lunes, 5 de junio de 2017

Largest Japanese population decline on record | MercatorNet | June 6, 2017 |

Largest Japanese population decline on record

| MercatorNet | June 6, 2017 |

Largest Japanese population decline on record

Births fall below 1 million for the first time since 1899.
Shannon Roberts | Jun 5 2017 | comment 1 

The annual number of babies born in Japan fell below 1 million for the first time in 2016, while over 1.3 million people died.  This resulted in the largest population decline on record according to a government survey released on Friday. 
The country’s total fertility rate was 1.44 per women, down 0.01 point.  As of October 1 2016, there were 126.93 million people in Japan, down 162,000 from a year earlier and the sixth straight year in which the population declined.
These figures are worrying for Japanese society.  Fewer young people means fewer workers to support the growing number of retirees and strains the pension and health care system.  Empty houses are also a growing problem in some areas.
The government aims to increase the fertility rate to 1.8 by the end of 2025 and maintain the population at around 100 million people in 2060.  Other measures include keeping older workers in their jobs for longer, encouraging companies to invest in automation and trying to encourage families to have more children.  Increased immigration is also suggested by some.
Unfortunately, efforts to encourage mothers to have more children are not having much effect.  The latest figures show that Japanese mothers are getting older and women choosing to marry much later in life after establishing careers contributes to the lack of births.  There were 13,911 fewer births to women in their 20s in 2016 and 14,962 fewer births to women in their 30s.  However, there were 1,009 more births to women in their 40s.
Japan is a society that needs to question how to better show that it values motherhood, babies and children as important, and a warning for all countries to reflect on.  It is also a country that needs to consider its work/life/family balance in order to better support families and parenthood, amid record cases of 'death by overwork'.   
Shannon Roberts is co-editor of Demography Is Destiny. 
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June 6, 2017

Conducting a rational argument about sensitive issues is getting harder and harder. Take Islam and same-sex marriage. Fanatical Muslims in London struck again over the weekend, killing pedestrians with a speeding car and then hacking to death as many as they could. (See the article below.) Their minds have shut down to all rational discourse; no arguments will convince them; no words will provoke them to question their world view. 
Similarly, as Australian tennis legend Margaret Court has learned over the past few days, many supporters of same-sex marriage have the same mental habits. They are not interested in debate; they slip automatically into vilification. It reminds me of nothing so much as the Moscow Show Trials of the 1930s, in which the accused were automatically found guilty and were subjected to the scabrous and absurd abuse. See our feature below

Michael Cook 

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