to realize people wont make babies unless 1) they have money saved and 2) they have free time

15 ( +15 / -0 )

"We will implement policies that will help mothers who want to give birth and raise children," said an official at the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

No doubt male officials who focus the government's attention on reluctant females, as if men too aren't averse to having kids or getting married. And what are these policies--we all need a good laugh. What was that data reported yesterday about real wages falling? And inflation and yet another regressive tax hike on tap? And massive corporations hoarding yen as opposed to passing it onto their employee-consumers? Maybe Abe can go hat in hand to Japan Inc. again and ask them to raise salaries. Again, we all need some levity.

In addition, the focus on second children seems silly when you have an awful lot of people of marriageable age opting not to tie the knot or if they do not having children at all. I'd like to hear the minister's thoughts about the 40% of the workforce in irregular employment. How many men in particular in that bracket are eligible bachelors, in the eyes of their fiancee's family? And just whose policies gutted the workforce over the past 20 years.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

Okinawa was the only prefecture where the birth number was above that of death. Among Japan's 47 prefectures, it had the highest birth rate of 1.89, followed by Shimane's 1.74 and Miyazaki's 1.72. The lowest was Tokyo with 1.20.

Well, we are holding down our end of the deal!

And on a more serious note, one of the reasons the birthrate down here is stable is the Okinawan culture.

To try to explain it in a sentence or two would be impossible, but families here have more support from both sides, than compared to other prefectures.

I can understand why Tokyo is the lowest, even with having the highest population in Japan, the support systems that are needed to give birth and raise a child suck. Yeah there are a crap load of problems down here too, and it aint perfect, far from it.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

"We will implement policies that will help mothers who want to give birth and raise children," said an official at the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

Good luck with that.

12 ( +12 / -0 )

The usual suspects reframing the debate, focusing instead on other countries' problems when this article is about Japan, where ostensibly we all live. Where, regardless of our passports, we pay taxes and contribute to society, many of us raising our children here. And clearly it's the Japanese government which has been seeing this as a massive problem for a very long time. So isn't it natural that we focus on Japan, on its problems and the solutions we think might help to address the problem? If the lived economic conditions on the ground are preventing couples from having kids, isn't it logical that we seek to improve those conditions? Or to question the government's dated, futile ideas for addressing this longstanding problem? Of course, cheerleaders who have never met a government position, policy idea or speech that they disagreed with, will have trouble with such a debate.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

@Ganbare Japan - Wrong. Japanese economy was growing at annualized 2.1% in the last figures. When you take into account GDP per person, it is growing much more rapidly.

Lol! Yeah, the Japanese economy is growing, that’s why it has slipped from the largest to the third largest in the last twenty years. Salaries have decreased by up to 30% in the same time frame, yet the cost of living has increased by 20%. This means that, Naoko Average is 50% worse of than he was twenty years ago. This is why people are not having babies. They just can not afford it. Plus, the J-Government has done nothing about providing adequate daycare facilities for children. The economy at present will only support a family with two working parents, but they cannot find daycare centers for their children in order to have both parents working. This is where they a failing and forcing the economy down the pooper. They want people to have more babies and they want women to work, but have done nothing to support this.

Your comment about AI and immigrants making up the difference is malarkey. Japan needs skilled workers, not more unskilled workers. However, skilled workers are not going to come to Japan to be paid peanuts.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

"unlimited seats on trains, no lining up for restaurants, more available hospital beds, only a few cars"

Sounds like Xanadu on Earth, but just see how long it takes train companies, restaurants, and hospitals to go out of business after they stop generating enough customer revenue.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

My wife and I are about to have a baby, likely this month or early next.

The local city government is already harassing us with higher city taxes, health insurance and pension money!!

Having looked at our finances, we're now going to be in a position of slowly mounting back payments.

They want people to have more kids here, but ignore the fact that people don't have enough money to raise them and live comfortably!

It's typical J-government ignorance and stupidity!

9 ( +11 / -2 )

@hooktrunk

Japanese in fact would love do such romantic moves.

They are just brainwashed from birth to say it is impossible for them. You know rules to follow with no common sense. Sheepish to the end.

The trend is just ballooning.

Good luck.

I personally did my part of the job.

And ready to help ladies if in dire need of course ;)

8 ( +12 / -4 )

@Ganbare Japan - Japan is showing the world that a nation can continue growing it's economy while reducing the number of people who need resources. It's a win-win.

Hello! The Japanese economy is not growing. It is in fact flailing and shrinking due to poor management of funds and a lack of foresight and preparedness.

The country's total fertility rate -- the average number of children a women will bear in her lifetime -- fell 0.01 point from the previous year to 1.42, clouding prospects for the government of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to achieve its goal of increasing the rate to 1.8 by March 2026.

The birthrate has been declining over the last decade. However, in the sane time frame, child abuse has been increasing. This means, people have stopped wanting children and those that do have them are abusing them. Japan is creating a situation where having children is a duty and, as a result, the children are considered a burden by many parents - A flailing economy, a falling birthrate, an increasing violent crime rate and an increase in drug use all point to a major change in Japanese society. Japan is no longer the land of sushi and cherry blossoms. It might be time to update the brochures

7 ( +10 / -3 )

The J-gov conducted an extensive survey years back regarding this issue and one of the main conclusions was that J-mothers don't want to raise kids by themselves. Did the government just forget about its own survey? How much money was wasted on the survey? They know what they need to do: get fathers home from work (sober) at a normal hour with weekends off, force them to take vacation days and give a decent amount of paternity leave. Nooooo....., instead we get loud-mouthed idiot politicians shaming women and finger wagging at them to have more kids or stupid gimmicks like Premium Friday.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I have 2 young kids and can understand the reason why fewer are being born (er, not complaining, I love my kids, just observing).

Its an error to ascribe it all to just lack of government support, which is probably a marginal issue in most people’s decision making process. I think it has way more to do with the workload society imposes, mostly informally, on parents (mainly mothers). Having just one kid is like a full time job with alll the commitments it entails. Not just taking care of their needs, but the endless burdens of neighbors, family and the dreaded associations you have to join and which place endless demands on your time and patience.

Having a second kid basically doubles that. I imagine most couples struggling to keep up with just one kid decide not to have a second simply because they can’t handle the burden, especially if they need a second income to support themselves financially, which is impossible for most due to these endless demands.

Raising the birthrate requires taking a lot of these idiotic social expectations off the shoulders of mothers, which is really hard for any government policy to do since they are so ingrained in people’s mindset.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Dear newest kids - you are literally one in a million.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Since I can’t edit my comment let me try again, for all the people that are making comments about less crowded trains etc. you have no idea about how Japanese demographics are playing out. The population decline isn’t happening in the big cities, in fact Tokyo and Osaka populations continue to rise. It’s the countryside that is emptying out.

Japan’s “Tokyo problem” needs to be addressed and soon. A big contributor to the low birth rate is the dilemma a lot of young people are faced with. They can either stay home close to familial support structures where housing and commutes are reasonable but jobs are scarce or go to Tokyo hundreds of kilometers from family and face brutal commutes, sky high housing costs but where job opportunities are plentiful. Neither of these situations is particularly conducive to child rearing and that bears out in all the statistics in the article

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Let's face it.

Who WANTS lots of children???

I don't mean to be blunt, but the days of a vast majority of people desiring to have children, let alone have multiple children is long gone.

Without exception, populations with higher birth rates tend to be less developed, more traditional, more agrarian, and, in many cases, containing a large population that holds religious beliefs that either promote an abundance of children or that are very much opposed to birth control.

My wife and I have one beautiful son. He is amazing. We are content with him. We are content with our family life with him. And only him. The idea of having another child is the furthest thing from our minds.

And that is us. And we are a married couple. That has chosen to have a child. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that if there are a lot of people that aren't married / with a partner, and of those that are, have decided not to have children, and of those that have decided to have children to only have 1 child, then the likelihood of the remaining couples to have 3 or 4 children to offset the rest of the population is just fantasy.

Welcome to the new normal.

6 ( +10 / -4 )

When my wife fell pregnant with our first child, she was basically forced out of her job by a manager who started giving her consistently late finishing shifts. Thankfully we do quite well so it wasn’t an issue, but the government payments drop to 15,000yen/month if a woman can’t stay in employment until a few weeks before the due date which would certainly be an issue if someone couldn’t support a child with that amount of additional income.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Belrick,

dude you should have broken out your calculator before you started the family, I would encourage all couples to DO THE MATH, sooner rather than later!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

We will implement policies that will help mothers who want to give birth and raise children,"

There's really nothing they could possibly do, unless they're willing to change the entire system (rent rulesv and its costs, working culture, school system, salaries, etc.).

6 ( +6 / -0 )

My wife and I are about to have a baby, likely this month or early next.

Congratulations, Bellrick! I hope your wife's labor is smooth and easy and your little one arrives happy and healthy.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I’m reading this kinda news every year. Nothing new about it.

I and my wife want kids but there is no support from the government.

Abe rather spend money on military forces.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Ganbare Japan: "Is it such a terrible idea to have a smaller population as most claim? "

It would not be a bad idea to have less people if the Birth rate were maintained, but the elderly were passing away. As it is, the ration of people working to those retired will be 1:1 in very few years, which is why the government is not pushing companies to employ until at least 70. Pension will disappear within a decade because there will be no one to pay into it and the government has mismanaged. The problem is not that there will be less people, it's that there will be no Young people to support the growing population of elderly.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

it is clear most japanese don't want children. From what I remember, the j salary men prefer to have their mistresses and go drinking with colleagues at kyabakuras. So many of those beautiful kyabakura women never wanted to go live abroad or be with a foreigner (at least not my American friend) I find it impressive how their economy is still growing with the decline of their population. It seems they don't need AI or robots since they seem to have them already. I personally think having children is a good thing, contributing to society with good people and something to leave behind when you leave this earth, whether its your biological child or an adopted one. But overly populated places with cramming people is something of a dangerous plague. Can't say some did not try to help japan. My American friend would testify.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Samit Basu Today  09:37 am JST

Yes, Japan's standing in the globe will fall as the result of declining population, but the life quality of Japanese citizens will improve drastically.

You mean that, if Japan drops its population by well over half, and GDP by two thirds to get down to South Korea's level, they'll be much happier? Are South Koreans so much more happier with a far smaller population and economy?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

It is rarely mentioned in these debates (although smithinjapan just did), that part of a solution would be to abolish mandatory retirement ages. As soon as I reach 70, I am hit with that expiration date like old cheese. Other issues aside, this means I (and millions like me) will no long work or pay taxes on my salary. Abe & LDP gang do not need my taxes? Let each worker decide for themselves when they are ready to retire. Why is there no mandatory age limit for politicians??? Why just workers like myself???

Meanwhile, I have made my plans banking that nothing will change in time for me.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Thanks bullfighter for pointing out that many other OECD countries, some with lots of support to parents, still have enduring low birthrates, some of them lower than Japan's. It is a very valid point and should not be forgotten.

To this, my counter argument would be that Japanese women work far less and have much less developed careers than women in Scandanavia, Germany, etc. There are hundreds of thousands of Japanese women sitting at home not having a baby or a second baby. Some will go back to work, but for most it won't be anything like the hours mothers do in other OECD countries. Japan is also a country that is less focused on romantic love or lifestyles of middle-aged people. You don't hear people saying they don't want a baby because it will stop them having sex, or drinking, or going on adventure holidays. It would be wise to do interviews and surveys, but I feel the culture is more inclined toward people having children, which would make it incongruous for them to not have them.

As measures, I would stop spousal dependency, set a minimum price for childcare at 50000 yen a month for under threes and 30000 for preschoolers, and give parents more child benefit (universal basic income). This would be 50000 yen for under threes and 30000 for each child from 4 to 16. This is about triple the current level. Spousal dependency supports housewives, child benefit supports parents and guardians of growing children. The various costs and chores involved with schooling need reform too, but it would too much to go into here.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Once again another article about population and too many here do NOT understand what a population pyramid is or how to interpret whats going on.

Japan is burning it bigtime at both ends young & elderly BOTH are decreasing rapidly, less young less taxes, economic activity, massive DECLINING elderly population means taxes being consumed in a huge way.

Population decline isn't necessarily bad but it is HOW a population declines, hint Japan's is going to HURT like hell, already is!

And when the article talks about a 2.1 birthrate to maintain population, THAT is not exactly true, what that figure means is that the number of babies born each year will be steady, so if the base of the population is narrower at the bottom than the middle, and in Japan it IS, then even with 2.1 population will decline, with 1.42 its going to decline a LOT MORE.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Like I have said over many many YEARS, Japan needs to re-invent itself, ALL of it!

Clearly work-life balance is simply HORRIBLE for the majority. And all the insane stuff parents HAVE to do at schools would have drove me off the deep end for sure, as you can tell I am glad I don't have kids here!

BUT it is the JAPANESE that need to make these wholesale changes, adjustments in THEIR lives, us gaijin can only do so much, fortunately many of us are able to do some of this to make our lives better, Japanese seem to be much less successful.

So as I have said in the past if Japanese DONT want to do a restoration of sorts the ROT & DECLINE will surely continue, it is for them to sort this out, I have long since stopped worrying & just concentrate on my own little tiny sphere on these isles, only way to keep your sanity...……….at least I hope too, time will tell!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Guys, face it; the Japan that once was is done and gone. There is no return regardless of how many out-of-touch old men say women should be baby-makers and have at least three. There will never be an increase in the current crop of people here having babies, and with the admittance that pension is going to disappear, taxes are going up, and health care will cost more, as well as living costs and food going up, no one is going to start having more now or in the future.

I know a lot of people are against it, but the only remedy for this is to start easing immigration and letting people stay and live here more easily. THOSE people might contribute to the pool, so long as the government stops its nonsense with the current visa programs and trainee trafficking. Won't be the "Yamato blood" the right-wingers want despite reminding them even the Imperial line has Koreans in it, but still. Allow dual citizenship for starters -- that will keep some people here who tend to leave later. If the wingers and the government keep draggin their feet this society will be done by 2050 at the latest.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

I did my part and all I get is higher taxes and full price, cash only college tuition bills.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

I guess governments can mandate couples to not have kids (like the former one child policy in China) but not sure if or how they ever can attain the opposite. Urge, push, plead, bribe, penalize all you want, but it’s not going to happen.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What is not been mentioned is good affordable housing. Every child should have room. How can couples play catch when they have no privacy, probably sleeping in the same room with kids.

The rooms not being lockable doesn't help as well. couples cannot concentrate and perform like artist but have to rush like dogs.

One sink, washroom and bathroom for a family of 5 who wants to go through that.

The J-government should learn from France where the declining birthrate was addressed.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Don't know about you, but I've noticed that I'm spending more on Basics these days and that's before this lunatic Tax increase heading our way in October. For any rationale being, if you think you can't afford to have your own Family, then you won't. Anything otherwise would turn Japan into a poverty stricken country - something like the Philippines.

The fault, for this situation, rests clearly with the Government.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Japanese dont wont children or to get married because of the societal pressures and rules. Many women just want to remain single, not care about inlaws or moving in with the eldest sons parents. Too much mess to deal with in Japan; everything is a chore. Many guys dont want to deal with Japanese women, like an obligation marriage. This trend will stay the same or worsen. Japanese are their own worst enemy, even though many of them blame all things foreign for their problems. They cant fix or change anything themselves so just become apathetic.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

No, there will be fewer trains, fewer restaurants and closed hospitals. You need people to create and staff these facilities - lower birth rate means less workers in the future.

No, there will be fewer trains, fewer restaurants and closed hospitals. You need people to create and staff these facilities - lower birth rate means less workers in the future. And don't spout the government rubbish about technology replacing all these people, it's nonsense.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

There is more than enough land, houses and apartments are deliberately built small to minimise cost and maximise profits. The price and size don't really match. They don't build here comsidering the comfort or convenience of the user but how much the user can be schemed.

Four bedrooms for family of 5 with just one wash basin and bathroom the norm here is unthinkable in most countries.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Blessed are the newly born of Japan, for they will inherit a land with plentiful jobs and cheap housing

Really? I watched a teensy featurette on TV last week about a small town in Fukui or somewhere where the cost of water has skyrocketed by 20% in one year. The population had fallen drastically which meant that tax revenue had decreased which meant that the town couldn't afford to fix the aging water system. So the locals were being forced to stump up the extra money. Particularly hard hit were local businesses, especially restaurants. This is going to be repeated all over the country, in a variety of ways we haven't even seen yet.

AI, Robots, Drones and cheap imported labor from Asia as Elmer Fudd states, can make up for any shortfall in labor.

Ah, good old Australian humour. Thanks for the laugh, cobber.

2 ( +7 / -5 )

I have some idea to increase no. of marriage and increase no. of newborns/birth rate.

But who will listen to me???

2 ( +3 / -1 )

My humble proposal is to allow parents to vote for their minor children. The resources are getting sucked disproportionately to the elderly who are increasing in number and tend to vote more.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Jonathan Prin... that fee you're charging would instantly disappear upon Maternity Hospital fees .... depending upon where you live it can costs 1,000,000 Yen to give birth in Japan. You can, of course, claim some of that back through your National Health insurance.... but good luck.

https://savvytokyo.com/counting-yen-cost-giving-birth-japan/

Having a Family is an expensive thing in Japan.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

An observation on the birth rate going down. A contributing factor is that in Tokyo the majority of priority seats for elderly and pregnant ladies are in the main not given to those that need the seats.

A favourite ploy is to pretend to fall asleep. For a country where manner and consideration for others is very important, why can’t it be applied on trains? It really is one of the worst parts of Japanese society, gentleman these people are not. I would not be able to look myself in the mirror if I was the type of person who wouldn’t give his seat for a pregnant lady. Shame on you.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

We will implement policies that will help mothers who want to give birth and raise children,"

Dear LDP, continuously repeating this kind of bull without actually impementing any such policies means jack to the average Keiko

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If the 918,000 have an average lifespan of 85 years, and such figures are sustained in future years, Japan should settle down to a population of about 78 million. But the number of births is likely to fall from 918,000...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Mizuame

My quick calculations give about same order.

But that is without considering issues to come ..

@mmwkdw

My son was born in Japan. Thanks for telling me Japan is expensive lol

My opinion is just that a large majority of Japanese want to keep their expensive keitai, go on holiday abroad, go out to restaurants all the time, buy expensive clothing and make no additional effort to manage on your own. You learn nothing staying at your parents' place.

Then they say they can't.

I reply to them : I did. 3 kids. Just need to work hard not for your own individual interest but for family.

I can't understand how one can be so psychologically blocked by always replying : need to get married, need to go to izakayas, need to obey school rules, etc. The only reason is being brainwashed from school and parents' absence of relationship with their kids.

It has never been a matter of money since most Japanese are richer than what they think.

The fact that in Tokyo the birth rate is the lowest is proof (and Okinawa the highest).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Japan is burning it bigtime at both ends young & elderly BOTH are decreasing rapidly, less young less taxes, economic activity, massive DECLINING elderly population means taxes being consumed in a huge way.

Well. Japanese Individual financial asset, which is bigger than 300% of GDP (not to mention bigger than Japan's public debt) are unevenly distributed to elderly population. Since it is financial asset, inheritance tax

is 50% . You know what massive declining elderly people would imply

1 ( +1 / -0 )

zones2surfJune 8  09:43 am JST

Let's face it.

Who WANTS lots of children???

Me! I just don't want to go through the process of having lots of babies, 2 was enough. Children are hilarious and awesome!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

To be fair. It is cheaper to raise a kid here than let's say, United States. European countries might be cheaper though, due to good health insurance policy and free education.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Really? Well for the ones that are born, parents have no problem bringing them to restaurants and izakayas at 8-9-10pm with zero consideration for others.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Getting Married with a ceremony is a hugely expensive thing... I've heard some people paying out 10 Million yen ... which isn't just hearsay:

You don't have to have a ceremony. Its a choice like having children, getting a mortgage and buying a posh car.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Probably the biggest reason for the low birthrate are the various pressures faced by mothers in Japan. A recent report carried at this site told the story of a mother being "shamed" by a teacher for not producing a daily lunch for her son that was a work of art. Strewth!

https://japantoday.com/category/features/lifestyle/australian-mother-reflects-on-%27lunchbox-shame%27-she-felt-from-her-son%E2%80%99s-tokyo-preschool-teacher#comment-1899869

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Do your job, Japan!"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The J-government should learn from France where the declining birthrate was addressed.

The French fertility rate has in fact been dropping slowly and at 1.87 is below replacement rate (2.1).

https://www.thelocal.fr/20190115/frances-birth-rate-drops-for-fourth-year-in-a-row

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As some poster(s) mentioned already, we need population decrease.

https://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Geography/Area/Land/Per-capita

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Fewer people is better in the long run. The government will face short-term problems paying pensions, but that serves them right for their lack of planning: it's not as if this wasn't forseen years ago.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Getting Married with a ceremony is a hugely expensive thing... I've heard some people paying out 10 Million yen ... which isn't just hearsay:

http://factsanddetails.com/japan/cat18/sub117/item617.html

So given that Middle-Class Families are themselves feeling a squeeze on their Finances, splashing out on a Wedding for the Kids isn't really going to be high on the priority list. The forthcoming tax rise isn't going to help much there either.

And as for giving Birth... that's expensive too.

Condoms however are readily available , though if things go wrong, abortions too are expensive (200K-500K)... and then you're back to facing the Wedding / Birth costs issue.... if you think too hard about it, you'd probably opt out of relationships - which is perhaps what's been going on.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Give me 1000000 yens (very cheap) and I make a baby, if woman applies ;)

Problem could be easily solved by correct budget allowance.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Yeah, the Japanese economy is growing, that’s why it has slipped from the largest to the third largest in the last twenty years. Salaries have decreased by up to 30% in the same time frame, yet the cost of living has increased by 20%. 

(1) The Japanese economy could grow but the ranking would slip as long as other countries grow faster.

(2) According to sources such as the US Federal Reserve Bank and the World Bank, the consumer price index (the usual measure of the cost of living) has been nearly constant in Japan for the past twenty years.

https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/DDOE01JPA086NWDB

(3) The maximum claim I could find for wage decline in this period was 12.5% cummulative (around 0.9% per year) with recovery beginning in 2013.

Please post the statistical sources behind your claims.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Step 1: Jobs need to pay higer wages.

Step 2: Jobs need to be required to work not so many hours.

Step 3: Free Education -Kintergarden to 12th Grade-Inexpensive School Uniforms.

Step 4: Give mothers PAID maternity leave.

Step 5: People will have more children if you do the above.

Your evidence for that claim? Norway, for example, has essentially everything you propose. Last year the Norwegian fertility rate was 1.49 vs Japan at 1.42. Replacement rate is 2.1.

Japan already has paid maternity leave and education is free through 9th grade with income based subsidies available for 10th-12th grade.

Norway is one of the most affluent countries on the planet, It consistently rates as one of the best countries for raising kids. Yet, its fertility rate and that of other affluent Nordic countries with generous childcare provision is sinking rapidly.

I have not seen any explanation anywhere of why what is not working in the Nordic countries would work in Japan.

-5 ( +11 / -16 )

We dont have much land left anyway, where will the new borns when they become adults, live, in the sea?

-6 ( +0 / -6 )

@ Do Hustle

Hello! The Japanese economy is not growing. 

Wrong. Japanese economy was growing at annualized 2.1% in the last figures. When you take into account GDP per person, it is growing much more rapidly.

an increasing violent crime rate and an increase in drug

Wrong. Crime has been falling in Japan for the past 50 years.

Elmer Fudd is the voice of reason here. In very rich, developed nations, like Japan, people are choosing not to have children. It's their decision. AI, Robots, Drones and cheap imported labor from Asia as Elmer Fudd states, can make up for any shortfall in labor.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

There is nothing wrong with having fewer babies. Fewer babies mean fewer competition for education, jobs, and housing.

Yes, Japan's standing in the globe will fall as the result of declining population, but the life quality of Japanese citizens will improve drastically.

Blessed are the newly born of Japan, for they will inherit a land with plentiful jobs and cheap housing.

-9 ( +3 / -12 )

Blessed are the newly born of Japan, for they will inherit a land with plentiful jobs and cheap housing.

Plus unlimited empty seats on trains, no lining up for restaurants, many more available hospital beds, only a few cars on roads, the list goes on.

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

Lets not force people who either don't want or can’t afford children to have them. AI and technology will solve the worker problem. Cheap labor from SE Asia on short term contracts will also help.

I don’t want my tax payments to subsidies the child rearing costs of others.

-10 ( +4 / -14 )

Is it such a terrible idea to have a smaller population as most claim? Perhaps Japanese want more room, more space on trains, more hospital beds etc. Furthermore, it is proven that a smaller population is better for the environment, with less consumption and pollution.

Japan is showing the world that a nation can continue growing it's economy while reducing the number of people who need resources. It's a win-win.

-14 ( +6 / -20 )

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