Japan census: Population fell nearly 1 million in 2010-2015



What WWII and two atomic bombs could not do, the Japanese are doing to themselves. With virtually no in-migration, the falling birth rate has caused an actual fall in population. With a very aged population remaining a short term increase in births is extremely unlikely.

Europe is next and maybe even the US because children are no longer valued as they were by previous generations. Why take the responsibility for a little human if he or she interferes with your career or vacation plans?:frowning:


Japan keeps trying to use Keynesianism and stimulus from government spending to awaken their economy from the recession it has been in for 2 1/2 decades. They keep trying the same thing over and over again. And they have never addressed the actual problem, which is the falling birthrate and lack of families having babies.

It’s very common for young men and women to simply not even attempt to find a spouse in Japan now. It’s going to be a horrific outcome for them.


Eventually, Japan is going to have to “rediscover” that the Japanese “race” they prize so much, is almost certainly a mixture of ancient immigrants from the Philippines and Korea with a dab of whatever the Ainu are, and allow immigration from both places.


It seems that, for whatever reason, it’s very hard to reverse low fertility trends, the causes of which are fairly complex but have a lot to do with women postponing having children to later and later ages for a variety of reasons.

There are also disturbing but regular reports from Japan (to which I don’t know how much credibility one should give, but they seem plausible) that increasing numbers of Japanese men who should be finding partners and starting families are just opting out of dating altogether. The Japanese media have even coined a phrase for such men: ‘grass-eaters,’ that is vegetarians.

I say it’s plausible because one stereotype of the Japanese is that they can be very shy.


One thing that struck me about visiting Japan was that it would be difficult to have a large (more than 2 children) family and negotiate the transportation system of buses and subways in someplace like Tokyo. I wonder if that has an impact.



Reading the comments in the article though…I think I lost a few points of my IQ.

Praying for Japan…and for all of us, in fact.


All I can say in response to that is that kids in Japan are expected to navigate public transportation and in general take care of themselves (make meals for themselves, walk themselves to school, etc.) without an adult’s presence in ways that would raise many an eyebrow in contemporary America where kids are rarely out of their caregiver’s sight.


If we are going to survive the global population explosion post WW2 without war and famine, a natural reduction such as this seems almost appropriate.

Anyone who believes Global Warming and eventual resource depletion is a risk would think this is not the worst news to hear.


The problem from Japan’s point of view is that as the population ages and doesn’t replace itself a smaller and smaller workforce will have to support a large elderly population with their taxes. How will its economy thrive if the population is dwindling? There’s also the fear that Japan will have to import non-Japanese from outside as the labor force shrinks and Japan as an insular country doesn’t have a good track record of welcoming foreigners (as Ridgerunner alluded to in his post above). Finally it’s just sad to see small rural communities shrink and die as fewer children are born there and schools dwindle to just a few students then close. It feels like a death knell for the country.

This affects the U.S. as Japan is a strong ally which shares our values (unlike say China) and if it gradually fades away China will occupy that vacuum.


So in a couple years they might relax their immigration policies in response, problem solved. And it leads to a more diverse Japan.

This is not the crisis people make it out to be.


Well for at least as long as their are countries who do have population growth. But the stated goal of many would seem to have all countries everyone in the negative (and, certainly, the developed world is heading in that direction). That’s when there will be an obvious problem.

Moreover, aside from the issue of the population dynamic, it would seem that the underlying dynamics which have inspired negative population growth is very problematic. Dying populations don’t tend to represent happy civilizations.


This will not be a smooth transition. And in the eyes of many Japanese, if the price they have to pay to keep their country alive is to import non-Japanese Asians, it will not be Japan any longer so the day is lost either way.

Unlike the U.S. Japan doesn’t have a model for integrating large numbers of immigrants into their society. The largest ethnic minority is Koreans and they are a source of tension. Also Japan could well be the most ethnically homogeneous country in the world, which tends to reinforce the us versus them mentality.


Agreed. Eventually even the most conservative models have the world population plateauing and then pulling back somewhere between 9 and 11 billion depending on the model. The previous rates of population growth were just not sustainable. There already isn’t enough to go around in the world as is and we’re coming into an era where some basic resources like water are going to be even harder to come by.


Not to mention, in an overcrowded country that launched a huge war for territorial gain only three generations ago, a downward adjustment in population is not catastrophic.



The WP was never going to climb out of sight; population curves don’t work that way.

There is always a shallow curve (human life until about 1850) that swoops upward with increasing slope (1850 to about 1970) then, as life conditions get les attractive due to crowding, hits an inflection point then starts to flatten out. We are in the flattening out stage.



I wouldn’t look at it that way, rather Japan is strong ally of the U.S. and (strange as it may sound) an outpost of Western values in a neighborhood full of totalitarian and quasi-totalitarian countries. As Japan gradually fades away the power vacuum it leaves will be occupied by China - a country that does not share our values.


Yes, they won’t change unless there is some difficulty or outside pressure to change, but that is not a bad thing.


China has much the same problem. They have more time, because they are much higher in population, but as their **enforced **population control begins to “bear fruit”, their numbers will go down as well.

I’m not sure we can continue to count on the good will of Japan as their economy continues to flounder. There is currently a drive there toward remilitarization.



The US is pushing for their militarization, as a counter to China.
It’s about time they stepped up again as a regional power.


My prediction is they won’t change, because they can’t.

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