Japanese population decline leads to economic, cultural decline

The negative effects of overpopulation have grown more and more evident in countries such as China and India.

However, Japan has seen the epic downsides to a plummeting population as well.

“Japan’s population has fallen by nearly 1 million in the past five years, in the first decline since the census began in 1920,” said the World Economic Forum.

The Japanese economy is in a permanent recession due to their dwindling population, as the country does not have enough workers or consumers to sustain a successful economy.

Because Japan has the third largest economy in the world, the global economy would be immensely affected by the downfall of Japan.

But why is the Japanese population declining?

The famous Japanese work ethic, for one, prevents young people from starting relationships and discourages maternity leave; and increases in technology use promote antisocial behavior.

“Japan’s low birth rate is a problem because in order to make enough money to survive, you have to work really really hard.

“Space and opportunities are limited, and Japan’s strict societal standards can hinder people’s ability to make the time and money to have kids. It is a really serious problem,” said Kiri Wang, 11.

Also, Japan upholds extremely strict immigration laws and prioritizes maintaining their closed culture.

The Japanese encourage tourism, which boosts the economy, but are generally unfriendly toward foreigners seeking permanent residence.

Along with decreasing birth rates and a lack of immigrants, the Japanese population is being overtaken by the elderly.

“[Globally], Japan has the highest percentage of people aged 60 and up,” said the World Economic Forum.

Although long life spans due to healthy lifestyles are normally positive, the Japanese elderly are consequently enjoying long retirements in which they drain the economy instead of contributing to it.

“[However,] even if the birth rate rose from 1.4 children per woman to [Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s] target of 1.8 and Japan accepted more immigrants, it would be difficult to prevent a fall below 100 million,” said the World Economic Forum.