Japan faces a demographic crisis. Its population is falling rapidly due to an ageing population and declining birthrates.
In two decades from now, seniors will outnumber children under 15 by nearly four to one. The situation is now so critical that adult nappies outsell baby nappies in the country.
Japan’s overall population fell by a record quarter-million to 127.8 million last year, and by 2060, the population is expected to fall by an additional one-third to as few as 87 million. And 40 per cent of those remaining will be over 65 years old.
The demographic decline has led to a spike in social problems and ‘kodokushi’, or “lonely deaths”, which is a Japanese phenomenon that came about in the 1980s, is now growing increasingly common.
Four million Japanese elderly live by themselves, while family members who choose to care for an elderly relative often experience isolation and a burden themselves.
As the country ages, the Japanese government must ensure an ever dwindling workforce can pay for a growing number of pensioners.
Japan hopes to raise consumption tax by five per cent and the retirement age to 70 years to ease pressure on the social security and pension system. But those who work in hospitals and services for the elderly believe the country will have to embrace immigration to plug gaps in the workforce.
Yet, Japan’s ageing pains are creating commercial opportunities for some: Companies are exploring new technologies to capitalise on an emerging market they call the “silver yen”, including androids that can work as carers and robotic legs for patients who are too old to walk themselves.
On this edition of 101 East, we ask if Japan can overcome being a rapidly ageing and declining population.
When at University, my spouse talked about one of her Chinese friends. Back then (1970’s) we Caucasians often envied the Chinese and Japanese classmates, as they would often have new cars, while we drove old clunkers . When my spouse talked about this to her Chinese classmate, he literally rolled his eyes and stated such “nice gifts” came at a price…..ie the symbiotic deal was children were to take care of the parents when they got old.
However, this taking care of the elderly , is not unique to any specific culture. My spouses’ Grandmother, a widow, (who lost he brother William B. in WW1) lived with her and her parents for years, until she needed a nursing home. Many cultures have the same traditions whereby many generation live under one roof.
What the article above suggests is part of the bigger picture I am trying to paint as quickly , but precisely , as possible. We are all being infected with this ” Nouveau Western Culture”. Now, this aforementioned culture is not to be blamed by say Caucasian or those of European descent..because they too are caught up in it.
By ” Nouveau Western Culture” I mean the virtual elimination of all cultures, and a rather sick dumbing down of all cultures to ultimately form a universal global culture. I don’t necessarily consider myself old – fashioned or prude…but I always try to see both sides of the Coin/Issue/Agenda. As I stated earlier…composer Richard Wagner says if we have Culture, we don’t need Gov’t, implying various cultures, because only “one global culture” is effectively a Communistic One World Gov’t….if you see the logic.
It appears Japan may be a warning sign for the rest of us.
Unlike much of the modern world, Japan has a fairly unicultural society, insofar as ethnicity. So, the ancient culture, with no immigration, thus no multiculturalism , should be fine….and remain intact ….correct ?
No, Japan is an example of more of a viral attack..infection. Post WW2 , Japan realized, or decided , its future lay in becoming a part of the modern world. It appeared to have partook of the fruit from the Western Garden of Eden. It seemed to work to a certain point, as Japan was one a mighty economic power….but then chewed up and spit out in the 1990’s .
To adopt Nouveau Western Culture ?, would simply be to be self – centered , consumeristic, hedonistic, materialistic….marriage and children are an inconvenience….porn addicts….worship of Western celebs.It is a dynamic that is, in essence a race to a primal bottom and to addict and drag down as many as possible on the way.
I don’t recall most cultures have those factors as part of their culture…unless of course the given culture was in the midst of dying off….
But then again…how is this possible….how can it appear that all cultures are almost simultaneously imploding ? Is this a major coincidence?….or part of a Master Plan ( Me ? I am NOT a big believer in coincidences, I think we are all equal despite our differences…I simply try to connect the dots as where Ground Zero lays).
Just food for thought.