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Kokegawa comments

Posted in: Japan's population falls under 125 mil; 12th year of decline See in context

Immigration is the solution to this problem, not incentives for breeding-hesitant Japanese.

It needs mentioning that immigration is not some magical solution to demographic problems, either. Immigration can help stave off population decline, as it has done for many years in countries like Germany, but you need to remember that immigrants grow old too. To proceed with the example of Germany, that country is one of the largest recipients of immigrants in the world, but it's still aging and is projected to decline in population anyway. Ultimately, you must also do something about fertility, because it's the deciding factor.

And let me just add, these "breeding-hesitant Japanese" are not so by some inherent nature, which you almost seem to say here. They are that way due to the society they live in, and that society can be changed, just as it has before.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan's population falls under 125 mil; 12th year of decline See in context

This is promising news, and Japan is on the right track.

Ultimately Japan is heading for a stable population of around 60 million

Where do people get these arbitrary numbers from? Countries far smaller than Japan and with much less population density, are also in decline.

Furthermore, let's just take into consideration that the number of births last year was roughly 800,000. Using some rough math: if that number of births were to stabilize and every single one of those kids lived to be exactly 80, you'd have a population of 64,000,000. So what happens when the number falls below that in a few years, based on present trends?

Japan needs to sort out this problem, not listen to good-for-nothing resignation.

it will be wonderful for the environment, there will be much, much more room for everyone, trains will be far less crowded and jobs, schools and universities easy to secure. You won't see massive queues for popular ramen shops - which is great news in itself!

This is not an issue of the total population so much as it is an issue with urban concentration into a few centers.

And crowding around food places is because Japanese people love to bandwagon and queue for popular stuff, and businesses actively encourage such "storming" practices in return. It's the same thing where stores only sell products for a limited time only, even if they are popular, which is utterly baffling - it's not because there's too many people.

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Posted in: Japan's population falls under 125 mil; 12th year of decline See in context

This is a good sign. Balance the population out and hopefully get a booming middle class.

On what planet do you live where a shrinking population, an inverted population structure, which only means more and more siphoned to the elderly from the shrinking base of workers, will somehow lead to a "booming middle class"?

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Posted in: Gov't unveils measures to promote marriage, raise birthrate See in context

@Desiree Lingmark

Yes. Like so much reactionary politics, it's entirely counter-productive too. Refusing to adapt to the new reality that capitalism has prompted women to enter the workforce is just a recipe for the decline of the family altogether.

It's true, historically, that the gender revolution resulted in a decline in birth rates, but how this phenomena played out, and the extent of its effects have differed significantly by how much each country tailored its policies to match the new reality, and with how much the dominant culture shifted along with it.

Certainly, it's not feminism or postmodernism that continues to keep fertility so extremely low in Japan, Korea, or China. In fact, China is right now having something of a conservative backlash against feminism, which authorities are prone to dismiss as "Western ideology". These are all societies that are more "family-oriented" that the rest of the developed world, yet they somehow have much worse outcomes in fertility and family formation.

Food for thought, indeed.

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Posted in: Gov't unveils measures to promote marriage, raise birthrate See in context


I'm already aware of the tendencies you are describing, plus the article you linked. It does not prove what you are saying, namely "Its nothing to do with money. nothing to do with parental leave, nothing to do with the job."

What you've said is simply an obstinate dismissal that anyone who studies demographics will frown at, and it's completely baseless, plus contradicted by all the evidence we know (just take a look at Japanese National Fertility Survey) and common sense (children are a large expense; working mothers struggle between juggling work, childcare, housework and care for elderly relatives).

Linking that article, which does indeed describe a real world trend in the Nordic countries, does not prove your point, precisely because fertility is a dependent variable influenced by numerous independent variables. A change in any one of these can bring about a decline, and it is straight up bad science to suggest this means other factors have no explanatory power. They do.

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Posted in: Gov't unveils measures to promote marriage, raise birthrate See in context

Abe234Today 12:16 pm JST

Lets look at the best countries with better services for their population.

According to the mighty god called google.

Best Countries for Raising Kids







And not one has an increasing fertility rate. not even replenishment rate. So deal with it Japan. Its nothing to do with money. nothing to do with parental leave, nothing to do with the job.

What's with this weird mockery? Google is a search engine, nothing more. The work of those who have researched this is what matters.

And looking at this on a year-by-year basis is misleading, because the TFR is an artificial number compiled from the data of birth rates in all age groups for that year; it describes how many children a woman would have if she were to fast forward through her entire reproductive life. As such it only provides a snapshot of fertility, and the exact number can be influenced by a lag effect; for instance, we can assume that it is influenced by the ongoing inflation crisis.

In any case, to get a better look at fertility you have to look at cohort fertility rates, where you actually measure how many children each generation of women has had when they've completed their reproductive life cycle. If you look at those numbers, you'll see that it is closer to 2 in most of the Nordic countries. And the regular total fertility rate was above replacement in Iceland until about 2010...

It helps to know about these things before speaking out about how this has "nothing to do with money. nothing to do with parental leave, nothing to do with the job" - nuts, I say. Demographic research is quite clear that these things should not be summarily dismissed.

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Posted in: Gov't unveils measures to promote marriage, raise birthrate See in context


If you type "OECD labor force participation and fertility" into Google, you'll see graphs that show the relationship is actually the opposite of what you expect. And you'll see that the exact relationship between these two factors has also changed over time.

For instance, take a look at: https://cepr.org/voxeu/columns/new-era-economics-fertility

Among rich countries, those with the highest female labor force participation also tend to be those where people have more children. In most of those countries, they have introduced policies that reduce the trade-offs between children and work. This seems to actually make female labor force participation go hand-in-hand with fertility. Japan is now trying to do the same, so what is the problem exactly?

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Posted in: 'Don't blame women': Japan birth rate drive sparks online debate See in context

For all the traditionalists here: it's never going back to how it was. Women are part of the paid labor force now, and capital will not let them go. Your idealized conception of the housewife, entirely devoted to unpaid domestic labor, while the husband joins the paid labor force, has largely been a blip on the historical record.

Rather, you must look to the future, and the most developed countries in how they handle child-rearing. There is genuine evidence, as shown in the works of Paul McDonald, Gøsta Esping-Andersen, Mary C. Brinton (who focuses on Japan by the way) that egalitarian households are the way forward. In developed countries, it is, on average, better that parents share domestic labor and work outside the home equally. From a moral perspective it means women are no longer relegated to 2nd-class citizens who must be chained to the household and be financially dependent on their husbands. And from a practical perspective, there is genuine evidence that it stimulates fertility.

Does this mean that there are not also financial and other practical reasons that people don't have children? Of course not. Finances and access to child care facilities are also very important. You just musn't disregard the prominence of gender roles on the issue.

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Posted in: 'Don't blame women': Japan birth rate drive sparks online debate See in context

If you think women are "responsible" for not wanting to subject themselves to the utterly thankless job of doing practically all the household chores AND child rearing AND working on top of that, I'm sorry but: you are part of the problem. And that's not even mentioning maternity harassment.

And those very same traditional attitudes are what hurts fathers who try and challenge the status quo by involving themselves in childcare (ikumen). Break the vicious cycle and you will see a society more conducive to bringing up children.

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Posted in: Kishida outlines plans to tackle falling birthrate See in context

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...

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Posted in: Kishida outlines plans to tackle falling birthrate See in context

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.

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Posted in: Japan's birthrate policy could be funded by gov't bonds, says LDP official See in context


The current number of births in Japan, a country of 125 million people, is only slightly larger than France, a country of 65 million people. The currently born children in Japan won't be enough to support even a population of even 80 million, assuming the number of births were to stabilize.

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Posted in: Japan drops to 104th in gender disparity rank in World Bank survey See in context

Men can't bear children, that's it, and that's why women have that responsibility.

Listen, pal, just because women are the ones who go around pregnant for 9 months, that doesn't mean you can't change a diaper or go the the playground and watch over the kids having some fun.

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Posted in: Japan drops to 104th in gender disparity rank in World Bank survey See in context

Men's and women's roles are simply different.

You think the view that women should rather be at home and take care of family business is wrong.

This has been the norm for literally the entire human history up until about the 1960s.

You say that the view of having women at home taking care of family is harmful.

Yet, our society is literally collapsing before our eyes just so women can climb up a corporate ladder that's in the end meaningless compared to the wonder of life.

I don't understand how people call traditional values and views harmful. At least we have survived thousands of years with those views. Now we see whole countries going extinct in the scope of the next hundred years, which has never ever happened before.

This is wrong on so many levels.

First of all, the idea of the housewife who specializes in family-oriented domestic labor is a recent development in human history. For the vast majority of our time on this planet, we've lived as hunter-gatherers or by subsistence agriculture, which necessitated that both genders work their butts off so as to not starve to death.

The thing is, because modern society is not based on subsistence agriculture (where you grow most of what you need by yourself), paid labor is necessary to have any degree of autonomy. Now women are wanting part of that cake, and you'd deny to them out of some misguided attempt at protecting "tradition". The thing is, the game has changed.

The reason "society is collapsing" is because the gender revolution has stalled, and dumb, rigid structures persist in making life suck for working families. The birth rates in Japan and other such patriarchal societies are surpassed by those societies with much greater gender equality in such things as housework and parental leave. Because, funnily enough, when women are not treated like garbage, they'll actually feel like raising a family.

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Posted in: Japan drops to 104th in gender disparity rank in World Bank survey See in context


Do you not understand that just because living longer might lead to more happiness, other factors can lead to a decrease in happiness - and that means Japanese women could still be unhappier overall?

You're taking a single factor in isolation, and pretending it's the only determinant of the level of happiness... which is sloppy reasoning.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Posted in: Japan drops to 104th in gender disparity rank in World Bank survey See in context

Japan didn’t ask the World Bank to make the country ranking of gender equality. The report was obviously written by representative from high-scoring countries.

So the hell what?

Do you also complain when a Western-based report details the conditions of poverty in Africa, or is this simply a way to mask your annoyance because the report reaches a conclusion you don't like? I suspect it's the latter.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Posted in: Japan drops to 104th in gender disparity rank in World Bank survey See in context

As usual, a whole bunch of people will blame everyone else (it's the evil feminists!, it's the woke drag queens! it's the Westerners!) before ever considering that it might be their own views which are harmful and wrong.

These are the same people who inevitably whine any time anyone dares upset the established way of things, and they love to poison any legitimate grievance by tying it up with a good moral panic. Back in the day it was panic about giving women the vote, now it's panic about men having to actually respect women as co-equal human beings in the home and workplace.

It's so boring.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Posted in: Tokyo to make child care free for all 2nd children from October See in context

It's a step in the right direction, but there is so much to be done. Maybe the government should grow some backbone and crack down on companies with rigid work environments. Put an end to all this overwork and culture that expects you to be corporate slave; make leave policy something more than a symbolic gesture.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Posted in: Men urged to train themselves to notice household chores: study See in context

I swear, every time an article mentions the existence of gender inequities, swathes of men come out the woodwork to complain at the mere suggestion that perhaps things should be done differently. You see it here, too, with those comments about how the study is "biased", lol.

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Posted in: Japan's births set to hit new all-time low below 800,000 in 2022 See in context

The worst part is that we know the reasons for this: enormous work burdens, outdated gender norms, the lack of daycare centers, high costs of living and education...

Meanwhile the clueless government of people stuck in the 1950s thinks it's enough to give people some small cash bonuses here and there. These are not enough. The real solution involves using the brute force of the state to make companies comply with stricter labor laws, preventing discrimination and taking initiatives to change the culture of overwork and other outdated norms. Japan actually has some decent benefits when it comes to maternity AND paternity leave; the problem is in making these socially acceptable and normal to use, particularly the latter.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posted in: Japanese gov't wants to give people an extra ¥80,000 to have babies See in context


Perhaps it isn't such a great advance in society.

Women working basically lowered wages all around.

More workers especially will to work at lower wages is the reason salaries haven't risen in years all over the developed world.

There is absolutely no evidence for this utterly ridiculous claim of yours. It's noting more than the crudest form of the lump of labor fallacy. It's like saying that because the male labor force doubled because of population growth, that must mean that wages will be half of what they were before!


In my parents day my father, uncles, friends father's all earned enough to raise a family of 2 adults 2 to 4 children on a single salary.

Try that today.

In Japan in just the past 10 years the number of households that live on just a single income ( usually the husband) has dropped by 40% .

None of my family and friends under retirement age can survive or raise a family on a single income.

So now it is equality, both parents don't have time to raise children both over worked, both under paid.

And your best explanation is that this must be because of those DANM womenfolk daring to get out of the house? Haven't you considered that it's because costs of living have risen immensely since then and that the opportunity costs of staying home as a housewife have significantly diminished? Come on, man.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Posted in: Japanese gov't wants to give people an extra ¥80,000 to have babies See in context

Things will never get better in Japan unless there are is a change in the culture that says "men work, women take care of kids". Policies are needed which:

1) Stop chaining women to the home when having kids. So many women are foregoing getting married and having children because it means giving up any kind of career or life achievements they might have. In addition, the inherent unfairness of foisting most childcare on women just means they're not going to bother.

2) Encourage and enable men to be fathers. A working man who takes paternity leave is frowned upon. This needs to be changed. I'm 100% there are many men out there who regret that they cannot spend time with their families because they work too damn much. A side benefit of this is it allows more flexibility for women, too.

A culture of gender equity in family life and policies designed around that is well-known to contribute to higher birth rates in Northern and Western Europe; As usual Japan really needs to catch up and enter the 21 century. But for that to happen, Japan needs politicians that aren't old men.

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Posted in: Blinken reaffirms U.S. commitment to defend South Korea and Japan See in context

I would be more interested in what he has to say about US involvement in propping up dangerous cults behind the scenes of Japanese politics. I'm sure we all wonder what US "commitments" apply there.

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Posted in: Industry minister Nishimura visits Yasukuni shrine See in context


It wasn't an act of "forgiveness". That is complete and utter nonsense. The decision to enshrine the class-A war criminals was done in secrecy and by ideologically driven priests who rejected the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (or "Tokyo Trials"). Before 1978, the head priest Fujimaro Tsukuba tried to put off the enshrinement as long as possible, until he died and Matsudaira Nagayoshi took over. And it is publically known that Matsudaira completely rejected the Tokyo Trials and considered them illegitimate for casting Japan as the villain. Matsudaira also had family members that were convicted war criminals This wasn't about forgiveness. This was about bitterness over the defeat, and a rejection of the peace imposed on Japan. Look up the article "Yasukuni and the Enshrinement of War Criminals" for a more complete examination.

There IS A REASON no Japanese Emperor has visited the shrine since 1975. The Showa emperor himself expressed his displeasure at the act in private. Further, the shrine's Yūshūkan museum is war crimes denial on steroids and casts Japan as the victim. It is rightful that politicians should choose not to associate themselves with this place, and if they do, they ar right to be criticized for it. If the Emperors of Japan can see that this is a heinous monument to militarism, why can't you?

1 ( +8 / -7 )

Posted in: Support for Kishida cabinet lowest since it was formed: NHK See in context

@Beto Ramirez

You don't understand how statistics work. The marginal improvements to the error-term decreases with greater sample size, so much so that polling 100,000 people is economically unjustifiable for almost any polling firm. Going from polling 100 people to 200 people will net you much more in terms of representativeness than going from 10,000 to 20,000 for instance.

Most pollsters do around 1,000-2,000 people because that is a good sample size that only carries a margin of error of a few percentage points. Why "only" 1,000? Because of the law of large numbers, which dictates that the greater your (random) sample of the population, the greater chance that it is equal to the expected values (which we can only guess at, here) found in the population. Think of it like this: if you roll a 6-sided dice 6 times, you probably won't get each of the numbers 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 right? But if you roll it 60 times, or 600 times you'll probably get a more equal distribution of the results. BUT, while rolling it 6,000,000 times might net you even more accuracy, it's not really justifiable to do so, as getting a reasonably accurate result takes much less time and ressources.

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Posted in: Japan minister says women 'underestimated' See in context

It's somewhat amusing to me how I'm getting downvoted. The things I write in these comment sections aren't just pulled out of thin air, and I even refer you guys to where you can find the information. What can you possibly say to that beyond some knee-jerk reaction where you downvote something you don't like? Some people really just can't take being wrong, can they, even if the facts are shoved in their face.

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Posted in: Japan minister says women 'underestimated' See in context

It's not like men in Europe (or anywhere else, really) are any better at sharing housework.

See, this is false too, actually.

If you look up the data posted by OECD on this, you will for example see that Danish men contribute about 40% of all housework and Swedish men 45%. In general, men in other developed countries contribute more to housework than do men in Japan and East Asia at large, so there are differences.

I'm not sure were you got the idea that men were all the same.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

Posted in: Japan minister says women 'underestimated' See in context

The more equality a culture has, the lower its birthrate (see Europe, for example). Women won't have children until men earn enough to pay for their wife to look after the family so she doesn't haven't to work. That's how it worked before and everyone was happier...

Long post, but bear with me:

This is demonstrably wrong, and I will point you to the work of people like Peter McDonald, Gøsta Esping-Andersen and, for someone who has studied and written much about Japan, Mary C. Brinton, who have extensively argued the case of gender equity theory in demographics. The evidence shows that across countries there is a u-curve relationship between gender equality and fertility. In the most traditional societies, gender equality is low and fertility is high, but as societies move into a transition period, where women start to work in "jobs" but norms haven't catched up to actually recognize them as equals to men in the workplace and in the home, you can observe lower fertility rates on average. You see this in Southern European countries, for example, which have the lowest fertility rates in Europe, whereas the Northern, most equal ones actually do better overall (!). Of course, the same applies to East Asia and its notoriously patriarchal culture. There is also an excellent article by Leonard J. Schoppa: "The Policy Response to Declining Fertility Rates in Japan: Relying on Logic and Hope Over Evidence" posted in the Social Science Japan Journal, Vol 1 (3) that gives a good overview of the current situation and the failure of policymakers to properly address the issue.

But sure, let's instead listen to the views of ignorant paternalists. It's not like they've been in power in Japan since time immemorial! Just look at how well the birth rate and families are doing, oh wait... It's almost like this confirms exactly what I am talking about.

Snark aside, if you think about it from the perspective of working parents it makes sense - you would expect fewer women wanting to marry and start a family in a society where they are expected to work yet also expected to do most of the family chores and child raising and perhaps also to take care of the grandparents, too. At the same time this also negatively impacts men who want to be more than just absentee fathers, since society expects that they keep working and don't take too much time off for what is a "woman's job". This is why, despite the nice paternity leave options, many men are hesitant to take them. The culture is a hindrance.

You do not solve the problem by going back to the old ways; that is no longer possible and it would be foolish to think families would do better if supported by just a single income - those days are gone. Women are out to work, and businesses are no doubt unwilling to just be rid of their new labor force.

The real solution is, for anyone who knows anything, more gender equality; respect for women, respect for men doing "women's jobs", balancing of family life and so on. Sexism is a disease, a tumor on Japan, and it is destroying its very future in the form of shrinking and burdened future generations. Good on Noda for at least recognizing this. It's a start.

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Posted in: Former Princess Mako, husband leave for New York See in context

Just leave them alone.

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Posted in: Only 1 in 5 Japanese happy with ¥100,000 handout plan: poll See in context


The size of the population does not really matter. You're misunderstanding the nature of sampling and statistical representation. The main determinant of error is absolute sample size, not sample size relative to the population. And the marginal effects of larger sample size on accuracy are decreasing in nature, meaning that going from 100 to 200 people nets you a far greater reduction in sampling error than going from 10,000 to 20,000. That is why pollsters usually consider around 1,000 people to be a good number, because at that point they will have a reasonably accurate sample with a margin of error of a few percentage points, and any gains to be made from increasing the sample size will be increasingly miniscule and costly.

You are correct in pointing out that the sampling method is not necessarily a good one, however. All of what I said above is conditioned on the sample being random and representative of the population it is extracted from. I just wished to correct your erroneous statement about the sample size being a problem.

Also, cue the downvotes, a statistical probability (hah!), from people who do not understand the subject in the least.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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