Thursday, October 08, 2009

Japan's Lost Children

Does anyone have a good explanation for why Japan's birthrate collpased and the country will continuously shrink for the next 70 years? I'd like to know why. These links are nearly 5 years old. Here's one showing their 2007 birthrate at 1.34 and 1.37 in 2008. Of course their governments are worried about it bankrupting their social welfare state. Birthrates are falling all over the world, and despite reports that always show an increasing population, a population decline globally might be more likely. At least Japan has a long life expectancy so they don't have to lie about their population numbers like Russia to hide massive declines. These are not whack job links. America's slightly higher than replacement birth rate is a good thing. Japan's population also takes a hit because of their, ahem, dislike of immigration. Go figure, other countries can be xenophobic. Who knew?

Back to the subject, what the fuck is up with Japan? Is this why they focus so much on robot development, but not cool robot development like the Terminator or sex robots but more like retirement home worker robots? Is this what happens when a nation has porn in cartoon form? I'm being serious, what if seeing women in even more unrealistic depictions than real live porn warps the men's minds? Do they see no utility in having children or in broader terms, creating a new generation? I just don't get it.

The boogeymen being trotted out are later marriage ages & education. OK, so where are the uneducated youngins' getting pregnant early and often? There must be some on that big old island. I even saw lack of child care services used as an excuse. This is Japan; they can create a govt run nationwide child care program if they want to help moms raise kids just to employ people. Japanese women only make up 41% of the workforce, so fewer women work. More time for family & babies. Fewer women lose out at work by taking time for kids. Japan has also seen prices decline for two decades as they have been caught in the deflation trap since 1989, and the yen has risen vs. most currencies in the same period making imports cheaper. They actually have more money to spend now on kids or more money available that would pay for the various things kids add to a budget. There has to be some unspoken thing at work here.
I would love to live long enough to see how this all plays out. I often think of the cultural suicide going on in the UK partly because of my time there and partly because of multiculturalism playing such a big role in the event. It would be wrong to neglect the slow motion crash of a nation that in the 1980s everyone thought would own the world, run the world and be the new no. 1. Twenty years later, we are considering its slow transformation into the world's biggest retirement home.

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