Japan quoton the edgequot of social collapse due to declining

Japan "on the edge" of social collapse due to declining birth rates

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida expressed despair over the country’s birth rate in a speech to his country’s parliament on Monday.

“It’s now or never when it comes to politics related to births and child rearing, this is an issue that just can’t wait any longer,” the Prime Minister said. “The number of births fell below 800,000 last year.”

“Japan is figuring out whether it can continue to function as a society,” he added.

For comparison, Japan experienced almost 2 million births per year in the 1970s.

Although the Asian island nation has a population of about 125 million, its demographic pyramid is aging rapidly. Only Monaco, the citystate on the Côte d’Azur, has a higher proportion of residents aged 65 and over.

Rising costs of living and low immigration are hampering Japan’s ability to increase its late birth rate. Only 3% of the country’s population are foreigners, compared to more than a quarter of Americans.

Kishida pledged to double spending on childrelated initiatives and announced the creation of a new government agency to deal with the problem.

“The focus on policies related to children and early childhood education is an issue that cannot wait and cannot be postponed.”

Demographers use the measure of the reproductive or fertility rate, the average number of children born by each woman, to assess a society’s health. When the fertility rate falls below 2.1, a society begins to shrink.

In 2020, Japan recorded a fertility rate of 1.34. That same year, a team of researchers in the Lancet predicted that Japan’s population would fall to just over 50 million by the end of the century.

Japan is among a growing list of East Asian nations expected to face severe demographic challenges in the coming decades.

Last Tuesday, the Chinese government released demographic data showing the country’s population had declined from a year earlier for the first time in six decades. The news surprised many academics, who had predicted that China would not see such a precipitous fall this decade.

“I don’t think there’s a single country that went down as much as China in terms of fertility rate and then bounced back to replacement rate,” said Philip O’Keefe, a professor at the University of California, Irvine and To an expert on demographics, opposite the New York Times.

India is set to become the world’s most populous country by 2023.

©2023 National Review. Released with permission. Original in English.