Japan Faces Plummeting Birth Rate Crisis As Death Count Doubles, PM Sounds Alarm

Twice as many people die in Japan as are born. The country’s population is in freefall. And Japan’s Prime Minister has already been sounding the alarms over the falling birth rate.

“Japan is standing on the verge of whether we can continue to function as a society,” Fumio Kishida told lawmakers a few months ago.

In 2022, these birth rate numbers plummeted to another record low of 799,728. This was the first ever dip below 800,000.

Deaths, on the contrary, hit a record high last year. Totaling 1.58 million, or nearly double.

From Zero Hedge

The number of births in Japan has nearly halved in the past 40 years: in 1982, Japan recorded more than 1.5 million births, a number which was then more than double the number of deaths. This ratio has since reversed.

Japan’s population has been in steady decline since its economic boom of the 1980s and stood at 125.5 million in 2021, according to the most recent government figures.

According to CNN, Japan’s fertility rate of 1.3 is far below the rate of 2.1 required to maintain a stable population, in the absence of immigration.

“Focusing attention on policies regarding children and child-rearing is an issue that cannot wait and cannot be postponed,” Kishida said.

Kishida – dubbing Japan’s declining birth rate as a “now or never” situation – feels it crucial to double the government’s spending on child related programs.

Back in January, the BBC outlined factors that could be driving this declining birth rate including, but are not limited to, rising living costs (like how real wages haven’t grown in 30 years), more women in education and work, as well as greater access to contraception.

America has also seen a similar pattern in its declining birth rate in recent years due to the same reasons; a push to move more women away from the home with contraception and abortion serving as the safety mechanism for that wave.

Japan, which hosts the oldest population in the world, also has strict immigration laws. This has led to only 3% of the country’s population being foreign born.

In other words, though these immigration laws have somewhat relaxed recently, Kishida appears to be looking more towards encouraging the Japanese population to procreate rather than import migrants as the BBC is suggesting it should.

“If you want to see what happens to a country that rejects immigration as a solution to falling fertility, Japan is a good place to start,” the outlet stated.

The BBC blasts Japan for seeking racial purity and social harmony. Even though that appears besides the point Kishida is making in his plea for boosting birth rates.

Kishida believes a new government agency focused on child related programs will be instituted as soon as April. 

The PM appears hopeful about this pursuit, even though it’s worth noting Japanese governments have tried to promote similar strategies before without success.

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