As Japan's population shrinks, bears and boars roam where schools and shrines once thrived


The red-roofed temple at the top of the hill closed about a decade ago, and now Yoshihiro Shibata can’t even remember its name, though the 54-year-old dairy farmer has lived in this picturesque village all his life.

“The income of the temple depends on the number of residents, and there weren’t enough to keep a monk here,” he said, looking around the deserted grounds nestled amid the village’s lush landscape of tea plants and hydrangeas, bamboo and pine trees.

A few years after the temple shut its doors, the village tea-processing factory closed down and the elementary school too. Now, the remaining students are bused an hour away.

“When I was young, we had about 100 kids here, but now there are just five,” Shibata said.

The local Shinto shrine is barely hanging on. With only about 250 households left in Hara-izumi, which is technically part of nearby Kakegawa city, the village no longer has enough men to hoist up the traditional float and parade it around during the shrine’s annual festival.

“They just set it out there and it doesn’t move,” Shibata said. In a few more years, even that may not be possible. “We’re supposed to lose half our population in the next decade.”

All across Japan, aging villages such as Hara-izumi have been quietly hollowing out for years, even as urban areas have continued to grow modestly. But like a creaky wooden roller coaster that slows at the top of the climb before plunging into a terrifying, steep descent, Japan’s population crested around 2010 with 128 million people and has since lost about 900,000 residents, last year’s census confirmed.

Now, the country has begun a white-knuckle ride in which it will shed about one-third of its population — 40 million people — by 2060, experts predict. In 30 years, 39% of Japan’s population will be 65 or older.

If the United States experienced a similar population contraction, it would be like losing every single inhabitant of California, New York, Texas and Florida — more than 100 million people.



Culture of death at its finest.

Just keep telling us how the future is yours, progressives. :o


Japan has had up to 200,000 to 1.2 million abortions each year, since 1949 to 2016.

67 years of filling up an approximate 13.5 million abortions.

That’s as if the entire population of the Japanese town of Tokyo was wiped out due to abortion because Tokyo has 13.5 million inhabitants.


The question remains. How does one increase birth rates? I see this as Pandora’s box in that even if abc was made illegal, those individuals reaping the benefits of delayed parenthood would go through great lengths to continue avoiding including the growing trend men and women no longer seeking relationships or even fornication.


I knew abortion was a factor.

I would think that after the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki they would not abort their next generations, but want to REBUILD and that means having more children.


I’m just reading a book writing by a Japanese journalist during WW2. He was originally stationed in America, and after the outbreak of war was held in an interment camp before being returned to Japan in 1942. The author made a surprising comment I thought. He listed many reasons for why Japan went to war, with one of the top reasons being over population in his country. It was felt colonization would help relieve the over population his country was experiencing.

I hadn’t heard that before. Maybe a smaller population in Japan will be viewed positively in the country.

The wild animals roaming in area previously not seen in some cases reminds me of America. A bear was caught a few years ago not far from I live, and I live in a heavily populated area. I haven’t seen any wild pigs yet, but have heard they are now in the area.


Well I imagine in Japan’s case there are two possibilities, without phasing out birth control:

  1. stop aborting 200 000 babies per year.
  2. loosen the restrictions on immigration somewhat.
    Canada would be in the same boat if we didn’t receive hundreds of thousands of new skilled immigrants From around the world each year.


Increasing the birth rate requires cultural changes that secular leftists and their excuse-making allies on the center and right don’t want because it infringes on grievance, :cool: narratives, safe spaces and other selfishness like “I can’t have more than one kid because I have to dedicate my whole career to paying for a college education that says having babies is nominally bad and my kid will be working minimum wage unless he/she has their own car, laptop and ipod”.

Of course, that’s assuming that by “increase the birth rate” one is talking about the native population with sustainable immigration.

Otherwise, there’s plenty of sharia law groups that would be more than happy to show up, out-breed everyone else over time and live like the 7th Century via democratic vote.

  1. Sounds good

  2. Will only work if those immigrants are willing to assimilate to a point (some of Canada’s marriage and free speech laws are a complete joke) and if there is understanding that terrorists, drug lords, people who only want welfare and no job and human traffickers take advantage. Otherwise, one may be better off in the long run without them.


Aside from some grievance used to gain favor with the USA, those memories are old and distant.

A lot of people have already forgotten 9-11, let alone WWII.

Besides, using capitalism, the Japanese were able to rebuild their cities in no time.

Japan and some places in East Asia are in the same boat as other First World nations in this guilt-ridden cultural epidemic.


Japan has a total population of 127+million, and a population density over 300 people per square kilometer.

I’m not a sociologist, anthropologist, economist, political scientist, or civil engineer, but it seems like a decrease in population would help out in that case.


Most human systems depend on continuous growth. Social services and several parts of capitalism (and communism too) struggle with stagnant conditions.

Though, you have a point in other areas like environmental issues, it is a hard still on this board to advocate for less ppl even if not by abortion or abc.


It would not. Overpopulation concerns are too one-dimensional. If such a decline were a good thing, why do they have immigration?


Or Japan could gain territory. For example, some countries in Europe that are between smuggling routes from Turkey (e.g., via Greece) to Germany could give strips of land along their borders to Japan. The example of East Pakistan (now called “Bangladesh”) and West Pakistan (now called simply “Pakistan”) demonstrates that a country doesn’t need to consist of contiguous land. Japan could be based on its islands, while also acquiring land elsewhere, decreasing the overall population density of Japan.


Population growth delays the collapse current systems. We do not know the limit, but to assume it can grow indefinitely seems implausible.


This has to do with urbanization, not pop growth.
People don’t want to live in small towns, where the work isn’t.


Certainly the decline in overall population is a factor – a country losing 1/3 of its population is a huge deal. But I agree with you that urbanization is a factor as well. Rural areas even in the US are losing population, and of course the US is not facing overall population decline as Japan is. I’m sure the depopulation of rural areas is even more pronounced in Japan.


Progressive values really hit Japan after they lost World War II. I wonder if the US had something to do with it.


Japanese families, particularly in rural areas, were traditionally large.
It also mind-boggling after the atomic bombs and radiation why they would allow even one nuclear reactor in an earthquake prone country.


The Germans in the 1930’s called it “Lebensraum”, “room to live”, their excuse for spreading out all over Europe. Not having enough space is mainly a mental phenomenon, or an excuse to go to war. The Japanese neurosis was also imagining themselves the spreaders of modernization to Manchuria and Korea. It didn’t matter so much if they were killing off the population in the process.

As for wild boars, they are particularly numerous in the areas cordoned off because of radiation, freely going in and out of abandoned houses. I wonder how much these animals have absorbed radiation. There was a TV program about them on NHK World. They seem pretty lively and healthy with their many offspring.

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