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Japan's fertility rate drops for 7th straight year in 2022

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Soy Boy phenomenon. Oh yes, they have soy all the time but it makes a young mans testosterone as low as an old mans.

Don't ever change your pseudo-scientific faulty reasoning I see.

I suppose Japanese and other Asians which experienced a post-war baby boom threw away their tofu and soy milk at that time?

Think for a moment.

23 ( +27 / -4 )

Japan’s Fertility Rate over Time

1947, 4.54

1957, 2.04

1975, 1.91

1985, 1.76

1995, 1.42

2005, 1.26

2015, 1.45

2020, 1.34

2022, 1.26

16 ( +17 / -1 )

The decrease is believed to have been exacerbated by people delaying having a child due to the COVID-19 pandemic,

NOTE: is believed to have been.

A definitive cause ( or causes) has not been established for the birthrate fall here in Japan.

It is a world wide trend in industrially developed countris and NO COUNTRY has managed to reverse this trend.

There might be indigenous cause here, but then again there might not be.

We just don't know why. Lots of guesses though.

11 ( +14 / -3 )

Declining fertility rates seems to be strongly correlated with advanced economies. It is not confined to Japan. In Europe the only nation with a fertility rate even close to replacement is France. The US TFR isn't much different from that of China, but net immigration keeps the population young, vigorous and growing. Italy is depopulating and aging out like Japan. Singapore relies on immigration from China but that has proven unpopular with native born Singaporans. Their TFR is below that of Japan and only barely above South Korea.

In much of the developed world as families went from one spouse working to both spouses working, prices especially for housing seemed to rise and absorb all of the extra income earned. Families are worse off now because both partners by the end of the day have too many chores to do to have time for family fun and are too tired for making babies. It is the bane of the developed world.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

Everyone is putting the cart before the horse. The whole dialoge has leaned towards how to get married couples to want to have children, but you have to look at why people aren't getting married in the first place.

High taxes (pension and Healthcare that mostly goes towards old people), low wages, high barrier of entry (cost for dates, weddings, and larger apartments for the family)

You have to start looking at why people in their 20s aren't dating or getting married. Focusing on the cost of childcare is overlooking the needs of young unmarried people (who don't even really know or care how much childcare costs)

9 ( +12 / -3 )

and when the man usually takes off he leaves all the financial burden on the wife and her family and or these days the single mother just struggles alone and where the father gets off with no penalty

I know many Japanese women who divorced for completely childish reasons. Like the father's salary being too small, or the father is not doing enough housework or some such ブルシット. Now these women got what they deserved and because their life is even more miserable then before, they feel entitled to support from the government, from their family and everyone because of their childish stupid decision.

It's a typicial female mindset shouting "penalty for the men!" when women can't take responsibility for their own decision.

Not to mention the practice of the court here that in 90% of the cases the judge gives the single custody to the mother who cuts ties against the father's expressed desire to stay close to the kids.

So no need for misandry. Women should take the heat too for their role in ruining families.

(Obviously there are couples who can divorce in agreement, or the reason is justified because of domestic violence, but I am talking about the large group of selfish women outside of those)

9 ( +12 / -3 )

The capitalist idea of growing a population so you can keep growing its gdp is unsustainable for the country and the planet. This system is starting to breakdown already.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Let’s see. If births go up by 25% next year, that’ll be about 1 million babies.

¥3.5 trillion yen “baby stimulus package” / 1 million babies is ¥3,500,000 per baby.

But seriously, the destruction of the one-income family from hollowing out Japanese manufacturing hasn’t helped.

And neither has the move from living wages and benefits to contract, non permanent employees.

And neither has rh

7 ( +7 / -0 )

e narrative that child rearing is an unfulfilling career.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

I didn't know the birthrate was so low in Hokkaido. Wages are low in Hokkaido but it's the same for Okinawa. 1.1 and Hokkaido is looking at rapid depopulation.

My take on it is this. They are actually two very different beasts. In Hokkaido, there is a sense of identity that is missing since most of the people are originally from other parts of the mainland. And in recent years there has been a decline as the young have headed to Tokyo and elsewhere. The harsh winters don't help.

Okinawa is still (mostly) inhabited by Okinawans. A different people and culture with a strong sense of community, even today. Children remain a vital part of Okinawan culture.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

The need to follow the lead of Nagi. That little town knows the secret of increasing the birthrate and it ain't rocket science:

“In Japanese cities, children are seen as noisy and disruptive, which is why you have bans on playing football and baseball in public parks,” says Matsushita. “But here, we love the sound of children’s voices.”

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/may/29/baby-boomtown-does-nagi-hold-the-secret-to-repopulating-japan

6 ( +10 / -4 )

I didn't know the birthrate was so low in Hokkaido. Wages are low in Hokkaido but it's the same for Okinawa. 1.1 and Hokkaido is looking at rapid depopulation.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Cure = viagra and at least one night a week to go home early

People simply having sex does NOT mean they are going to commit to raising children.

The fact is a significant number of Japanese have chosen not to have children. 1000 truckloads of Viagra does not change this.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

If the father and mother are agreeable, …

Yes, “agreeable” is the key word. If the taking parent does not agree to allow the taken children to have contact with the left-behind parent, the parental relationship is basically severed. And this “agreement” is fluid. It can change at anytime.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Thanks Tora. I agree that it'll be driven by Ryukyans, as you say "a different people" with their own identity and culture.

The price of land may be a factor in Tokyo's low birthrate, but it won't be in Hokkaido.

The working age population of Hokkaido is forecast to go from 3 million in 2020 to 2 million in 2045. The number of elderly should be stable at about 1.7 million. Expect large scale immigration, possibly through the back door.

https://ecitizen.jp/Population/Prefecture/01

5 ( +5 / -0 )

… but it has nothing to do with the overall fertility numbers.

Or perhaps it does. I would tread with extreme care if I were considering raising children in Japan,

Know what you are getting into before you get married! If this is a major issue or concern, dont get married.

People charge. At age 40, both parents are generally not the same people they were at age 25. If one desires a new partner, the left-behind partner should not have their relationship with their own children severed.

4 ( +10 / -6 )

Japan's bigly out of kilter work-life balance, depressed salaries and the hardly affordable costs of education are the most significant part of the equation that has produced the stagnation in procreation. The problems are well-known to sociologists, psychologists and sexologists, but society has to wait for the slow-to-learn politicians to come up with new ideas to make the necessary changes. Hint: just make it easier for people to do what comes natural - sex and marriage (like a horse and carriage) and, raise children (just not too many).

4 ( +10 / -6 )

I don’t think it has anything to do with fertility. It has to do with people choosing not to have children due to money, freedom and/or often more likely than not, getting off their phones to actually have some fun. lol You can’t text a baby into existence.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

This "problem" is baked into the system, and no amount of government spending will even begin to cure what's causing it.

-Women have to enter the workforce now, not just "want" to, but the workforce demands punishing schedules and dedication during the most productive portions of a woman's life (fertility-wise and work-wise). They choose...work.

-If you want a "career", you have to choose your job over everything else, or else you'll fall off the ladder to "success". Many women choose...career.

-If you want a halfway decent job, you have to move to the City. But the City is SO expensive, that having a kid is a luxury, and an extremely burdensome one financially. So many women choose...earning and saving.

-The government is borrowing SO much right now, even before the vast majority of "baby boomers" retire and start sucking every yen out of every government program to finance their decades-long "retirements". If you're young, you can see that this system, mostly pay-as-you-go, is going to change for the worse through either: drastically pushing back the age at which new retirees can retire, by increasing taxation on the shrinking productive section of society, by raiding dedicated income flows for other areas of government spending to pay for the Senior Vote's pensions, borrowing even more so that the spending value of the currency drops to funny-money status, or, most likely, all four options at once! Young people choose...to save and delay having kids.

No amount of "government" can fix this. While the drop in births already in the society (i.e. from the previous decade plus years of falling rates) practically guarantees that the problems will be longer, and more painful to ride out, than any single annual rate might suggest. As for the costs for those with new kids? lol. One Word: "INFLATION". It's going to eat away your paycheck, and "drink your milkshake" in the process!

4 ( +7 / -3 )

There are multiple reasons for childbirth is down and the biggest being the cost and the HUGE stress once children enter grade school. The cost of jukus, private schools and the list goes on is such a financial burden and again stress. Following that, the divorce rate is so high in this country, and when the man usually takes off he leaves all the financial burden on the wife and her family and or these days the single mother just struggles alone and where the father gets off with no penalty. Women no longer suffer in silence and or embarrassment about their hardships and this is making Japanese women not wishing to marry because there is no safety net if the man decides to leave her and the children.

Until the country solves the latter, like the west taking away driver licenses, passports and the list goes on for those deadbeat fathers who don't pay up for their children the numbers will continue to decline.

3 ( +12 / -9 )

@kohakuebisu Many people are blind to it, but Hokkaido holds the key to Japan's future with the effects of climate change. There might be a short term depopulation trend, but soon it will be reversed and Japanese will move back north. The challenge is that Hokkaido will also be needed even more as a source for needed agriculture production.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The reduction in the birth rate is now an established fact for Japan, and many other developed countries, that is going to be very difficult to reverse through cost-effective financial incentives. Instead, the focus of the government should be on what changes are necessary to adapt to a declining and ageing population. Focusing on fertility may be justifiable in the short run, but if it fails to deliver then it leaves the real problem of too few workers supporting too many elderly unaddressed.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Keep making it harder for young parents to have and raise kids and we will continue to see a decline, No magic to it.

Child baring women can't get a reasonable salary to start a family and yet the government is looking the other way around and avoiding the obviouse.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

People simply having sex does NOT mean they are going to commit to raising children.

It's true because...

There were 126,174 abortions in Japan in fiscal 2021, according to the health ministry.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Japan is a country with an established middle class

But a declining one.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

This is the real challenge facing this and future governments.

Current Population Estimates as of October 1, 2021 a projection

https://www.stat.go.jp/english/data/jinsui/2021np/index.html#:~:text=%5BPopulation%20by%20Age%20Group%5D,percent%20of%20the%20total%20population).

The population aged 65 years old and over was 36,214 thousand (28.9 percent of the total population).

Also the composition of population...

Remember 2021....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Lets not for a moment underestimate the consequences of population decline.

Low fertility can lead/drive outward migration.

Be in no doubt, the consequences for economic growth/investment, future sustainability of the social security system.

The possible adverse effect on government budgets, impacting the continued maintenance of public infrastructure and services.

Care of the elderly, child care?

I think it is time for a full census to model "human capital”

There needs to be a clear base line in terms of the numbers of people, their structure by gender. age, education, location, health status, all relevant characteristics.

To build a foundation for future decision-making at every level.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The levels of sovereign debt......

9.2 trillion US Dollars (1.30 quadrillion yen), or 263% of GDP,.....

All have to be serviced, held by the people.

You don't have to be a quant to see what is right in front of you.

Economic growth, taxation has to be commiserate to servicing this debt.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As with many other social security-style schemes around the globe, it is unsustainable and needs to at least partially be turned over to the private sector.

So it can go in the market and be wiped out potentially? No, the government needs to make a guarantee on the payout and it needs to be enough to keep the elderly from ending up on on the street. The government already raids the trust fund I'm sure, so it's not like the funds are just sitting there.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Time to shift from quantity to quality society.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Is it any wonder that Tokyo, with its cramped and expensive housing, lack of nature and soulless culture has a low birthrate?

I’m not in the slightest…

2 ( +5 / -3 )

… there is no safety net if the man decides to leave her and the children.

And there is no safety net when a woman decides to leave a man who desires to continue to parent his children. She can basically severe the parental relationship he had with his children.

1 ( +13 / -12 )

In my time here I feel like the country has shifted its focus from treating everyone like children to treating everyone like old and senile people. The messages are everywhere and even if you are not consciously aware of them they permeate your subconscious and affect your thoughts and feelings. When it feels like one big old people's home it doesn't seem conducive to youth and vitality somehow.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

Agree.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

In 1948, the Japanese Government was under pressure to reduce the birth rate, since they felt 80 million was not a sustainable level. Did anyone ask the current government what they consider a sustainable level? If growth is pushed every year, what is the limit?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Did anyone ask the current government what they consider a sustainable level? If growth is pushed every year, what is the limit?

profsid, this is a interesting point.

I think the nation needs focus on the task and the variables.

To have a clearer insight a full nationwide census would be a start.

Then fashion the policies to create economic social necessities.

I must say I hope that society does not mirror my lifestyle.

I have become welded to my personal independence. A selfishness that recoils at sharing that special time.

My faith aspect doesn't create a congenital route to finding a husband.

Still, I personally would have little problem (tax) in contributing to families that need support.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In France, income tax gets reduced with each additional kid you have.

You also have nearly free education, free medical care, and lots of other incentives.

I did not think of any difficulty going to three, and would like going to four.

French see positively sex, as an everywhere activity, without the need of getting married.

Japanese see work and loyalty first everywhere which is against sex and conceiving. Like in many parts of the world.

But it is changing too and children see no future because they are no longer required to build themselves.

Children should be seen as your life insurance, not secondary material assets.

Make life more difficult for singles, and easier for families to get things right !

1 ( +4 / -3 )

As with many other social security-style schemes around the globe, it is unsustainable and needs to at least partially be turned over to the private sector. The sooner they rip off this bandaid the better.

Chile tried that and it didn't work out. I think the better course is to establish something like Australia's "Super-Annuation" system.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan's case as to a declining birth rate seems to foretell the future of all mankind.

I am sure that it will happen sooner or later in India, the most populous nation in the world, China, the second most populous nation, and the U.S.A., the third most populous nation.

A population increase, along with it an economic development and prosperity, will never go on forever.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It's time to scale back our financial aid to foreign countries and use the money for birthrate declining. Japan has been supporting foreign countries for over 50 years, so they should have no complaints.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Let’s see. If births go up by 25% next year, that’ll be about 1 million babies.

¥3.5 trillion yen “baby stimulus package” / 1 million babies is ¥3,500,000 per baby.

This is a good way to think about it. The best approach would be to give parents the money, but everyone would kick off about it, "we got nothing when we had kids" parents of older children included. Attempts to increase child benefit are usually met by parents of university age adults complaining about how much they are paying.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Number far lower than 770,747, as it INCLUDES babies born to Foreigners, most of whom will leave & those born OUTSIDE Japan with one/both parents being JN.

The majority of foreigners having children in Japan remain for the long term and do not leave.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Many people prefer a dog.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Now, they are going to make it a lot easier on themselves if they vote out the political establishment and blow up the pension system.

Need to wait for those voters to pass on, although they would constantly be replaced by an ever increasing elderly population.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Peter NeilToday  02:09 am JST

Japan is a country with an established middle class

But a declining one.

-1( +0 / -1 )

What, you think the middle class is growing? A bot's gotta do what a bot's gotta do.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@dagon

Don't ever change your pseudo-scientific faulty reasoning I see.

I suppose Japanese and other Asians which experienced a post-war baby boom threw away their tofu and soy milk at that time?

Think for a moment.

There is plenty of merit for his statement. Testosterone levels have been plummeting all around the world, but Japanese men have much lower testosterone when compared to other countries. There is no one cause, but plastic poisoning (yes, plastics are poisonous as it does lower testosterone), excessive drinking, and sedentary lifestyles probably contribute to this phenomenon.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Japan has plenty of areas that aren't overpopulated.

Absolutely! In fact, outside of Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Kyoto and Nagoya, NOWHERE is crowded.

Those that choose to live miserable lives in concrete jungle cities overpopulated with bad air quality etc etc is absolutely their own choice and self inflicted demise

Absolutely! I know people, both Japanese and foreign, who moved to Tokyo for the sole reason of having a Tokyo address and being able to say "I live in Tokyo." My Japanese friend who said that ended up living in Western Tokyo near the Yamanashi border and he says its super rural there. So even in Tokyo itself, there are places that are rural.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Oh and child support is also a form of "safety net"  

Family-court-recommended child support amounts in Japan are minuscule — something like 30,000 yen a month/child the last I checked.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Is Japan's birth rate salvageable at this point? It's too costly to have kids nowadays and with Japan's work culture being what it is - atrocious when it comes to work/life balance - it's not fair to the potential kid or the parents to even contemplate raising a family. Parents work too late and too long to spend proper quality time with the kids and kids are so bogged down with useless and unnecessary school activities the have no time to be kids let alone spend time with their families. The only possibility of increasing the birth rate is to overhaul the entire social structure of Japan and that's never going to happen.

-2 ( +8 / -10 )

Number far lower than 770,747, as it INCLUDES babies born to Foreigners, most of whom will leave & those born OUTSIDE Japan with one/both parents being JN.

Real JN births in Japan in 2022 - likely south of 700k, or replacement population less than SK & trending down.

Society needs confidence based on success for more kids. Galapagos legacy culture cannot succeed in a connected, standards driven & shared values world.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The poorest countries have the highest fertility rates. The most affluent countries have the lowest fertility rates. Judging from this, economic conditions seem to have little to do with whether or not people choose to have children.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

The decrease is believed to have been exacerbated by people delaying having a child due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while the trend toward delaying marriages and a drop in their overall numbers have also been cited as a factor, as births outside of wedlock remain uncommon in Japan.

Sure. Sure. Anything to deflect blame from the gov for not implementing more family friendly policies.

Next year when the fertility rate goes down EVEN more they're going to blame it on the severe inflation we are facing.

Wait and see.

-3 ( +14 / -17 )

Japan's fertility rate has risen slightly since it hit its nadir in 2005 @ 1.25

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Didn't we JUST see an article like this a few weeks ago?

What? They're going to announce this every month for the next 50 years?

We got it........

Now, do something about it, Japan.

-3 ( +4 / -7 )

Cure = viagra and at least one night a week to go home early

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

@Gareth Myles wrote:  "the real problem of too few workers supporting too many elderly"

One solution is to raise the retirement age to 70 or leave it open, so that those who wish to continue to work can. The elderly in Japan are quite active, comparatively. Allow them to work if they like. Also, there's an issue of jobs being lost to AI and mass-automation. Forecasts indicate 50% of current jobs will have been made obsolete within the next 25 years. Immigration or a bloated birthrate would result in higher unemployment, which would cause an additional stress on the public coffers besides that of the retirement fund.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

People charge. At age 40, both parents are generally not the same people they were at age 25. If one desires a new partner, the left-behind partner should not have their relationship with their own children severed.

Make whatever excuse you want, no one is the same at 40 as they were at 25. You can come up with any excuse or reason you want, but it wont change the fact.

Family-court-recommended child support amounts in Japan are minuscule — something like 30,000 yen a month/child the last I checked.

Alimony can be forced, and family court can force, even garnish wages if necessary, for a hell of a lot more than 30,000 a month. It's based upon income and need.

Once again looking for excuses. You should check again!

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

"they have soy all the time but it makes a young mans testosterone as low as an old mans."

Urban myth

How is it that there are over a billion Chinese?

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

There's a lot of coping in this thread, for example citing problems with overpopulation that make it sound like population decline is a good thing, or Japan's work culture being the central cause of every societal problem here (it's not).

Japan is a country with an established middle class, and in general, established middle class + women in the workforce, (typically) = less babies.

America masks this problem by importing millions of immigrants every year. Between the time I was in college less than decade ago and now the population jumped some twenty million people. Judging by the state of affairs over there, things aren't looking too good with that policy.

Many normally functioning societies are experiencing the same issue as Japan. This includes China, Russia, Italy, S. Korea, Germany, Thailand, and Spain. So on a global comparative metric, things will kind of tend to scale proportionally. I don't anticipate that the economic balance of power is bound to change very much.

Japan is more or less going to remain the way it is. There isn't going to be some wave of immigrants from Africa, Latin America, or the Middle East. Simultaneously, I think Japan will at the least maintain a reliably strong economy, due to the culture of efficiency and robust engineering. That's the difference maker.

Now, they are going to make it a lot easier on themselves if they vote out the political establishment and blow up the pension system. As with many other social security-style schemes around the globe, it is unsustainable and needs to at least partially be turned over to the private sector. The sooner they rip off this bandaid the better.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

released a draft plan to boost "unparalleled" child-rearing support, although the announcement has raised questions about its effectiveness in turning around the falling birthrate.

This is just another record budget spending that government hope will solve this issue, without changing other aspect in Japan society life.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

And this “agreement” is fluid. It can change at anytime.

So? It's still a tiny part of all divorces, and it's a small number of foreign spouses that have to deal with it. It's sad beyond a doubt, but it has nothing to do with the overall fertility numbers.

Oh and child support is also a form of "safety net" and the courts CAN enforce payment if necessary. Typically because of the desire to cut all ties, the spouse who takes custody chooses to NOT collect or apply for it!

Yes, “agreeable” is the key word. If the taking parent does not agree to allow the taken children to have contact with the left-behind parent,

Know what you are getting into before you get married! If this is a major issue or concern, dont get married.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

It appears Japanese people have made a concious decision to de-populate.

Rather than dwell on the cons, there are many, many positives for de-population in a country that is excruciatingly crowded.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

The two statistics SHOULD be released together, as they literally go hand in hand. We down here in Okinawa are doing our part, it's Tokyo, with the largest population of any prefecture in Japan, by far, that is not keeping their end of the bargain!

Hey people in Tokyo, if you need lessons in how it's done, you can count on us in Okinawa to show you how!

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

A declining birthrate is excellent news in an already grossly over -populated country and indeed world.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

Lots of mens that rambling about fertility,are a lost cause and should not be involved with a woman in any capacity,how in the hell is the government gonna check 10 of million Japanese women monthly ovulation cycle,when 10 of million of egg that could of been fertilized,say unemotional Japanese man, danger danger

-10 ( +1 / -11 )

And there is no safety net when a woman decides to leave a man who desires to continue to parent his children. She can basically severe the parental relationship he had with his children.

This is totally misleading, and taken on the surface alone it makes it sound like there are a lot of fathers that want to, but in reality it's a miniscule number that do.

You and far too many others do not understand how things are here, and are purposely staying ignorant.

If the father and mother are agreeable, the children maintain relationships with both. Legally it's only one parent, due to Japanese LAW. Right or wrong, it's the law, there is ZERO joint custody.

Key word, agreeable, and you have to attempt to understand why instead of automatically coming to a conclusion based upon insufficient information!

-12 ( +2 / -14 )

Lot of this is due to the stupid Covid rules that people blinding followed you see. Also chemicals in the food make men and women less fertile and the Soy Boy phenomenon. Oh yes, they have soy all the time but it makes a young mans testosterone as low as an old mans.

-14 ( +16 / -30 )

It not about fertility, Japanese women do not want a lost cause unemotional Japanese,that cannot meet his own emotions,and the emotional well being of his family and a downvoter

-25 ( +3 / -28 )

I meant lost caused Japanese men's,their still hope for Japanese women,maybe in another country,where you are under fake social pressure

-27 ( +0 / -27 )

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