Japan’s population could be wiped out by 3011 if the current birth rate continues. This was the apocalyptic scenario forecast by the Daily Mail in recent days when continuing decreasing birth rate statistics recently emerged.
In a survey, The National Institute of Population and Social Security Research, whose results were published in the Independent, also forecast that if present trends continue as they have for the last four years, the population will drop from the present 127 million to less than 87 million by 2060.
The serious issue is the impact that this will have in the very near future. The population balance would mean that 40 % of those living in Japan in just 43 years time would be over 65. The drastic loss of tax from those working combined with the excessive costs of a huge aging population spells economic disaster.
The trend started in 1975 and has continued at a pace. Many economists are looking at the increase of women in the work place as one of the reasons as people have then got married later and have had smaller or no families as a consequence. Others point to the decline of traditional values where it would have been usual for a bride and groom to be ‘chosen’ by the respective parents and for a family to be expected shortly thereafter. Perhaps it is a more practical reason of very high costs to raise children in Japan.
Today, because of time limitation and perhaps after the very strong cultural and historical traditions have waned it appears that many young Japanese don’t even bother to date, they just marry friends instead.
The government is introducing financial incentives to encourage having children in the hope that this will begin to change the beginnings of an alarming social disaster.
When companies in Japan such as Unicharm are reporting that last year it sold more adult nappies than those for babies since opening the market in 1985, alarm bells should perhaps really begin to toll.