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No. of births in Japan to hit record low in 2017

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So lets see.... 126 million people in Japan... and 941,000 babies expected to be born in 2017. At that rate each new precious child born, with some mortality numbers included, would have to live to a ripe old age of 167 in order to maintain Japan's current population.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

After the economic success until 1989, now the downfall.

Good luck to young Japanese.

9 ( +13 / -4 )

"What's behind this is a continuous decline in the number of women in the typical childbearing age bracket of 25 to 39," a health ministry official said.

If the governement and civil service really don't know the reasons why this is happening none of them are fit for office.

Also, why are non-Japanese residents not included in the population, birth and death rates? If they live in Japan they should be included.

12 ( +17 / -5 )

But recently, the government has been increasing its efforts to attract students and high-skilled workers from overseas.

Efforts which will not succeed as what professional wishes to work here on a lower salary and benefits whilst no foreign student upon graduation will never find themselves doing much more than hawking mobile phones....

5 ( +10 / -5 )

JT should keep this article and just change the date every 365 days from today as each year is going to bring another record low of marriages and births. It’s called the “zoo effect” which means animals in captivity will not reproduce if the living conditions are bad and Japan’s current situation is not good at all and won’t be for some time.

10 ( +15 / -5 )

@LudditeToday  08:00 am JST

"What's behind this is a continuous decline in the number of women in the typical childbearing age bracket of 25 to 39," a health ministry official said.

If the governement and civil service really don't know the reasons why this is happening none of them are fit for office.

Also, why are non-Japanese residents not included in the population, birth and death rates? If they live in Japan they should be included.

I was sickened to find out that my daughter (hafu) birth certificate was kept in a totally different office that what i was told was "true" japanese.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

I was sickened to find out that my daughter (hafu) birth certificate was kept in a totally different office that what i was told was "true" japanese.

You put 'true' in quotes - is that the actual word they used in the office?

If so, disgraceful.

11 ( +12 / -1 )

Kobe White Bar Owner, that is terrifying and makes me sad if true.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Thing is many well-balanced (and well-off) people simply do not want to have kids. Not necessarily about money or 'family laws'.

Having children is just not for everyone. Actually think it's a good thing that more an more ppl especially women no longer feel pressured (by their family, society etc) to have kids. It's a sign of emotional maturity.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

@strangerland - yup and as you can guess i nearly lost it at that point, very upsetting to say the least.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Hafu NO, Double YES, use positive laungage not negative. As above the government has known for years, decades this was a known outcome. Every year it's a new record. And will continue to be so. A shift in society is needed but won't happen when it's an aged society, change is not a strong point.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

That is weird about the birth certificate, I have two kids with a Japanese spouse and they are both registered the same as any other Japanese are. I, on the other hand, am just a notation on the side of the koseki rather than recorded like a normal family member. I am not contesting your experience, just saying that mine is different and I have no idea why.

it is probably that stupid koseki system that explains why they don't include foreigner births for those wondering. The koseki I believe is the main source of this info and they don't give them to foreigners (though if one parent is Japanese they do, so children of international marriages with Japanese are counted, I think?)

8 ( +8 / -0 )

"What's behind this is a continuous decline in the number of women in the typical childbearing age bracket of 25 to 39," a health ministry official said.

This is actually a true statement. The problem is not such much that women are now having fewer babies, i.e., the birth rate is "falling", a common mis-statement by journalists. The problem is that the birth rate crashed a generation ago to well below the rate that would maintain the population. Every year now, there are fewer women to have the same low number of children as their mothers, shrinking the population further in a vicious circle.

Since this is an opinion forum, mine is that the key point is the Japanese birthrate crashing well before the Bubble, i.e., the problem is lifestyle not money based. Raising children costs money in every country in the world, some of them way more than Japan. I think the problem in Japan is that society is not based on the family. The workplace, school, and any activities your kids do are all above the family. The family is just supposed to make whatever sacrifices are necessary. The family never comes first. Every Japanese person will have seen what their parents had to do, so they will be fully aware of it.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

There was a time when foriegn students did find employment in Japan after graduating. This seemed to change in 1987 when the old 4-1-16-3 visa was available. Some firms actually recruited foriegners in Japan.

I remember a visit to the immigration office in 1987 - something had changed. The officers were hostile (especially when a foriegner spoke in Japanese) , rude, especially to other Asians, and plain recentful to people like myself working at that time the legal 16 hours a week while studying. One officer snarled "so, you have been making money".

Only 2 years before the beginning of Japans decline. How many highly skilled foriegners just left Japan and never came back.

Having read the post from Kobe White Bar Owner, I am astounded. But from that day back in 1987, I realised that it would take years for Japan to ever change. And I saw Japans decline predictable.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

A falling birthrate is a good thing, despite government and media attempts to paint it otherwise. We are overpopulated, and our resources (water, marine life, land, etc.) are being exhausted. Politicians are willing to further destroy our environment just so they can keep spending and covering up decades of waste. Economic problems should be settled responsibly, not with hysterical calls for "more babies/taxpayers."

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

It is a bit ridiculous that foreigners are left out of the calculations, for the most part they pay taxes, and are forced to join an expensive health system and pension service that mainly props up the older generation. There seems to be a lot of taking money without proper representation going on.

As for the birthrate i hope it continues to drop, too many people on the planet as it is and Japan's population is huge for its geographical size.

Maybe eventually when it drops low enough they will actually start letting more foreigners come here, but probably by that point it will be a economic and cultural backwater because the old coots in charge refused to modernise and get with the times.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Ex-res Japanese firms hire lots of foreign students these days. Most of the major national universities have undergraduate and graduate programs specifically designed for international students which produce bilingual graduates who have little problem getting jobs in Japan these days. These programs didn't exist in the 80s.

Also my experience with immigration is nothing like you describe it in 1987, last time I went for a renewal of my visa they suggested I apply for permanent residence and helped me with the paperwork. That is just one anecdote, but there is substantial evidence that immigration officials are using their discretionary power to facilitate rather than frustrate visa appliy.

all this is of course attributable to the declining population referenced in the article and the labor shortage it is creating. Which didn't exist in 1987.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This is actually a true statement. The problem is not such much that women are now having fewer babies, i.e., the birth rate is "falling", a common mis-statement by journalists. The problem is that the birth rate crashed a generation ago to well below the rate that would maintain the population. Every year now, there are fewer women to have the same low number of children as their mothers, shrinking the population further in a vicious circle.

This is true, the number of children women are having has been stable at around 1.3-1.4 for the last ten years or so.

Since this is an opinion forum, mine is that the key point is the Japanese birthrate crashing well before the Bubble, i.e., the problem is lifestyle not money based.

I think it's both. France has one of the highest birth rates among developed countries and also very family-friendly policies.

https://qz.com/929745/france-is-the-closest-country-in-europe-to-having-enough-babies-to-replace-all-those-dying/

I take your point about families coming second to everything else in Japan though.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

A falling birthrate is a good thing, despite government and media attempts to paint it otherwise. We are overpopulated, and our resources (water, marine life, land, etc.) are being exhausted. Politicians are willing to further destroy our environment just so they can keep spending and covering up decades of waste. Economic problems should be settled responsibly, not with hysterical calls for "more babies/taxpayers."

Far far too simplistic thinking, google population pyramid for Japan & the problem/issue should become crystal clear, Japan's # of births is dropping very fast at the bottom.

Even if the birthrate jumped to 2 or more per woman the decline WILL continue.

The number of births will be about 4 percent lower than last year and the lowest since the government started compiling data in 1899, the ministry said

This year was a 4% lower that is a MASSIVE decline, if this pace continues wow, look out! It is going to be much worse than I have been predicting, scary stuff!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Far far too simplistic thinking, google population pyramid for Japan & the problem/issue should become crystal clear, Japan's # of births is dropping very fast at the bottom.

I think not. It is simplistic (and foolish) to think that an increase in population is a desirable way to address Japan's problems. If you are scared by a decreasing population, you have either bought into the propaganda or you are depending on a pension. If it's the latter, sorry for that, but the government has overspent and will be unable to meet future obligations (unless there is massive inflation, which amounts to the same thing).

It's not rocket science. Populations cannot increase indefinitely. It's a fact of life for all species.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

commanteer,

I didn't mention anywhere about any population increase for Japan, don't put words in my mouth, I have been talking about HOW Japan can manage its decline, its patently OBVOIUS Japans population isn't going to increase at all!

I have far less than zero faith in pretty much anything the J-govt does.

Japan is headed for some extremely severe problems with the declining population at BOTH ends of the population pyramid, & with the oldies BURNING up resources in a huge way before the check out, Japan is clearly in dire straights!

A simple declining population of Japan is good IS simplistic, what Japan has to do is best MANAGE its decline, but as usual the govt is doing rather poorly if even that!

5 ( +8 / -3 )

since Japan doesnt want immigration, it has to invest heavily in family support, cut spending on wasteful rubbish and put it info family development in the form of tax cuts, education, free childcare. Until this is done people will refuse to have children and Japans population, taxpayers and future will continue to decline

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Japan is going to be beheaded with half of its population to disappear before even it can start to stabilize....

It is pure maths.

World is very large, and Japan lands are very poorly managed for people's comfort.

In my country, there is application of a occupying factor to any dwelling thus limiting number of people living per square kilometer.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

@

kobe-white-bar-owner

I suggest that you make a note of the date and time of the discriminatory encounter and ask for an explanation .

I have done similar in the past and it's most affective

Good luck! A cool

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Forcing to make babies is what the dictators do. Respect people choice. In Italy we have the same situation, and probably also for this reason the government is "importing" migrants. Anyway, people are not robots. There are many reasons why young people today don't want to marry and have kids. One of these reasons is called freedom.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Rainyday

Maybe 30 years on things have changed for the better, from what you say. That is the only bad experience I ever had, which tells met the service that you get at an immigration office is down to the total descetion of the officer you speak to. (or two officers). Pleased that you have had no such experience.

Kobe White Bar Owner

Maybe consider seeing a solictor. And, go public. I am sure that many Japanese people would be disgusted th hear your story regarding your daugher.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Back on topic please.

Seems to me the only solution short of mass immigration is free child care, widely available, extra family payments, flexible working conditions for mothers, maternity leave improvements etc. You basically are going to have to make it economically advantageous for couples to have children, rather than a disadvantage. That's going to cost a lot of money. Maybe its worth it. Need to do some serious homework.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Matt

Yes, II think that you have hit the nail on the head. A massive change in working practices is required.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Over population is the biggest problem the planet faces. Humans are like the frog in the saucepan, getting used to it, doing nothing, until it's too late. Most Japanese already live like sardines, other countries too, many people don't know what the countryside looks like, never hear a bird sing, live in little boxes. No wonder we get so many illnesses. We are not procreating because, subconsciously or consciously, we know there are enough of us already. More and more people means less and less of nature which means a dying planet.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

HH,

I think mother nature is working her magic wrt to overall population( the decreases we are seeing in the west for starters), but she doesn't recognize artificial boundaries created by mankind so it WILL get funky or worse.

Japan is the test case, so far isn't going well to say the least

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Chalk another one up for the old Jet Program... I sprung my old lady out of Japan more than a decade ago and our kid was made in the US of A.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Why do people think a declining population means DOOM for a nation. Here you go : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoSnGXS1WVc watch it, and understand why we don't need mass uncontrolled immigration, and why we here in Japan are not willing to destroy our culture for the sake of cultural diversity.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

why we don't need mass uncontrolled immigration, and why we here in Japan are not willing to destroy our culture for the sake of cultural diversity.

I didn't watch the youtube video, but I agree with you.

Times will certainly get tough as the population ages and there are fewer taxpayers for every pensioner, but Japan has a culture of old folks living with their families so if any country can get through that it would be Japan.

I live in the Massachusetts and I love the cultural diversity here, but Japan is not the US. Our country is about 15 minutes old and is a cultural mutt. Japan is neither.

Love it or hate it, Japan is Japan because 99% of the people are Japanese. If you're a permanent expat hoping to be accepted as Japanese in a country that doesn't accept you you might not like it, or if you're raising a kid there and don't like seeing the schools training him to be an obedient robot, you might not like it. But I think we need to take a step back from trying to tell Japan to open us the floodgates.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Low salaries, long hours and family are people who are just strangers to each other, in the end. Japanese culture is ant-family generally, at least after the bubble years when money is not raining. Japan is such a great place to be NOT Japanese. But if you have to work in the "usual" way, it's hardly worth it: some day a bunch of lonely old men pensioned off to one room apartments, abandoned by their families, never seen their kids; bunch of bitter ex's and kids with poisoned minds and complexes. And Friday night a swarm of black suits still (your family hates you; they don't know you). Pay now, die later. It's hard to be optimistic about a place so stubborn and impervious to change. Too bad too since they're flushing away lots of great achievements out out of a simple lack of imagination.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@commanteer

over population is a complete myth. the best free thing a person can do is ..... think.kwbo

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If the Government wanted to increase the birth rate and then Government needs to offer money to new born baby and free child care.

PM Abe wants women to work full time and have a baby.

How can woman work full time and have a baby without Government's assistance?

PM Abe thinks all Japanese families can hire a housemaid as his family have.

In Australia, the Government has offered $ 5,000 to newborn baby as baby bonus in the past and Muslim families are having babies at one baby per year rate and surpassed Government's estimate population and now Australian population is 25 millions. Also family has received child allowance for a family with no income and family tax benefit for every child. The Government has canceled newborn baby bonus in 2017 but still family can get other allowance for newborn baby and children.

If PM Abe Government has used a quarter of overseas aid money for Japanese families who are willing to have a big family and then Japanese couples will have more than two children per family. The Government needs to courage educated couples to have children more two children by Government assistance and allowance.

Also divorce-woman with children is struggling to look after her children alone. Some got depression and end up with murder suicide. The Government needs to prevent it by education and financial assistance to divorce-woman with children.

The modern population growth is depending on Government and PM Abe must understand having children is very expensive and some couples do not afford to have more than one child.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One reason that Japan has such a low birth rate is because so many females terminate the pregnancies by having surgical abortions or by using hormonal pills to terminate the pregnancies. If more women would permit the fetuses to develop completely and then give birth--Japan would have many more new Japanese to replace the many senior citizens who pass away.

It is a high time that the government, temples, shrines and churches encouraged Japanese women to permit their fetuses to gestate until nine months and then be born. The last time I checked the statistics on surgical abortions in Japan it was an astronomical number. Add to this the massive number of abortions caused by hormonal pills and it is easy to see why the population of Japan is falling.

Japan is a nation that is resource poor but with an abundance of potential babies to replace the elderly population. I hope that Japan will begin to view Japanese in the fetal stage as valuable and allow more of them to be born.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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