Do you know any Japanese people? If you do, I’m surprised, because they’re an endangered people group.
The United Nations statistics show that, every day there are 720 fewer Japanese in the world. By the end of this year, Japan will be missing 200,000, and by the year 2050, Japan will have lost nearly a quarter of its population.
The reason? Embracing materialism and the Culture of Death.
Japan is invaluable to demographic scientists as a demographic laboratory because it is practically a closed system. She allows almost no emigration or immigration. It is a 99% ethnically homogenous population, and in that way can give a rare glimpse of the future of the entire world.
Japan’s problem is simple: Her women have virtually stopped having babies.
The total fertility rate (TFR) is the number of children each woman must have in order for a nation to have a stable population. For an advanced nation like Japan, where infant mortality is low, the TFR is a low 2.1 children per woman. However, Japan’s population was the first in the world to dip beneath replacement fertility half a century ago (in 1960), and its TFR has continued to plunge. It now stands at an astonishing 1.1 children per woman (half that required for replacement), and will continue to decline to 0.6 children per woman by 2050.
When women stop having babies, the result is unavoidable: the nation’s population briefly peaks, then declines. Japan’s population reached a maximum of 126.5 million two years ago, and is now one million less. This downward trend will spiral and accelerate until the nation is losing a million people a year.
A declining native population is not inherently a critical problem if a steady stream of immigrants is helping to replace the younger age groups. However, Japan has always been extremely reluctant to allow foreigners to live within its borders, and makes it nearly impossible for them to live and work there. Less than 1% of foreigners who wish to live in Japan pass the mandatory language proficiency exams.
The result is that Japan is severely pinched at both ends of the age spectrum. The numbers are stark in their ominous simplicity:
- The number of Japanese children under 15 has declined for thirty consecutive years, from 24% of the population to its current 13%. Japan now has fewer children than it did a century ago, in large part to the forty million abortions it has suffered since it legalized the practice under the Eugenic Protection Law in 1949. Due to the strong government push for women to enter the workforce in response to the economic downturn, fully 70 percent of single Japanese women now say they do not want to be married. The Japanese “business first” mentality sees having a child as a career-ending decision.
- The number of people over 65 has increased for sixty consecutive years, from a mere 5% of the population in 1952 to its current 23%, and is projected to increase to 43% by 2050. Japan is currently the oldest nation in the world, with an average age of 45, and this will increase to an incredible 60 years old by 2050.
- Thus, Japan has the greatest percentage of people over 65 of any nation in the world, and the lowest percentage of children under 15 of any nation in the world.
The combination of a shrinking young population and an exploding elderly population inevitably has profound economic implications.
There are fewer and fewer workers supporting more and more retirees. In 1950, there were ten Japanese workers supporting each retired person. Now, there are just 2.5 workers supporting each retiree, compared to China’s 8:1 ratio. By 2050, each Japanese worker will have to support one retired person, the lowest worker/retiree support ratio in the world.
Japan’s inverted population pyramid (more elderly than young) means more pension and health care spending. Baby boomers are retiring now, and by 2025, 70% of government spending will be consumed by debt service and social security spending.
Fewer young people means less tax-derived income for the government. More spending plus less tax revenue means an increase in the public debt.
People concerned about the economy delay marriage and childbearing, and so a kind of demographic negative feedback loop, or “vicious cycle,” continues.
For SEVENTEEN YEARS, the Japanese government has tried everything to get women to have more babies, including greatly increased child care benefits, but without any result. In 2006, the “Year of the Dog,” former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi even tried calling for “lots of puppies” implying that labor pains would then be easy. The government has even gone so far as to pay for so-called “speed dating.”
But once you convince people to be addicted to things and tell them for decades that babies are a burden, that they interfere with your wants and your needs, and they are bad for the environment, your nation is doomed. No nation in history has EVER recovered from a total fertility rate as low as Japan’s.
What can we learn from the ongoing, slow-motion Japanese disaster?
1. Just as Japan is a closed system, so is the world.
2. Just as Japan’s population leveled out and began to plunge, so will the world’s, and very soon.
3. This will lead to gigantic economic consequences and human suffering on a scale never before known.
I wish a Happy Mother’s Day to those who value it!
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