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Kishida outlines plans to tackle falling birthrate

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Where is the evidence that giving men parterity leave will fix the problem.

I would say the issue is around wages and the fact society expects woman to leave the workforce. No one can afford a second or third child.

18 ( +30 / -12 )

Just run on the Bombs & Babies campaign theme!

I understand the nature of the problem. I just don't see this bureaucratic tinkering amounting to much in the way of increasing the birth rate significantly.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

The next six to seven years will be the last chance to turn around the declining birthrate," Kishida said, adding his government will map out a child policy package by the end of March.

It will success just like New capitalism speech

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2022/10/12/business/kishida-new-capitalism-no-progress/

Japan's public expenditures related to family support stood at around 10 trillion yen in fiscal 2020, accounting for 2.01 percent of gross domestic product in the year and underscoring that the country has lagged behind developed European economies. Sweden spent 3.46 percent, Britain 2.98 percent and France 2.81 percent of their GDPs on child care, according to data released in fiscal 2018

Japan lagging among developed countries, that includes family support.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2023/03/03/national/japan-gender-equality-drop/

It's not even mentioned harassment for anyone who dare to take parental leave

https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/single-dad-appeals-loss-in-first-paternity-harassment-lawsuit-in-japan

-8 ( +13 / -21 )

the country has lagged behind developed European economies.

those countries don't have zero percent unemployment like Japan does. Much of the family assistance in Europe goes to households where both spouses are jobless or underemployed.

It will success just like New capitalism speech

A slew of Japan's biggest employers have announced wage hikes, the likes of which haven't been seen in decades, like 40% at Uniqlo. "New capitalism" could be seen as working at this point.

-7 ( +14 / -21 )

How about doing something about the majority of maternity hospitals who will raise their fees by an average of 12% in response to the government's 80,000 yen increase in the childbirth grant... meaning parents will actually be further out of pocket when having a baby from April 1 than they already were?

21 ( +28 / -7 )

he might turn to "pork barrel" policies

The LDP? Nah, never been known.

0 ( +16 / -16 )

Japan should have some form UBI. And, a clear way to allow young people to set up independent households/get married/have kids. There are a lot of people getting left behind.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

How Kishida plans to procure the budget for family support remains unclear, fueling speculation that his government will carry out large-scale tax hikes to finance the costs.

Japan (the people) is slowly going broke so raising taxes means less money to raise kids.

How about cutting taxes on those with children?

That might increase the birthrate eh?

-7 ( +13 / -20 )

I know several Japanese ladies who don’t want to marry because they can’t stand Japanese men. If that’s the case, then there’s little the government can do.

-3 ( +18 / -21 )

I think it depends. As long as everyone can support themselves then men become a little more attractive.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

The first and easiest thing that the government can do to help families that want to have children is make all maternity medical costs free. It is unbelievable that women must pay for all of their OBGYN visits and then once the child is born they are able to apply to receive a portion of that amount. Just make it free.

18 ( +21 / -3 )

I know several Japanese ladies who don’t want to marry because they can’t stand Japanese men.

If that’s the case, they shouldn't marry one. It does not automatically mean the problem is every Japanese man however.

Japan should have some form UBI. 

I read somewhere that Finland pays stay at home parents to look after very young children. Childcare for twos and under is horrendously expensive to provide, so parents who do it themselves save the state a fortune. As do adults who care for elderly parents and not put them in an old people's home. Childcare has been in the UK news due to the UK budget this week, and I've seen comments along the lines of childcare (for twos and under) "gives children the best start in life". I would strongly dispute this, because I think the best place for a two or under is with his/her mother or father. Rich folks and royals dumping their kids on nannies or a private nursery aren't doing it for the benefit of the kids.

10 ( +14 / -4 )

I saw the press conference on TV and when asked by the media about the budget and the revenue source, he didn't have anything concrete. This has been a problem for the past 30 years and when it came to buying war toyz they came up with the tax revenue really fast but for something as pressing as this they still haven't figured it out. Keep this up and there won't be a country to defend. This is starting to smell like enticing candy for the next election. And Japan will again vote LDP...

3 ( +13 / -10 )

Access to paternity leave isn't going to do jack to address the falling birth rates. It's a hugely financial issue and the lack of resources and support for those with kids.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

I've found a very interesting article on the Internet as regards declining birth rates by nation. 

Declining birthrate is not the only problem Japan faces today. The Internet site PROVE carries a challenging read: "A thought about the relation between GDP and declining birthrates: comparison of declining birthrates between Japan, U.S., China and Thailand"

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Maybe people are just being realistic. Having kids doesn't necessarily make you happy. It can even make you unhappy. A 2019 study found that, in many industrialised societies, there is a decline in happiness or life satisfaction once parenthood begins. This is called the “parenting happiness gap”. So, when the whole economic system is set up under the pretext that consumption makes you happy, and that happiness is therefore the goal of life, why would you be so keen to have kids?

-11 ( +8 / -19 )

Having children makes one less selfish (usually) as providing for another’s wellbeing focuses the mind in disparate directions.

1 ( +11 / -10 )

In a grossly over -populated country, a falling birth rate is a good thing.

-16 ( +7 / -23 )

Premium Friday, anyone? Coz this is what this is. Just another Premium Friday.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Am I the only one to see the blatant irony of raising taxes for baby-making to avoid... higher taxes?

There's no evidence that falling or small populations lead to bad socio-economic conditions. In fact, the world's ranking of best places to live is dominated by the likes of New Zealand, Singapore, Luxembourg, etc. -- small population countries, where people are wealthier and better taken care of.

Kishida and others are merely spouting theories.

@kurisupisu

How about cutting taxes on those with children?

That is happening, through the various and generous existing deductions. It's unfair, anyway, to those without children.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

An empty suit with empty words and soon empty maternity wards and empty kindergartens!

Judge your politicians on what they do rather than what they say they will do.

He is another empty suit.

6 ( +13 / -7 )

A somewhat big problem is the lack & cost of nursery schools. Have to train more teachers & open up more nursery schools. I often hear about kids on waiting lists to get in to the schools. Just throwing money at the problem doesn't seem as it would be much help.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

He has no idea so he just wants to raise taxes...the LDP's answer to everything!!

Useless absolutely useless!!

-3 ( +9 / -12 )

At least they recognize the connection between crappy pay and not wanting to have kids. I can imagine better pay also reduces the amount of cases of domestic violence too with lower levels of stress in the home. Lets just make sure the right people are paying for this, and we arent just dishing out more monopoly money.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

Having kids doesn't necessarily make you happy. It can even make you unhappy.

I'm sure your ancestors who lived through wars, famine and the Bubonic Plague didn't give a stuff about any of that. What you're essentially saying is the sacrifices they made for your bloodline to continue - so you that you could be here - END, because your "happiness."

Let that sink in over your bowl of Fruity Pebbles.

-11 ( +4 / -15 )

Education costs should be tax deductible. Mortgage payments should also be deductible past the current pathetically low levels.

These are the two biggest family expenses for the middle class, and instead of cutting taxes Kishida wants to raise them.

Bottom line is that the LDP doesn’t care about people’s livelihoods, they just want more babies who will grow up to pay more taxes to fund their pork barrel machine.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

Funny how politicians think all problems require a political solution, and political policy can supplant nature. Japan is an island with few natural resources and a very large population. All natural populations are regulated by available resources. When Japan’s economy was growing, so did the population, when Japan’s economy began shrinking, so did the population. It was never a matter of how much maternity or paternity leave is available, or the amount of social assistance is available, Japan’s population grew most strongly when neither of these existed. The issue is that Japan’s economy has matured. But the bigger issue (as far as Kishida is concerned) is that Japan’s government finances and social programs continue to assume economic and population growth, or, more simply, they are run like Ponzi schemes which can pay out funds only so long as an ever-increasing number of people pay into them. None of Kishida’s ideas will work, if we assume they’ll be as effective as previous policies, they’ll actually make things worse.

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

@plasticmonkey,

You nailed it.

They just want more babies to fund their political dynasties.

Don't care a jot about the population.

As long as their children can inherit 'elite' jobs they are happy.

-5 ( +8 / -13 )

Well, good luck with that thought bubble.

It's a shame as PM Kishida has had a pretty good week too with his work with South Korean relations.

-9 ( +1 / -10 )

I am just a messenger, Jay. Just relaying the research. In the past, people had little recourse to contraception and family planning consisted mainly of whether the man of the house was shooting blanks that night or too drunk to. Now we have choices and they may mitigate against births completely for some (maybe a large number of young Japanese people). Even social pressure to have kids is diminished. Personally, I don't care what my ancestors would have thought. Who has children for the sake of their peasant of caveman ancestors? But I am not childless anyway.

-8 ( +3 / -11 )

At the end of the day, it seems a huge number of Japanese people have no interest is sex, marriage or procreation.

Japan is at the leading edge as far as drastically falling procreation and a lack of interest in sex.

The number of sexual partners has been in significant decline among millennials and Gen Z in most countries.

It is not a money issue.

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

Kishida outlines plans to tackle falling birthrate

> Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged Friday to implement the necessary measures to allow 85 percent of male workers who have a child to take paternity leave by fiscal 2030 to tackle the falling birthrate.

That’s the plan?

Does it come with a side order of fries too?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Maybe people are just being realistic. Having kids doesn't necessarily make you happy. It can even make you unhappy. A 2019 study found that, in many industrialised societies, there is a decline in happiness or life satisfaction once parenthood begins. This is called the “parenting happiness gap”. So, when the whole economic system is set up under the pretext that consumption makes you happy, and that happiness is therefore the goal of life, why would you be so keen to have kids?

smh… completely false…; that selfishness will eventually make you feel empty and… unhappy…; you’ll ask yourself: what am I doing here/what is the purpose of this.

..

[ “ Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged Friday to implement the necessary measures to allow 85 percent of male workers who have a child to take paternity leave by fiscal 2030 to tackle the falling birthrate. Kishida said at a press conference that his government will also take steps to push up wages for young workers and boost economic assistance to them to create an environment conducive to raising their children free of concerns. “ ]

These politicians are not being completely honest…; as others have mentioned, this won’t solve the problem…; but the thing is, they don’t care because they don’t want their “ Japan “ to “disappear”/“change”.

-9 ( +2 / -11 )

All this stuff is never going to increase the falling birth rate. Even countries with some of the best child care, best parent leave, best health care and education systems have naturally falling birth rate. We can manage the rate with some immigration, but as the trend goes, all modernized, wealthy nations will fall and the trend is there. Better health care, better housing, more food, more things to spend our hard earned money on as the economy grows and develops, more opportunities for travel and experiences, less child death. Look at the life expectancy of Sweden, Norway, Finland, wealth of a nation, and the birth rate over the past 150 years and it is clear the birth rate always falls. And they’re suppose to have good paternity rights, good education, health care.

step 1- Observe.in the 70s,80s,90s

Step 2 – Weigh your options. Today

Step 3 – Accept it and Lean In. Partly there! 2030s and 40s and accept more immigrants.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

This one has a quite simple and obvious solution.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

implement the necessary measures to allow 85 percent of male workers who have a child to take paternity leave by fiscal 2030

If he's serious about his, it wouldn't seem to be such a heavy lift that it would take 7 years to implement...

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Oh yeah!

I'll get paternity leave every time my wife has a children. Which means basically I'll have days off to spend... at home, waiting for a call or at the hospital, doing nothing but bonding with the coffee hanbaiki.

Sounds like fun!

The price for those couple days off? Some millions paid in a few years, which means you'll have to stay late even more, work even more days off or do even more part times when you have time to..

What a good deal

-2 ( +6 / -8 )

Here's a a brave plan. Shut down all the soaplands. No babies are produced there. Send the husbands home early to do their business.

1 ( +7 / -6 )

Whoa, look out! Christmas come early this year?

So many maybe presents for the kids! Way to go santa!

But other than feel goods whats in it for ya, wheres the Loot?

Oh…

now I get it. Just another "Pledged Friday", "baby steps", "voiced readiness", "expressed eagerness" but when its money/Loot where the mouth is… "stopped short of clarifying" to "join hands" around a "unification circle…"

Already Decided? But what about the baby steps pledge eagerness plan?

meanwhile decided double Japan's defense spending over the next five years and to acquire enemy base strike…

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Japan is at the leading edge as far as drastically falling procreation and a lack of interest in sex.

Here are some of the 2022 fertility rates:

 Hungary 1.5

 Thailand 1.5

 Canada 1.5

 Poland 1.5

 North Macedonia 1.5

 Malta 1.5

 Serbia 1.4

 Croatia 1.4

 Saint Lucia 1.4

 Finland 1.4

 Japan 1.4

 Spain 1.4

 Ukraine 1.4

 Luxembourg 1.4

 Hong Kong (China) 1.4

 Mauritius 1.3

 Portugal 1.3

 United Arab Emirates 1.3

 Greece 1.3

 Cyprus 1.3

 Moldova 1.3

 Italy 1.3

 Bosnia and Herzegovina 1.2

 Singapore 1.2

 Puerto Rico (US) 1.2

 South Korea 1.1

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I feel like I’m order to address this situation there are 4 major legislative reforms necessary:

health care reform (why are we paying for childbirth in a country with “universal” healthcare?)

education reform (starting from daycare of course but all the way to tertiary. The cost of education here is ridiculous.)

labor reform (it’s scandalous the number of companies abusing temp / contract workers. The impacts financial security, healthcare and retirement.)

immigration reform (lots to unpack here)

Without any serious attempt at tackling these problems there is no amount of money you can throw at this problem that will make it go away.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@suomitheway

China - 1.28

Iran - 1.71

India - 2.05 (below replacement rate)

Latin America - 2.045 (below replacement rate)

Kenya - 3.40 and falling dramatically, soon to drop below replacement rate.

The only culture that may survive is Orthodox Judaism - 6.6

It is a worldwide phenomenon countries like the USA and Canada that encourage high levels of immigration are going to run out of immigrants in a hurry, so immigration is not a solution either.

Japan was one of the first countries to fall below the replacement rate and the rest of the world is right behind.

The solution is not about money, time off or more social benefits.

Nobody has an answer and people who are blaming the dramatic fall in fertility rates worldwide on the 50% drop in human male sperm count may be on to something.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

He doesn't care about the population crisis etc. The LDP only care about having enough men to feed a future army.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

@Awa no Gaijin

Where do you think babies come from?

Japan leads the world in having intercourse the fewest number of times in a year at a paltry 45 times.

Japan is also the only country in the world where more people are unhappy with their sex lives that happy.

I'm sure everyone in Japan knows a sexless couple.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

None of what he announce will help with the the declining birth rate. Immigration is the only way to increase the population of Japan. This moment in time there is heaps of top quality educated refugees looking for a democratic country with a good lifestyle the escape eastern Europe and Russia. This will not happen again for decades. Plus they bring children with them. But Japan is steadfast at keeping Japan a monocultural society. Populate or Perish Japan. You have to bite the bullet now or miss the present opportunity of these top quality immigrants. Yes you have to give dual citizenship and have to fork out money to help these immigrants assimilate, but it once off opportunity and Japan is going to miss the bus because of their sense of Japanese ethic and monoculture. Once diversity makes inroads the Japanese work culture they will see immigrates taking advantage of Japan democratic lifestyle and Japanese will follow suit and start taking up governments incentive. At present they will not because of Japanese attitude to work. Like company first and family second. This as to change if Japan wants to stay on top.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Since it is an international trend, I believe women's right is connected to having less children than the replacement rate is asking for.

Survey to ladies below 45 :

How many children would you have if marrying a rich clever and kind man ?

You have your answer, since that number is surely (well) below 2.1

I rarely in all the countries visited heard a woman telling she would like 3 children or more if possible (if 2 out of 10 women decide to have one child, you need 3 women to have 3 children if ALL the rest would have 2 children. Japan has 31% childless world record by the way and growing)

I don't know what will the future be like but human population will drop like a stone.

It is very bad since it is falling that fast for so many countries with social benefits distribution based on a worker/non worker ratio.

Recognition that having children is a significant respectable role in society implying more social benefits the harder the job is If not, no change ever expected.

Japan is likely to crash economiccally, yen will fall and never to recover the boom with boon of the 90s.

Sorry to express such a grim future.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

push up wages

I don't assume he mean real wages, adjusted for inflation and the weak yen?

@moderator, this is not off-topic. Higher living costs (food, rent etc.) in comparison to real wages is a relevant concern.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

So many down votes on comments that are based on fact and reality. The birth rate will fall no matter how much money is thrown at it. countries with a higher mortality rate have a much much higher fertility rate. But countries that have developed and are now moving up the economic chain, are having a falling fertility rate.

I’m not sure anyones personal income will increase the fertilizer rate in any country. Especially as women will have more access to say contraception and how it is pushed to prevent not only disease by pregnancy. One good example of a country that not only reduced its fertility rate and increased its economic wealth is China.

but here are the facts.

The book by Hans Rosling confirms this consistently as does the UN.

stop down voting the facts or the truth.

Basically this is about getting more people into the workforce so they can pay more taxes, to the gov, to reduce the deficit, Cause there is a massive financial hole that needs to be plugged. If the gov cared about child care and paternity, why wasn’t it down when we were having 3 or 4 kids per family?

pushing up wages won’t increase the fertility rate. As proven by all the developed wealthy countries v the poor tier one countries. Sorry but that is the facts. Compare the fertility rate of say niger or Afghanistan to say Japan Korea Finland.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_and_fertility

0 ( +4 / -4 )

His plans to address the problem sound good, but I'm not sure they are good enough.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

those countries don't have zero percent unemployment like Japan does.

"zero percent unemployment" whatttttt????????

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

I will suggest something that would and could increase the birth rate. Namely, another world war.

*HAKMAN**

Once upon a time (not all that long ago, really), a lot of married couples could ...

(a) have at least 4 or 5 kids

(b) own a home and car

(c) send those 4 or 5 kids to college

... all on ONE income.

This may have been true of the USA whose economy boomed post-WW2 and whose infrastructure was left intact There was, of course, the post-war baby boom as men came home from the war. giving the economy a massive boost as those children become adults too. The US was also able to give certain economic benefits to its veterans and wanted to transition from a war economy to a peace economy but in the case of Europe, and Japan, that economic boom didn't quite happen, as they basically were completely indebted to the US. as was the UK. While Frances's debt was basically wiped out in 1947 the UK's debt was not and was paid off in 2006. So don't believe the excuse debt shouldn't go on for another generation. That's why they want inflation to run at a slow 2% over decades, and why Japan needs more workers and some inflation. Although I'm rather ok with 0% inflation.id rather we focus on happiness than just birth rates and money.

As for college, that was much more affordable then. Now, the debt itself is a business itself, and isn't really an investment in the workforce per sa.

Now we can't afford a home, can't afford a home, and can't afford more kids. They've allowed house inflation, and personal debt inflation, to become a business itself rather than a) a place to live. b) a place to raise and family, c) an investment in the nation via college and its people. Just hire an immigrant nurse, doctor, or scientist and poach them from a poorer cheaper country.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Scrap university entrance examinations and the parasitic juku industry and suddenly having kids is affordable.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Falling birthrate is not the problem. Increasing numbers of elderly people are. The current social system is essentially designed to give them a golden parachute without thinking of the long term consequences. The people of the lost generation and even younger demographics are having this crisis dumped onto them. The baby boomers and other demographics that had their comfy, well-paying, permanent employment jobs lined up before the year 1990, as always, can live the rest of their lives without a care in the world. Nothing is more problematic for Japan than their worship of old people, and a major factor in why it is taking so long for them to wake up from their self-induced "Covid-19 groundhog day" syndrome.

Public retirement schemes have been a disaster in every country they've been tried. Time to cash it out to the recipients and get rid of it. It is outdated, and also another byproduct of failing fiat currencies. Younger generations of people need to see it for what it is and invest their disposable income in superior alternatives than letting the State choose for them.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

It's expensive to have a kid here. And the rules for getting kids into kindergarten are ridiculous! Especially if you're a part time worker, you have to be working a minimum 60 hours a month. If not, your kid doesn't get in to school and you basically have to quit working. Then, if you make more than the average wage, you pay between $600 - $1k+ /month for fees!

Kishida needs a reality check, especially given how expensive everything has become on his watch!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

When the cause tries to solve the problem, should be a good fix by the 親父自民党

3 ( +3 / -0 )

stop down voting the facts or the truth.

Asking for that is like Canute trying to stop to tide, Abe234. People don't want to hear the truth, in general, only live in their preconceived bubble. But if Japanese don't want to reproduce then let them die out. In the big scheme of things, it's fine.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

@Awa no Gaijin

Survey's indicate that nearly half of the couples in Japan are is sexless marriages.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If the administration is serious about solving the declining birth rate in Japan it should start with elevating the status of women by removing glass ceilings in corporate and governmental institutions and establishing equal pay for equal work for women. And lastly establish a decent minimum wage for all genders

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Pacificpilot: Mate all the legalities are in place for women to advance. There is nothing stopping them from getting those job when qualify. Japanese women have work in this Japanese toxic work environment ( Company first, family second mentality ). This is why women decide not to apply. They know that father are allowed parental leave but refuse to take it. Why? fellow workers see this as your a slacker and alienate you because of the Japanese work attitude of company first, family second.

Abe234: Why the down votes ?, It does not matter if they agree with you comment, it because of bias and bigotry, EG you see, if your comment suggest you are against a gay marriage, the mob will remember that comment. and any fact or reality to your future comments are ignored and the comment just get hammered and facts and reality ignored. You will also notice posters have more than one alias. I suggest similar to your comment but look at my down vote count. You have to remember that there are bigots and bias all around.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Unless Japan can find a way for younger people to actually get out of their parents’ house and interact nothing will happen.

Younger people need to be able to live in areas with other young people, free from overbearing parents. And they need to be able to afford these places without devoting their lives to their jobs.

Companies pay very little and expect long hours out of their young workers. Then the availability of affordable housing in desirable areas for singles or roommates is highly limited.

Extending leave for expecting parents is the bare minimum Kishida can do.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Free education is a great booster of birth my rate hike. Many people want more kids but we have anxiety and risk of the education cost. I think this matter is that simple.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Where is the evidence that giving men parterity leave will fix the problem.

I would say the issue is around wages and the fact society expects woman to leave the workforce. No one can afford a second or third child.

There is a wealth of evidence across many developed countries that fathers giving greater domestic contribution leads to increased fertility - and simply put, the reason is that women become less burdened overall, and in the case of Japan it would mean they can return to the workforce more quickly. What you're saying about the costs of a child is not wrong either, however. My response here is simply to say that the issue is multifaceted.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

What I'm curious about, personally, is how exactly does Kishida plan to increase the takeup of paternity leave? One of the reasons the number is so low in the first place is not because the option doesn't exist, but because it is not utilized for fear of ostracism and (informal) punishment. The issue isn't just one of rules but one of culture in the workplace.

On the other hand, the number of fathers taking leave has increased in recent years, which shows that change is not impossible, but I'm nevertheless left wondering what concrete measures are going to be put in place...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The fastest and most effective way for Japan to increase its birth rate is to require all vendors who contract with city, provincial and the national government to to comply with equal pay for equal work, a universal minimum wage and removal of all glass ceilings preventing Women from upward mobility

0 ( +1 / -1 )

"In the 2030s, the young population in Japan will decline at twice the current rate. 

Japan is losing about 7-800,000 people a year. THAT means that in the 2030s they are going to be losing MORE than a million and a half every year.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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