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What do you think about Japan's declining birthrate?

Mandylion

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Read and feel the doom窶 The reactions are very interesting indeed. I vote for Mr. Masaki Murakami on being either the most sarcastic Japanese man I have ever seen, a rare thing indeed, or the oddest thinker geo-politically (would certianly solve my residency problems). Yoshie Nagashima gets my vote for the best procrastinator/clueless. I think it is interesting that they all seem to have taken the question in terms of the survival of culture, except for Mr. Kimura, where as I took it on first meaning to relate more to a pending economic crisis caused by a labor shortage and looming revenue crisis.

I would be interested to know what each person does/did for work. Anyway, enjoy.

http://www.japantoday.com/e/?content=popvox&id=387
 

tasuki

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That Nagashima person is indeed totally clueless. "I am too young to think about that kind of problem"?!?!? And what about that Toyama person who thinks "...I want the government to use our tax money to build a better society for [elderly people]..." and who's going to contribute all those taxes when there are more elderly than tax payers? Besides rearranging a society around the elderly is, in my opinion, tantamount to social suicide.

Reading that kind of opinion poll just makes me realize one thing along the lines of what George Santayana once said: "those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it". I'd change it to "Those who have never know the past will repeat it and should not speculate on the future". This is not the first time in history birthrates are declining here or elsewhere. Women taking control of their lives and gaining rights from the 19th century was found to have contributed a lot to decline of the birthrate both in North America and Europe until the WWII... Maybe that's the problem with Japan at present? Yet, the pendulum eventually swung in the opposite direction in the aftermath of WWII. What will it take to get fertility growing again this time? If we look at history, maybe it's going to take an illness on a global scale such as the Influenza pandemic, another world war, or maybe a global economic breakdown, in the aftermath of which the birthrate will spike... Who knows?

Besides, the world being overpopulated as it is, a declining birth rate, while costly in the short run, may prove beneficial in the long... Again, who know?
 

Hachiro

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Resurecting an old thread but today's news makes me wonder what the future of Japan is going to be like.

http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/nn20060602a1.html

By REIJI YOSHIDA


Staff writer
Japan's so-called total fertility rate, an indicator used for international comparisons of birth trends within individual countries, fell for the fifth consecutive year, hitting a record low of 1.25 last year, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry said Thursday.
The record low rate prompted Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to take a hard look at the dwindling birthrate.
"We have to take this figure very seriously," Koizumo told reporters at his official residence. "Measures to cope with the declining number of children will be the priority issue in the future."
Chief Cabinet Secretary Shinzo Abe also voiced concern, saying that the rapidly graying society "will affect the basis of our country" as it will lead to higher social welfare burdens and lower economic growth.
According to the health ministry, the total fertility rate slipped 0.04 points in 2005 from 1.29 in 2004. The latest figure is lower than the 1.31 level predicted by the government in its 2002 long-term forecast. The forecast is used to determine premiums and benefits for public pensions, as well as for the social security system as a whole.
The total fertility rate indicates the number of children that would be born to each woman if she were to live and bear children at each age in accordance with prevailing age-specific fertility rates in a given year.
Using the rate makes it possible for countries to compare their figures with general fertility trends in different countries in a given year regardless of differences in their female population age pyramids. The figures released Thursday do not include non-Japanese residents.
To maintain the current population level, Japan would have to maintain a fertility rate of 2.07. The 2002 government forecast warned the population will decline by nearly half to 64 million in 2100 if the current low rate continues.
Many developed economies in Asia have seen rapid declines in fertility in recent years. In 2004, the fertility rate was 0.93 in Hong Kong, 1.16 in South Korea, 1.18 in Taiwan and 1.24 in Singapore.
The health ministry also announced that 714,261 couples married in 2005, down 6,156 from the previous year.
The average age men married was 29.8 and was 28 for women, up 0.2 year from the previous year for both men and women. Divorces numbered 261,929, down 8,875 from the previous year, the third straight yearly fall since peaking at 289,836 in 2002.
Natural population growth, or the number of births minus deaths, fell by 103,527 to a negative 21,408 in 2005, the first time the has been negative since statistics started being compiled in 1899, and thus means there was a decline instead of actual growth.
Sooner or later Japan is going to have to come to grips with this, hopefully sooner than later.:eek:
 

yukio_michael

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Before they hire foreigners, they should hire unemployed Japanese.
This is like saying, oh well, remember when we treated our own ethnic minorities like inhuman scum and forced them to live in the street and hide the origins of their family names, forget that, now we'd like to give them jobs rather than the filthy foreigners.
 

anjinsan

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If anecdotal evidence is any help: Make a day trip to any shopping or sightseeing spot on a public holiday--you'll see so many kids you'll wonder what Japan must have been like before this so-called "declining birth rate."
 

nurizeko

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Thats illogical, Japan is a country of millions, a declining birth-rate doesnt mean you cant have hundreds of kids in close priximity at the same time.

Japan isnt going to run ouf of children within a year, it just means every year there is slightly less.

Japan's problem is women are finally finding some liberations from the paternal society of Japan, not exactly known for being the most equal of societies for the sexes, until recently, and they seem to be bitter....yes, bitter is what I would call it.

Many seem to openly dispise men.

Women are equals and their minds have as much pitential as men, but they've forgotten that their bodies still provide the very vital function of replenishing the human species.

I fear the modern idea of "equality" is going to be as much a curse on the future of humanity as it is a freedom and liberation of women.

Also alot of Japanese seem "selfish" in the sense they simply dont want kids because it might be an inconvenience.

TBH I would feel the same way if I live in those cities, they just arent the most friendly places for space, an avarage Japanese home is pretty small, it only gets smaller with kids.

If it means Japanese can have bigger homes and generaly higher quality of life, I'm happy to see Japans population fall, as long as the fall is arrested once things are more comfortable for all people.

And I agree, its 2006, it wont kill Japan to have some new blood, once they get over the horror of non-Japanese genetics being introduced into their society maybe they'll relise that foreigners are still human and it isnt the end of the world (or Japan) to have some new genetic input.

Personally I find it odd that Japan wants to make it so difficult for foreigners, mainly those with Japanese spouses, I mean, what with the falling population you need all the folk you can get, and many Japanese seem to have a mind for foreign partners for whatever reason, and in a good few cases many Japanese partners go abroad with their spouse to live in their country instead.
Sometimes I wonder if the main factor for this is simply that Japan isnt easier for a foreigner to settle in.

In Britain the spouse of a British citizen gets british citizenship, because I guess they are considored to be British by marital vows.

[/rant]
 

yukio_michael

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I think it's generally held myth that Japan is in fact a homogenous society, its just that they're able to mask out the inhomogeny by simply controlling immigration, or making immigration favourable to those who happen to be Asian.

Once you take away someone's name and heritage, slap on a new Japanese name, were they ever any other race? In a book somwhere, recorded to the Japanese they are, but for society, their culture gets whitewashed in order to keep up with this, so-called 'heterogenous society'.

How often in Japan do you say, "oh that person, they aren't Japanse, they must be Chinese or Fillipino...", but that's the reality of society in Japan.
 

dando

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In my web, two articles on the marriage are actively read now.

"There is a possibility that one third of males in their 20s will be unmarried throughout their lifetime."
ttp://dandoweb.com/e/unmarried.html

"Seemingly Overheated International Marriages in East Asia"
ttp://dandoweb.com/e/marriage.html

Both are articles that introduce blogs of Japan.
Six articles are posted as "Japanese Blog Review" series.

Japan Research and Analysis
ttp://dandoweb.com/e/
 

caster51

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I think it's generally held myth that Japan is in fact a homogenous society
japan is getting more homogenous society than before..

a homogenous society means a society where a lot of cultures melt.

That is, the Japanese Islands are collecting of the culture drift.
 

ricecake

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I think he meant Japan stays homogeneous as it obsorbed many foreign cultures through out Japan's history.
 

Nicky

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Women are equals and their minds have as much pitential as men, but they've forgotten that their bodies still provide the very vital function of replenishing the human species.
[/rant]
Let's trade! My ovaries for your penis. Then you could pop out a few babies of your own and "replenish the human species", And I could go poke at things.
 

bexchurnside

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Thats illogical, Japan is a country of millions, a declining birth-rate doesnt mean you cant have hundreds of kids in close priximity at the same time.
Japan isnt going to run ouf of children within a year, it just means every year there is slightly less.
Japan's problem is women are finally finding some liberations from the paternal society of Japan, not exactly known for being the most equal of societies for the sexes, until recently, and they seem to be bitter....yes, bitter is what I would call it.
Many seem to openly dispise men.
Women are equals and their minds have as much pitential as men, but they've forgotten that their bodies still provide the very vital function of replenishing the human species.
I fear the modern idea of "equality" is going to be as much a curse on the future of humanity as it is a freedom and liberation of women.
Also alot of Japanese seem "selfish" in the sense they simply dont want kids because it might be an inconvenience.
TBH I would feel the same way if I live in those cities, they just arent the most friendly places for space, an avarage Japanese home is pretty small, it only gets smaller with kids.
If it means Japanese can have bigger homes and generaly higher quality of life, I'm happy to see Japans population fall, as long as the fall is arrested once things are more comfortable for all people.
And I agree, its 2006, it wont kill Japan to have some new blood, once they get over the horror of non-Japanese genetics being introduced into their society maybe they'll relise that foreigners are still human and it isnt the end of the world (or Japan) to have some new genetic input.
Personally I find it odd that Japan wants to make it so difficult for foreigners, mainly those with Japanese spouses, I mean, what with the falling population you need all the folk you can get, and many Japanese seem to have a mind for foreign partners for whatever reason, and in a good few cases many Japanese partners go abroad with their spouse to live in their country instead.
Sometimes I wonder if the main factor for this is simply that Japan isnt easier for a foreigner to settle in.
In Britain the spouse of a British citizen gets british citizenship, because I guess they are considored to be British by marital vows.
[/rant]
Yeah, I hope they open up to the foreigners. I too am British. I was born in Exeter. Where were you born? I am currently residing in Canada and am engaged to a Japanese-Canadian man. I guess when I marry him, he can also be English if he wanted to (but I think that isn't hard for him to do anyway being a Commonwealth Citizen already, if he just lived there for a couple years), but how about me? I wonder if I would ever get Japanese nationality if I were to marry him and live permanently there and have kids with him there? I heard that I don't get equal rights in Japan if I am a foreigner and he is Japanese. (Funny because he too is a foreigner in the sense that he is born on Canadian soil)😌

If laws are such that it is so disadvantaged for the foreigner spouse, I could see why many western ladies would not want to marry a Japanese man. I do however love him and I think we will be married forever, and since he is so sweet, this is really not going to stop me one way or the other. He told me that since he too is not accepted there, we might just go back to live in Canada or England. He really wants to have kids with me, and told me that he would be happy to anytime I want to, so I know he is truly committed to me.

japan is getting more homogenous society than before..
a homogenous society means a society where a lot of cultures melt.
That is, the Japanese Islands are collecting of the culture drift.
I heard that if things get trendy in Japan, everyone jumps the bandwagon. So how about a fad of interracial marriage. Japan would move to progression faster than anything in the world if they made it "trendy".
 
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caster51

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after WW2, a father looked for Job and mother have to buy food to far.
they did not care about their children.
a family have 5 children in average.
why dose a animal birth a baby inclueding human being?.
It is an instinct for survival of the living thing.
The declining birthrate is ,in a word, a problem of man (living thing) instinct.
Clearly if experimenting on the animal.
The activity of the reproductive system becomes active if the life is exposed
to the crisis and the birthrate goes up
.
The risk to the life gives birth to a lot of lives for alive the remainder of
the seed.
The child was bornツ as necessary to be practiced birth control in the life risk of the food difficulty and the hard living in postwar days .
Japanツ became an environment that the instinct for survival of the seed does not work positively
It is not possible to return now immediately after the end of the war.
The nuclear danger of North Korea solves the problem of that.😌
 

Mikawa Ossan

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I heard that I don't get equal rights in Japan if I am a foreigner and he is Japanese.
You heard wrong. Once you are naturalized as a Japanese citizen, there is legal distinction on your rights vis a vis non-naturalized citizens. What you have heard is probably related to the social aspect, which is very largely true. You can be a citizen, but in the eyes of most people you meet, you will still be a foreigner. But that happens everywhere, I think, especially in a society that is so overwhelmingly the same ethnic group.
I heard that if things get trendy in Japan, everyone jumps the bandwagon. So how about a fad of interracial marriage. Japan would move to progression faster than anything in the world if they made it "trendy".
And the ensueing near 100% divorce rate would do wonders for this "progression".

Incidentally, among certain subsets of society, it already is trendy to have a foreign spouse. Whenever I see a woman like that, I turn right around. No thanks!
 
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bexchurnside

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You heard wrong. Once you are naturalized as a Japanese citizen, there is legal distinction on your rights vis a vis non-naturalized citizens. What you have heard is probably related to the social aspect, which is very largely true. You can be a citizen, but in the eyes of most people you meet, you will still be a foreigner. But that happens everywhere, I think, especially in a society that is so overwhelmingly the same ethnic group.
!
Are you saying that a naturalized Japanese citizen and a so called "normal" Japanese national has the exact same right, or are you saying that there is a difference? If it is the latter, could you clarify certain legal examples?
 

Han Chan

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Japans population is declining even faster that before

I found this alarming story today:

Expected fertility rate for 2055 revised downward to 1.26
12/21/2006
THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
Japan's expected median fertility rate in 2055 was revised downward to 1.26, meaning that the population will likely plunge to 89.93 million by that year.
In 2002, the fertility rate--the average number of babies a woman gives birth to in her lifetime--was predicted to be 1.39.
But the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research lowered the expected rate to 1.26 to reflect the later age at which women are marrying, as well as the rise in the number of women who choose to remain single or have no children.
The institute expects Japan's population to decrease by 38 million in the half-century to 2055.
The graying of society will continue.
People over 65 years old will make up 40.5 percent of the population in 2055, compared with 20.2 percent now, according to the institute.
Wednesday's estimate predicts Japan's population will fall to under 100 million in 2046.
The lower fertility rate would make it difficult for the government to keep its promise of maintaining public pension benefits at 50 percent of what the working population earns.(IHT/Asahi: December 21,2006)
 

shiroma

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Yet another case of media's huge distortion on politician's comment:

Yanagisawa Calls Women "Birth-Giving Machines"
Health minister Hakuo Yanagisawa referred to women as "birth-giving machines" in a speech Saturday on welfare and health care.
His speech was an introduction to the less-known academic field, statistical studies of population. It handles macro-scale population data, just like GDP growth rate.
Number of people who can become pregnant is very important, abstracted as "production facility" analogy in industrial analysis.

Accurate prediction is necessary for coming up with right policies for future Japanese society. He did apologize to people who are incapable of logical thinking who would feel offended right after the comment during the same speech, which is conviniently unquoted in the newspaper article. He had no sexist intention, it is rather nice that a minister explains academic aspects of the issue to people.

It is in general wise to suspect media when it reports that Japanese politician making inappropreate comments.


閣議後記者会見概要

related post
 

Han Chan

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Health Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa: "The number of women aged between 15 and 50 is fixed. Because the number of birth-giving machines and devices is fixed, all we can ask for is for them to do their best per head, although it may not be so appropriate to call them machines."

The insult from yet another minster from LDPs "dinosaur" generation. The worst thing about this kind of insults is not that those who are beeing disrespected, can become upset. The real tragic consequence of the rule by old conservative men in Japan will lead to very serious consequences for the japanese society. Aslong as the politicians in Japan fails to take steps towards making it easier for women to have both children and carreers the population will not reproduce. Abusing women by claiming that they are not dooing their best - as birth-giving machines! Will not convince anyone to raise any more children.

Now the japanese population is in decline - soon the negative effects on the economy will be clear for all - even old conservative men!
 

shiroma

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Han Chan said:
The real tragic consequence of the rule by old conservative men in Japan will lead to very serious consequences for the japanese society.
The steps of scientific method is to construct the system model first, to predict the result based on the model, then confirm if the hypothesis works or not.
In the population studies the model is that a part of population gives the feedback to the system with a few decade delay, as the reproductive elements for the system. They do not deal in which individual gives no feedback, they use statistics instead.

His bottom line is that the population in a few decades can be predicted very accurately, because the number of women who will be able to give childbirth are already born even though many of them are still children now.
It was in relation to the first government milestone year about the issue in 2030.
He said, as the number of women who can have babies are already fixed, the only alternative to get higher birth rate is that each of willing ones to try to have more children. The sentence in question is
そういうようなことで、後は、産む機械って言ってはなんだけども、装置の数がもう決っちゃったということになると、機械と言っては申し訳ないが、機械って言ってごめんなさいね。その産む役目の人が一人あたまで頑張ってもらうしかないんですよ。
Translation. "And so, then, inappropreate if saying birthgiving machine, if it is that the number of devices is already fixed, apology if saying machine, sorry to say machine. There is no other way except that each of people with birthgiving role does [her] best."

Compare that with media's "interpretation." Editing out the most important 機械って言ってごめんなさいね clause must have been an intentional one.
It is one thing that he should have come up with better analogy, but it does not justify distortion by media.


Another example of a big lie:

Health Minister Says Couples should Want at Least Two Kids in Latest Gaffe
Health Minister Hakuo Yanagisawa, in hot water for calling women "birth-giving machines," said on Tuesday that it was only natural for a couple to want at least two children when he talked about policies to deal with the declining birthrate in Japan.
Now that is total fabrication.
Yanagisawa's comment was a response when he got a result of a government poll, that was 85% of single young people replied that they want to get married and have two or more children. Basically, he was saying that he felt glad. The original sentence is,
ご当人の若い人たちは、結婚もしたい、子供も2人以上持ちたいと、きわめて健全な状況にいるわけですね。日本の若者の健全な希望というものに、我々がフィットした政策を出していく
Translation: "The-persons-concerned young people, wanna-marry, wanna-have-two-or-more-children, [apparently] are in very natural condition. For the thing called Japanese youths' natural hope, we are going to submit policies that fit with it."


All Japanese media including NHK (except Sankei that is influenced by a foreign religous cult,) recently has been showing agressive mislead tactics to keep people fooled. In other words it has become apparent how deeply communists have infiltrated in media in Japan.
Beware of red feminists' compulsive lies: their true goal is to let Japanese go extinct.
 

Han Chan

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All Japanese media including NHK (except Sankei that is influenced by a foreign religous cult,) recently has been showing agressive mislead tactics to keep people fooled. In other words it has become apparent how deeply communists have infiltrated in media in Japan.
Beware of red feminists' compulsive lies: their true goal is to let Japanese go extinct.
This sounds seriously paranoid!:( :) 🙂
 

maushan3

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It might help in some countries, like in China, where it is hard to give employment to all.
But in Japan, I think it is okay for people not to want kids, personal chocie, nothing slefish in that, although I do want to have kids.
Economically-wise, it might hurt Japan. What they need to do, is for the government to give a lot of benefits for the people that have more kids. That is, that they pay the birth of the child, life insurance and such. And, why not, for them to break out of that bubble of theirs and actually invite foreigners to come in their country with open arms. A lot of blue-collared work might be needed and foreigners of third-world countries will benefit as well as Japan itself.

Mauricio
 

shiroma

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This sounds seriously paranoid!:( :) 🙂
Such kind of post does not justify the attempt to spread around the smear campaign based on lies about the minister, knowingly or unknowingly.

People still remember the major embarrassment someone made in the very third post right after the registration: Link to the Thread

Screaming "abusing women by claiming that they are not dooing their best - as birth-giving machines!" would not quite work for converting forum readers into hate-Japan cult comrades, since it is yet another false accusation.

It is a good thing that lurkers get to know whose posts cannot be trusted.
 

Han Chan

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Screaming "abusing women by claiming that they are not dooing their best - as birth-giving machines!" would not quite work for converting forum readers into hate-Japan cult comrades, since it is yet another false accusation.
I am mererly, like many japanese, criticizing LDP Government ministers when they voice disrespect towards neigbooring countries and women. I love Japan, and that's why I think it decerves better leaders. I am sure that the democratic process will gradually lead towards a new generation of politicians taking over.
:)
Honestly, I am not the one who sounds like a cult member.
🙂
 
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