Japan's population falls by record 244,000 in 2013

Picture expired. Japan's population fell by a record 244,000 in 2013, according to health ministry estimates released on Wednesday, highlighting concerns over an ever-dwindling workforce supporting a growing number of pensioners AFP

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  • 27

    ifd66

    Governments like Japan need to view falling population as an opportunity to focus on quality of life rather than simply econimic growth and develop policies that benefit society witihn the confins of a zero-growth model economy.

  • 2

    Akula

    This population drop will only accelerate, tough on Japan's regions in particular as young people gravitate towards Tokyo, Osaka etc.

  • -8

    overchan

    The less people the better.

  • 5

    jeff198527

    For a country the size of California (and that's 70% mountainous) 127 million is way too many. Eventually the population with reach a floor and begin rising again.

  • 7

    Matt

    Yes, but this encourages Japan to 'up' the retirement age inline with Europe. 60 becomes 65. 65 becomes...

  • -1

    De Rek Alanzo Huntrakul

    abenomics should do the trick.

  • 4

    ZombieNemesis

    with more than 20 percent of the population aged 65 or over

    Wouldn't that be normal?

    1/5th of the population is in the 5th age bracket based on average life span in Japan? (Average lifespan 82 / 5) * 4 = 65.6

  • 0

    Hide Suzuki

    Hopefully Japanese people will be more open minded about accepting immigrants since the average number of children a woman has has been steadily decreasing and I don't think the trend will change any time soon

  • 5

    jeff198527

    Letting foreigners in won't solve anything. Who will take care of the foreigners when they become old? Besides, as grateful as I am to Japan, I'd rather see it's population plummet than become "multicultural". Do Western nations really gain anything by allowing in wave after wave of foreigners? I think not.

  • 8

    NathalieB

    Still willing to do my bit for population growth but husband says no more :( !

    I think letting in foreigners will be a temporary solution to the problem, but ultimately the issue that needs to be addressed is why women arent having babies anymore. There should be an explosion of them right now, given that there was a 1970s baby boom and all those little girls are now of reproductive age. A few thoughts:

    1) Giving up all semblance of independence as unable to return to work after having the baby 2) Unable to return to work due to pressures from the company itself, the mother or mother in law to stay home as that is what you are "supposed" to do. 3) Wage uncertainty and wage decline, cost of raising more than one child is just too expensive. 4) No family nearby and husband working long hours, so no extra pairs of hands to help with more than one child, or even one. 5) Lack of job security means cannot plan for the future, cannot get married etc 6) OK lets be honest - some spoilt little princesses around not wanting to give up their designer lifestyles.

    I would be interested to know if the number of marriages is declining too. Does anyone know?

  • 3

    lostrune2

    Just need J-girls be more baby factories, yes!

  • 6

    Anthony Lawson

    Decrease suicide rate. That decreases deaths by 30,000 annually

  • -7

    homleand

    id66

    Governments like Japan need to view falling population as an opportunity to focus on quality of life rather than simply econimic growth

    We are lobbying VERY hard to prevent that happening. For states to remain in good graces at IMF, the World Bank, International Bank of Settlements, etc, we are trying to ensure things such as sovereign credit ratings and eligibility for international aid are tied to both continued population and GDP growth. Japan, of course, is something of a special case, but it will fall in line with regards to immigration policy and population maintenance. The stick will be a lot worse than the carrot in the long term. There is too much money on the line, and the international banking community simply cannot allow nations to be making their own misguided decisions on this issue. We are here to help them see the right way to do things.

  • 2

    CrazyJoe

    As Japan continues to become an aged society, the birth rate will continue to decrease in inverse proportion. This will continue unless countermeasures are taken.

  • 2

    Carrsl2001

    It's time for japan to change it's immigration policies

  • 1

    Mizuame

    any suggestion of opening its borders to young workers who could help plug the population gap provokes strong reactions among the public

    Not so sure about this. Aged care centers seem to like their Indonesian and Filipino staff. Rural factories throughout Japan seem to value their thousands of Chinese "trainees". Iranians and Bangladeshis seem to do a lot of work on construction sites..

  • 3

    Strangerland

    Once the women here start working (or rather are given a decent environment in which to work) the declining population will be a good thing. More resources spread out amongst less mouths.

  • 5

    jerryboy

    And because Japan is only for Japanese

  • 0

    Carrsl2001

    I think japan needs more immigrants first in most countries immigrants have more children then natives most of the Filipino couples I know living in japan have three-five children a higher birth rate means more workers. Second it's an age old problem immigrants to one country trying to keep other immigrants out. America, Canada, and Singapore has had enormous benefit from immigrants.

  • -4

    Mike45

    "For a country the size of California (and that's 70% mountainous) 127 million is way too many. Eventually the population with reach a floor and begin rising again"

    how can the population hit a "floor" then begin to rise? 127 million is divided into quarters or thirds, its not 127 million working young people. As of now about 1/3 of 127 million is near 60. another third or so is under 40, the other third young people. As the senior class third gets closer to half, then the other ratios change. It will never hit a floor, the older class ratio will continue to increase, younger peoples decrease. Perhaps you mean the older will die, but that will take a very long time because behind this 1/3 of oldies, another 1/3 is quickly catching them, all requring pension and medical, ryojin home benefits. If abenomics works, then the young might have some idealogical reason to have 3 babies per family now and change those ratios so as the 2/3rds die off, a new boom of younger people are on the distant horizon, but this is unlikely.

  • 4

    gaijinfo

    In a normal society, that isn't rigged, this wouldn't be a problem.

    But with the Ponzi scheme of cradle to grave care by the government, this is going to be an economic disaster.

    Less and less younger people will need to pay (through taxes) more and more older people.

    This is happening in ALL countries, and it's going to SERIOUSLY mess up the world economies in the next 20 years or so.

  • -1

    funny car

    In the short term, population decline could be a good thing for Japan. I see it as an opportunity that will most likely get wasted.

    But in the long term I think it will be a bad thing. A lot of recent changes in Japanese society are going to need to be reversed or changed or at least have some sort of balance added.

    A big one I think is that Japanese need to stop following the American model of pushing women to be workers. I mean if women want to be workers, that is fine. But if women want to be stay-at-home moms, that is actually more important for society in general. You don't need to go to college to be a stay-at-home mom. But part of the push to make a society of female workers is to encourage them all to go to college. What you wind up with is a bunch of females who have learned to be rather independent into their mid twenties, and they don't revert. Independent females are less likely to want kids, less likely to marry, and more likely to get divorced if they do. But I think that independent is not the natural or most beneficial state for the majority of females, and tweaking them to be say is not going to free them so much as depress them.

    But of course the salaries of the bread winners has got to rise in order to have one parent at home for the sake of the kids and the family.

    Another core problem is that its a rat race to get into daycare. Japan could really use a culture of babysitting, but to most Japanese, it seems unthinkable. But it would be another way to balance couples who both want to work yet have kids too. Somebody has to watch the kids, and school finishes before work does.

  • -1

    Mike45

    "In the short term, population decline could be a good thing for Japan"

    You cant think of it as a population decline. Its a population increase of old people on a grand scale that could become a disaster. If the young were not being replaced and the old were dying off at the same ratio, then you could think of it as a population decline accross the board, with resources freed up for all. This isnt what is happening. Non replaceable resources will be expended on a growing population- the old.

  • 0

    Strangerland

    it's an age old problem immigrants to one country trying to keep other immigrants out.

    That may or may not be the case in Japan, but regardless of which it is, it's irrelevant in this case as it's the Japanese themselves who don't want to bring in more foreigners. It's in fact the foreigners themselves who are loudest about Japan 'needing' to bring in more foreign help. The Japanese are the ones resisting that.

  • 2

    kimuzukashiiiii

    They need to start paying families to have more than one child. Otherwise the country is going to collapse in about 30 years time..

    Currently they receive kodomo teate, which is about 15000 a month. If they starting raising it up to 30,000 for the second child, and 50,000 for the third child (allowing parents to actually be able to save money for their kids future) Im sure families would be more than willing. That along with more hoikuen places and a working mothers incentive.

    Most parents I know wanted more than 1 child, but it was just too expensive.

  • 0

    AKBfan

    Hmmm.. Maybe JT'ers should be doing more to assist in this area?

  • -1

    choiwaruoyaji

    I'm trying to do my fair share of interaction with Japanese ladies.

    It's a lot of fun but not producing many babies.

  • 2

    Strangerland

    Currently they receive kodomo teate, which is about 15000 a month. If they starting raising it up to 30,000 for the second child, and 50,000 for the third child (allowing parents to actually be able to save money for their kids future) Im sure families would be more than willing. That along with more hoikuen places and a working mothers incentive. Most parents I know wanted more than 1 child, but it was just too expensive.

    It's 10,000/month in my city. But I do agree that the cost of raising babies has stopped my wife and I from having a second.

  • -2

    Fox Cloud Lelean

    I think what it comes down to mainly is money. Raising children isn't cheap (unless you're a God awful parent), and the economy isn't exactly sparkling right now. As I understand it, there isn't all that much job security in Japan, so that only exacerbates matters. A long term measure needs to be introduced to rectify this. An increase in wages, and perhaps some kind of incentive to encourage couples who actually want to raise more than one child (up to a limit of course, otherwise you'll end up with couples having 8 or more kids to take advantage of that benefit. You see a lot of that in Britain at the moment. Scummy couples having a dozen kids and receiving thousands upon thousands from the taxpayers and not doing a day of work to earn it). Simply opening the floodgates to immigrants is at best a short term solution. At worst, it's asking for trouble. Again, I cite Britain as an example. Tony Blair opened the doors to immigrants, and as a result, there are parts of Britain where the foreigners outnumber the locals. Towns in which British residents feel like foreigners in their own homes. I've got nothing against immigration, but when the top ten langauges of a country are almost all foreign languages, you have a problem. There are four native languages in Britain: English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh. Of those, only English is in the top ten languages of Britain, with an estimated 60 million speakers. Currently (depending on which survey you look at) the number of native Japanese speakers in Britain outnumbers the number of native Welsh speakers. And to be honest, I like that. But it's off topic so I'll say no more here.

  • 1

    Strangerland

    how can the population hit a "floor" then begin to rise?

    Quite simply really. Let's look at a following hypothetical:

    2014 - 127mil 2020 - 120mil 2025 - 118mil 2026 - 119mil 2030 - 123mil

    The floor in the above hypothetical would be at 2025 when the population hit the floor. Then it would begin to rise in 2026.

    Quite a simple concept really.

  • -1

    Mike45

    Its not as simple as the Japanese resist immigration. There are too many norms and complex customs in Japan that Japanese would rather not have to explain or tolerate to the mendokusai gaijin. Japan basically has a no fire employment policy, in contrast to the Western fire at will policy. This policy means that unproductive people, as long as they are in harmony with the group are allowed to stay. There are situations, for instance the rowdy gaijin, however, where the offender must be removed by mado ijeme or other unspoken customs. Its these sticky situations that Japanese would rather keep japanese. The British guy who had to leave Olympus can tell you all about it. Getting an apartment with atama and reikin, a car, shakken, hospital visits, hokken, employment sempai/kohai relationships, language barriers (both real and imagined), etc...all mendokusai for the staff to explain how it works to you or deal with you. Its not a case of say, Singapore, where the foriegn population is almost a match to the locals due to liberal, welcoming immigration policies that are upsetting some locals. In Japan the system is specifically designed for the Japanese and with others being a nusiance.

  • 4

    ogtob

    I know several mothers who want to work but can't find Day Care. If the government would stop wasting money on unnecessary construction projects with very low, or negative, return on capital and instead invest in things to like Day Care centers the country would be much better off. Such investments would create jobs and free up relatively more skilled people to re-enter the work force and add value and tax revenues to Japan's economy.
    Once a Dam is built, it hardly employs anyone. It's just a gift to construction companies.

  • 4

    jeff198527

    Japan has too many people. There aren't enough resources for Japanese to live comfortably. It makes more sense to let the population drop and increase Japan's standard of living.

  • -2

    Mike45

    @ jeff

    I agree the population, in the cities, is overcrowded, but thats where all the working age people flock to find work. It was discussed by Ogawa and others to spread out the honshas throughout Japan but for some reason that escapes me Japanese prefer crowded stiffling enviroments. The country side in Japan is desolate. So as the ratios continue to change with the old population increasing, who will support them and the companies they retire from? Will all those positions vanish? To operate Japan Inc requires an enormous investment of manpower and labor. Youll still have the same infrastructure in place, just nobody to operate it.

  • -1

    Strangerland

    I just realized I made a mistake:

    It's in fact the foreigners themselves who are loudest about Japan 'needing' to bring in more foreign help. The Japanese are the ones resisting that.

    This should have read:

    "It's in fact the Japanese themselves who are loudest about Japan 'needing' to bring in more foreign help. The Japanese are the ones resisting that."

  • -1

    Offwithyourarrogance

    Another propaganda to incite disdain against old people. The Temples should be happy though with all the money they are making!

  • 2

    EthanWilber

    The moving trend of Japan’s demographics presents a huge challenge for the future of Japan. Here, we got a large chunk of population which is on their ways to approach their 60’s and soon needs the support of social security and elder-care. On the top of that, a dwindling birthrate has become the new norm of the society, and there is no relief in sight. If one factors in the colossal debt burden in Japan, even the less pretty picture we see today could be quite sanguine in years when looking back.

    Now, for the remedies to reverse the rising tide, I think that two things might be helpful, 1) Japanese government should put resources to revive battered regional economies and create good pay jobs which young people can make a decent living as well as starting a family with less financial means. (I visited many rural areas in Japan, noticed that many houses in those places are empty or near empty With internet and other infrastructures, people can start companes like young people in states.) By doing so it can stop influx of young people who are drawn to the big cities, yet ending up with little chance to start a family given the ever-rising cost of living in cities like Tokyo and Osaka. 2) Japanese government should encourage young people to get married by providing credible financial incentives to help them raise children.

    Granted, it’s easy say than done, but Japanese Government and Japanese people must do something, otherwise things can only get worse for this point forward.

    BTW, happy new year!

  • 5

    hampton

    However, the government does not have any real policies or incentives to encourage families to have more kids. There are plenty of births in fact, but a very high number of abortions, around 240,000 per year. This is not because the Japanese do not have sex. The real issues are space, money and working environment. When I ask nuclear families why they remain nuclear (rude foreigner who knows no better and all that) I always hear the same things:

    1. Cost of education is too high. They mean private education. Japan spends roughly 1% of GDP on public education, which is incredibly low. Public education is shocking, particularly from JHS and up.
    2. Japanese apartments are small. They mean in the cities where all the work is. Okinawans have a high birth rate. Tokyoites have a very low birth rate, so obviously space is a factor.
    3. Raising kids is expensive. Food is pricey, basic goods are expensive and salaries are quite low, especially for new employees. But there are no exemptions on consumption tax for e.g. children's clothing or necessary food items.
    4. We need to save more money because we don't know if we will receive pensions or at what age. This issue rages elsewhere too. Will the Ponzi scheme actually pay up when we need it to?
    5. Husbands work long hours so there is no support. A lot of women find raising kids very stressful and feel they do this alone with no help from hubby.
    6. People are marrying later, or not at all. Both men and women have started to prefer their own company. Many men don't wish to marry because they know they will have sex twice a year and will give her all their salary, and along with it their freedom and independence.

    The aging population is the biggest problem Japan faces. But they have a PM who would rather spend our money on useless construction projects and on growing the military. Sending more women out to work will not result in more kids, so day-care is a misnomer. More day care may increase the number of women in hourly-contracted jobs, but will not do a lot for the birth rate.

  • -1

    smithinjapan

    I agree to an extent that letting in more foreigners would just be a temporary solution, but it will ultimately be needed in the near future, as it is now, to fill the jobs that Japanese or others already here can't or don't want to do. And think of care-giving! As society inevitably greys, there are more and more laws being slightly relaxed for Philippinas to come in and work in nursing homes, just as an example. But again, this is only a half-measure. The government needs to stop focussing on increasing taxes and costs of products to make more money, and corporation tax cuts, increased defense spending, etc., and instead reinstitute tax breaks for family, make nursery schools subsidized (and I mean CERTIFIED schools!) and increase their number, and decrease costs. Until that is done, all that will happen in with an increase in foreigners will inevitably be an increase in old-aged people (unless they start having a lot of babies and living in poverty!).

  • 4

    BertieWooster

    The real reason they're all leaving . . .

    With Abe at the helm, who can blame them?

    Why do I stay?

    I often wonder.

  • 2

    cracaphat

    Watched a program called "No Sex,We're Japanese" the other day.The projections are that within the next 50 years the population will be one third of it now.That is some serious drop-off.

  • 4

    akkk1

    I'd rather see it's population plummet than become "multicultural". Do Western nations really gain anything by allowing in wave after wave of foreigners? I think not.

    I surmise that you are a foreigner living in Japan. Your comment is rather ironic.

  • 2

    AustPaul

    Well it may have to consider relaxing its immigration policy if that is what is needed to move the country forward.

    Mike45- I don't buy into the 'mendokusai' thing, that is just laziness. If other countries can implement policies and procedures for new arrivals then so can Japan. After all, it is an advanced nation and it's 2014 not 1914....

  • 1

    funny car

    Watched a program called "No Sex,We're Japanese" the other day.The projections are that within the next 50 years the population will be one third of it now.That is some serious drop-off.

    cracaphat, I don't want to spread any false information, but I heard that people can have sex and not make babies. In fact, I heard it can be done on purpose if desired.

    I also heard that basically sexless people can procreate if they really really want to. They bite their lip a few times then go back to sexlessness.

    Now, I am not accusing you of having been misled, but I am pretty tired of the old canard that Japanese are not having kids because they rue sex. I am no position to tell you what the general trend is regarding sex in Japan (although I do note that love hotels seem to be doing a steady business), but it seems to me that young Japanese people are really not interested in having kids whether they like sex or not.

    Many men don't wish to marry because they know they will have sex twice a year and will give her all their salary, and along with it their freedom and independence.

    hampton, don't quote me, but I believe that in the past married Japanese men had more freedom on that score. The westernization of Japanese women could be the death of this country.. But as with the above, I can't say for sure what is going on with Japanese sex lives in general.

  • 0

    sighclops

    Well, Japan is overpopulated. Living in Tokyo, it's clear after a while that this isn't a healthy place to be. There is just no way that the kind of population growth we saw post-WW2 is sustainable. The population needs to be about half what it is now. I worry about Tokyo in 50-odd years where the infrastructure / housing will be simply unmaintainable.

  • 2

    NeoJamal

    Well, Japan is overpopulated. Living in Tokyo, it's clear after a while that this isn't a healthy place to be. There is just no way that the kind of population growth we saw post-WW2 is sustainable. The population needs to be about half what it is now. I worry about Tokyo in 50-odd years where the infrastructure / housing will be simply unmaintainable.

    There's hardly anyone living over in western Tokyo like Chofu, unless of course you just mean the 23 Wards like as its inhabitants always do.

  • 2

    albaleo

    The problem is not the percentage of people aged over 65, but the percentage of people who are not economically active and have to be supported. 60 years ago, people might have expected to be in retirement for 5 years. Today it's more like 20 years. Gradually raising the retirement age might be an alternative to having increased immigration.

  • 1

    kimuzukashiiiii

    albaleo, it sounds like a great idea, in theory. But they should abolish this whole "promotion based on length of time at the company" crap they have going on at the same time. The old guys who have been there forever do very little work, they are tired, unproductive and want to retire. But the money is awesome, and the bonuses huge. Their wifes dont particularly want them at home either.

    Perhaps a system where mandatory retirement is at 65, and then they can be reemployed on a part time basis, for a much lower salary, while receiving a half-pension would be a good alternative.

    We have to give the young people a chance to be able to earn enough to support themselves and their prospective families. If we keep all the high paid old guys around, thats not going to happen. Companies only have so much money they can spend on salaries.

  • 3

    Chris Lowery

    Lets remember, in 1920, Japan had a population of what 34~35 million on Japan proper? After the wars, it was 2x that. Today 126 million and change. I would suggest, this population decrease is to be completley expected, and from a certain view probably welcome. Given, the numbers don't sound good, but I think It will work out for Japan in the end.

  • 1

    GW

    Japan as things are going population wise is going to get nasty with too many old folks & the low birth rate.

    IMO if things don't change the birthrate will in the next 10-20yr drop drastically from its current rate which is already low, perhaps sooner, its already painfully apparent there are massive problems with J-life in general with respect to work-life balance etc, way too much emphasis on living near big cities, mean while the country side which was never crowded to begin with is very quickly becoming ghost towns.

    Simply put there are ways to deal with this but the locals aren't interested so we are all just going to get to watch the decline sadly

  • -4

    kaimycahl

    @Carrsl2001

    WHAT PLANET are you from? you wrote "I think japan needs more immigrants first in most countries immigrants have more children then natives most of the Filipino couples I know living in japan have three-five children "

    The more children immigrants have puts more burden on the locals the people who are born in the country and pay taxes! Immigrants are nothing but sponges especially if they are in the country illegally. Look at the prisons in the US they are filled with Mexicans and other foreigners who come to the country not wanting to assimilate but commit the same crimes they did in their own countries thinking they can get away clean doing the same thing in the US. If they can find jobs they rob, murder, and steal to survive. Those that do come and find work move into communities 10 families to a home 20 trash cars lined the streets the women have one baby in the oven two in a stroller and one walking. Pedro cant speak english because the US allows everyone the right to an education regardless legal or illegal the anchor babies fill the schools because Pedro only speaks spanish he gets his lessons in Spanish or if their is no one to speak spanish to him in the class room the teacher takes a lot of time from american students to help Pedro. your logic of having more immigrants doesn't make since do you know the cost and the impact of what this does. If Japan lighten up on immigration most Japanese will become the minority in their own country. Come to the US no one speak english anymore its all spanish. The US has been invaded not only by Mexicans, but Chinese and Indians from India.

    LMAO you comment "Second it's an age old problem immigrants to one country trying to keep other immigrants out. America, Canada, and Singapore has had enormous benefit from immigrants".

    I can say this the majority of americans cannot see any benefit from legal or illegal immigration, so don't say something you have no concrete evidence about, as i mentioned the hospitals are filled with illegal mothers dropping babies who pay the bills american tax papers, the schools are over crowded with their children, the jails are over crowded i can go on an on where there IS No BENEFIT. Their is no "AMERICAN DREAM" anymore its an AMERICAN NIGHTMARE". The dream is only for those who want to leave their country for something better at the cost of some other country looking for an handout.

    I think the best chance of Japan to survive is for the country to provide Better daycare,better employment opportunities for women and with this it will change the lifestyle of the young. It they can work and not worry about who will look after their children i am sure the population will grow. I applaud the thinking why have a child when you can't take care of it. Unlike other countries they just send their people to other countries and let them be the burden on the other country. If Japan has or change its immigration policies my advice bring in professionals not the scum of the earth like the US is getting. With immigration in america everything from health to attitudes has changed and the country is going downward because Johnny can't read do the the fact too many Pedros and Anna filling the classroom and the colleges being filled with Chinese! think again Car2001

  • 2

    Ranger_Miffy2

    As I understand it, the population of all of Japan for centuries was the same as the population today of Tokyo. Looks like that is the sustainable number for this island. We should go there, but the transition is going to be really rough!

  • 3

    ThonTaddeo

    I notice that the change in population exactly equals the births minus the deaths. Does this mean that net immigration was zero, or that "Japan's population" includes only people with Japanese nationality?

    If the latter, this speaks volumes about Japan's future and immigrants' place in it. Whether more immigration is a good thing or not, the very least Japan can do is include them in the population figures.

  • -1

    thkanner

    The proportion of people aged 65 or over will reach nearly 40% of the population in 2060. why bother in paying in pension funds? they wont be there by than. but japan will have more than 500000 people above age 100. invest in pension homes and hospitals , there is some cash to be made in the future.

  • 2

    Serrano

    If this population decline continues at this pace, in another decade or so, it might be possible to snag a good standing position on Yamanote Line during rush hour.

  • -1

    Abhorsenaube

    As a foreigner working in Japan i do believe that making the process a little easier could do some good to the population decline however the things in society such as how safe if is compared to other countries, as well as the quality and respect you get daily from people, employers, employees, and even strangers could be at risk. To me that isn't worth simply "opening borders" to allow foreign laborers.

  • 0

    Open Minded

    Thon: immigration in Japan is ZERO!

  • 1

    bruinfan

    Also people need to work later (until at least 65) and continue their education later in life.

  • 1

    gelendestrasse

    Yes, in Japan people retire (or are rather forced to) much too early. That's part of the problem. But with the birth rate so low there aren't enough young people to keep up. I expect this trend to continue for some time.

  • 2

    NathalieB

    . I am no position to tell you what the general trend is regarding sex in Japan

    I am! I did a research project with work one time - this data is from 2005, but based on statistical trends, it is like to have gotten worse since then, not better:

    1/3 of marriages in Japan are estimated to be "sexless" 1/5 of sexless couples state that sex is a "nuisance" to them A sexless marriage in Japan is defined as no sex for > 1 month The most commonly cited reason is tiredness due to work. Most sexless marriages are not considered "loveless" - the individuals report no intention of separating or divorcing. Whether this was due to love or social pressure however was not measured. 60% of men aged 20-30 are considered "soushokukei" or "herbivorous" men. One of the characteristics of this group is a lack of interest in sex, and a preference for "self-sex" using internet, toys, porn etc

    A comparison between the west and Japan revealed that actually there are quite a number of "sexless" marriages in the west too, which was interesting - but what stood out a mile in the statistics was that the western sexless marriages were almost all individuals over the age of 50, i.e. childbearing age, whereas in Japan the "sexless" phenomenon was across the board from the 20s age bracket and up.

    Thought someone might find this interesting in the context of the thread. :)

  • 3

    danalawton1@yahoo.com

    Japan's decreasing population is not a problem but when the Government of Japan continues to print money and run massive deficits then yes Japan's decreasing population becomes a big problem. If you plan on staying in Japan you need to figure out how to insulate yourself from what is coming. Your tax burden will increase, services will decrease, the cost of medicine will rise, your Home Values will decrease on average, and the Yen will decrease in value. You need to hedge yourself if you plan on staying in Japan. You need to get an offshore investment account and invest in a couple of other currencies along with stock and bonds. Going forward the government of Japan is going to work feverishly to figure out how to tax anything they possibly can. Do not just sit back and let them take everything, you need to be pro-active or kiss it good bye. The writing is on the wall.... decreasing population and increasing government deficits is a recipe for doom.

  • 2

    Ranger_Miffy2

    There should be no mandatory retirement limits. Let people work as long as they want to, need to, and can. Workers pay taxes and support the economy.

  • 0

    lostrune2

    but what stood out a mile in the statistics was that the western sexless marriages were almost all individuals over the age of 50, i.e. childbearing age

    Pity the AARP members who have to bear children..........

  • 0

    Kimokekahuna Hawaii

    I would love to come immigrate to Japan and I live in "paradise". Japan sometimes needs new blood and thinking not just parasites who have nothing to offer and just take up jobs. Quantity does not make quality. In an increasing tech world laborers are not as important as manufacturing and even McDonald's can be done by robots or drones. You do not need to bring in immigrants who do not speak the language, try to change Japan culture to their own or like rats come in off of ships and just breed as you can not get rid of them. These people do not love Japan .. they just hate where they were from. In America.. now 25% of the population is Spanish and they do not want to be America.. just live there and send money back foreign countries. That is not a good formula.

    The attitude that you can not get a hired in a good job if you are over 50 needs rethinking and elders should be hired for their wisdom and honesty not thrown out with the wash water. Young Japanese women do not want to get married or have to work at a boring job they just want to have rich life and go shopping and go to Hawaii and shop some more using someone elses money. I think they see how their mothers were treated as basically house slaves with husbands that live on a train. Young girls would rather be kawaii forever and live the life of a Jpop star not have children until they are 35 if at all. Some women are however are natural and great mothers that nurture the future generation and society.

    It is too expensive to raise children and people worry about getting kids in private day care all the way up to universities that charge way too much for not so special education with graduates only able to get a job at McDonalds. So make schools cheaper... or free on line. Make more romantic movies that encourage being in love and treating each other in a loving way. Move more business to the suburbs, let elders be teachers and work as long as they can because nothing is worse than wasting knowledge and spirit.

  • 0

    ju123

    Is starting a family not a very high priority in Japan?

  • 0

    kickboard

    Japan's birth rate has increased to 1.41 in 2012 compared to an all-time low 1.26 in 2005. Still not enough, but a positive trend.

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