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Sayonara – the long goodbye to Japan

by Babette Francis, June 9, 2012

There is no bearded man with a board around his neck walking around Japan proclaiming “Repent! The End is Nigh”, but there should be — Japan is facing extinction because of population decline.

The nearest Japan has to the prophet of doom is Nicholas Eberstadt’s chilling analysis (“Japan shrinks”, Wilson Quarterly, Spring 2012) of social trends in Japan where birth rates have been below replacement level since 1960 and annual deaths now outnumber births.

Eberstadt’s view is supported by Dr Brian Clowes, research director for Human Life International. Clowes writes: “Do you know any Japanese people? If you do, you had better look fast, because they’re an endangered species. “According to the United Nations, every hour of the day and night there are thirty less Japanese in the world. By the end of this year, there will be 200,000 less, and by the year 2050, Japan will have lost nearly a quarter of its population. “Such is the legacy of a country which has so eagerly embraced materialism and the Culture of Death.

“Japan is invaluable as a demographic laboratory because it is a closed system, with almost no emigration or immigration. Its 99 per cent ethnically homogenous population gives us a rare glimpse of what the future holds for the entire world….

“The total fertility rate, or 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, this is 2.1 children per woman. “However, Japan’s population was the first in the world to dip beneath replacement fertility fully 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….

“Japan’s population reached a maximum of 126.5 million two years ago, and is now one million less. This trend will accelerate until the nation is losing a million people a year.” (LifeNews.com, May 10, 2012). A declining native population is not critical if immigrants replace the younger age groups, (as in Singapore and Australia), but Japan is reluctant to allow foreigners to live and work within its borders.

The number of Japanese children under 15 has declined for 30 consecutive years, from 24 per cent of the population to its current 13 per cent. Japan now has fewer children than it did a century ago, due largely to the 40 million abortions legalised under the Eugenic Protection Law, 1949.

The number of people over 65 has increased from a mere 5 per cent of the population in 1952 to its current 23 per cent, and is projected to increase to 43 per cent 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 by 2050.

Adult nappies
Unicharm said sales of its adult nappies had “slightly surpassed” those for babies for the first time since the company moved into the elderly market in 1987. (Daily Mail, UK, May 13, 2012). The combination of a shrinking youth population and an exploding elderly population has profound economic implications.

There are fewer and fewer workers supporting more and more retirees. In 1950 there were 10 Japanese workers supporting each retired person. Now, there are just 2.5 workers supporting each retiree. By 2050, each Japanese worker will have to support one retired person, the lowest worker/retiree support ratio in the world.

People concerned about the economy, delay marriage and childbearing, and so a demographic negative feedback loop, or “vicious cycle”, continues.

Just as Japan is a closed system, so is the world. Just as Japan’s population levelled out and began to plunge, so will the world’s, and very soon. This may be exactly what the Greens want — a Gaia unblemished by humankind.

Eberstadt writes of the sad coping mechanisms used by Japanese to counter their population decline:
• Rental “relatives” are now available throughout the country for celebrations when a groom or bride lacks requisite kin.
• “Babyloids” — small, furry, robotic dolls that can mimic some of the sounds and gestures of real babies are being marketed to help older Japanese cope with loneliness and depression.
• Robot pets and rental pets are also available for those who seek the affection of an animal but cannot cope with having one to look after.
• Japanese researchers are pioneering the development of attractive, life-like androids. Earlier this year, a persuasively realistic humanoid called Geminoid F was displayed in a department store window, appearing to wait for a friend (Wilson Quarterly, Spring 2012).

World TFR will drop to replacement in just two years, population will peak in three decades and then begin to decline. The time to end population control programs and funding for contraception, sterilisation and abortion is now. Since 1995, the Japanese government has tried everything to get women to have more babies, including greatly increased child-care benefits and funding for “speed dating”, but without success. Which is hardly surprising as people have been told for decades that babies are a burden, and that they interfere with your wants and are bad for the environment.

No nation in history has recovered from a TFR as low as Japan’s. So Sayonara, Land of the Rising Sun.

Babette Francis, B.Sc. (Hons), is national and overseas coordinator of Endeavour Forum Inc.


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