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Interesting read on Japan's shrinking birth rate.
Posted 10/23/13 , edited 10/23/13
This is I think just part of a strategy to raise fear within the people of Japan about their aging population in order to slowly or maybe at a faster pace make the country more open to an increase in immigration, one of the important abeconomics reforms that will help with increasing real GDP. They need immediate changes.

"In Japan, the government has introduced a “point-based” immigration system that grants highly skilled professionals, such as researchers and business managers, permanent residency status after a minimum stay of three years. But Japan has yet to officially take in menial workers, only accepting them on a short-term basis or under the pretext that they are being trained to become professionals.

Underlying the situation is an instinctive suspicion about foreigners, Wood said. Whenever people in any culture find their life invaded by changes that strike them as unsettling, it’s “human nature” to seek a scapegoat, and foreigners are often the easiest target, he said.

This is why many national-level politicians try to present themselves as playing hardball with foreigners, a strategy they know is guaranteed to win votes, Wood explained.

Asked about Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s nationalist tone in his policy push, Wood said, “It makes me very sad.” Judging from his campaign speeches, Abe is deflecting the public from weighing the truly important issues, he said.

“Whether an island or rocky outcroppings somewhere in the sea is called Korean or Japanese . . . it’s going to mean nothing to the quality of life of the people of Japan and Korea,” Wood said regarding the row over the Takeshima islets in the Sea of Japan.

Busy with the problems that impact daily life, politicians at the local level don’t have the luxury of such bombast, Wood pointed out, adding that this pragmatic mindset is what led to successful efforts like the program in Barcelona.

In a country whose population is estimated to plummet to about 90 million — two-thirds of the current level — by 2050, Wood believes the demographic crisis should be higher on the government’s policy agenda.

“If the Japanese government continues to fail to address these issues of population and aging and to have a proper debate about whether migration could be providing one of the answers to these problems, then that will become a ‘democratic’ crisis in the future,” he said."

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2013/07/17/national/pluralism-japans-answer-immigration-expert/

Perhaps Japanese government is changing its tone and wants its people to do the same .
Posted 10/23/13
I haven't read the article. Has it mentioned something about the status of hikikomori?
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Posted 10/23/13
A lot of the issues in this article describe my life now anyways. Let's face it. Life can be rough and it takes a lot to take care of yourself. Having a partner can be a lot of work too. I feel bad for guys who feel pressure to be the only bread winner in the family. That's unrealistic these days. Also, paying for dates is expensive.

Not to mention kids are very expensive, noisy and messy. There also isn't any proof that they are going to take care of you when you are too old to take care of yourself. It really makes much more sense to stay single in many cases and find other ways to entertain yourself. That's what I think anyway...
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Posted 10/23/13 , edited 10/23/13

qualeshia3 wrote:

Nobody wants to waste their time being a parent, when they have to prepare for tomorrows' meeting with their boss or wanna go partying with friends.

Is that whats' happening?



Pretty much. They don't want to invest time in kids or a significant other. They see it as "too troublesome".


SubaruRem wrote:

I haven't read the article. Has it mentioned something about the status of hikikomori?


It did, briefly. It talked about the rise of hikikomori types in Japanese society, how media portrays them, and that they were sometimes clients of the sex therapist they interviewed.


NonMaster wrote:

A lot of the issues in this article describe my life now anyways. Let's face it. Life can be rough and it takes a lot to take care of yourself. Having a partner can be a lot of work too. I feel bad for guys who feel pressure to be the only bread winner in the family. That's unrealistic these days. Also, paying for dates is expensive.

Not to mention kids are very expensive, noisy and messy. There also isn't any proof that they are going to take care of you when you are too old to take care of yourself. It really makes much more sense to stay single in many cases and find other ways to entertain yourself. That's what I think anyway...


I can see why people would think that. It is a lot of effort for seemingly little in return. But when a whole nation is beginning to think that kids, a family, or even romantic relationships in general are just too bothersome to deal with, problems arise.

Unfortunately, humans can't survive as a species without making children, whether we like it or not.
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Posted 10/23/13 , edited 10/23/13
VICE just made a mini-documentary about this.

CHECK IT OUT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpZbu7J7UL4

What do you guys think about the subject after watching the video?
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Posted 10/23/13
I can understand not wanting to be bothered with relationships, but SEX?! Wow. (going to read article later btw )
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Posted 10/23/13
Interesting issue. It'll probably be fine in the end - if it gets to where the economic consequences are too high, the power players will demand something, including immigration, to turn things around. Unfortunately, my opinion of Japan isn't as high as it could be because of my perception that it isn't as accepting of other ethnicities (except maybe some European ones)(as a generalization, of course), but it will probably get better. To the extent it's about preserving culture/identity, I can kind of sympathize, but I think it's not a winning position.

Since someone brought it up, I just want to quickly give an FYI that the fighting over dumb little islands is really about rights to international waters. If certain islands are determined to be someone else's, then suddenly every last microchip will become a little more expensive to ship, which will surely add up to lots of moolah.

(At least this is my understanding, feel free to correct me. Also, spell check said I should use Motorola instead of moolah).
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Posted 10/23/13
Well, what is the ratio of men vs women? Most of the women might be focused on their own careers and not interested in having families. Also isn't Japan's economy really bad atm? Most people might just be trying to make ends meat and have no money for dating and especially having kids... Then add the Otaku culture of people that might just never get out and stay inside watching anime, etc. Add in the older generation that are just too old and that might make up all your people. Not sure if anyone has said any of this already. I find it hard any guy would say no time for sex... must be a woman's quote that has a career that is more important.
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Posted 10/23/13
That's not surprising. I believe that this phenomenon is not unique to Japan, but rather, is something that is happening in pretty much every first world nation, since sex has become more of a commodity nowadays. People are finding simpler and more cost effective ways to sate their urges rather than going in unprotected on their spouses. That's not really a good thing, though.
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Posted 10/24/13
i blame japanese sex clubs.. why go home to a nagging wife and crazy kids when you can just go to a sex club and get it on with a hot young girl and live out your fantasy. Also i partly blame anime and manga, lets face it real girls do not act like that in real life. It screws up young boys on how they think real girls are suppose to think and act. I mean just looking at the crunchyroll forum topics pretty much proves this lol
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Posted 10/24/13

Crazy and stupid shit has been happening since man decided to get together and form societies.

I can sympathize with some of the earlier points though. Overpopulation is a very real problem we're going to run into within the next few decades, so maybe having localized regions that trend towards population decline isn't necessarily a bad thing. As things stand in the world now, we can either conscientously take measures towards shrinking the population, or we can wait until resource depletion and famine shrinks our population for us.

My impression from the article though is that a lot of the blame can be assigned to the hyper work-oriented culture they have over there. Obviously if women are forced to choose between a career, or a stay-at-home mother, more women are going to choose the former. Japan needs to tweak their work culture to solve this issue.


What do you mean by "a very real problem we're going to run into?" Overpopulation is already a ginormous problem and has been for a long time or do you not recall what the U.S. government did in the 60s in Africa to try and stem their population? Seven billion humans is already beyond the Earth's capacity to support. Why do you think some odd 33 million children each year from starvation and curable diseases in Africa, India, and elsewhere? If anything, it is good that Japan is having this problem, eventually it should rectify itself, right now it isn't a big enough problem.
The government has nurtured some of this behavior, but everything is very expensive and crowded in Japan, why would you want children? Males are also increasingly becoming more interested in fictional women, they are quite attractive in anime, manga, and so forth. Too much workload, lack of free time and the fatigue alone kills sexual interest if the alternative outlets are not responsible. Honestly it is a combination of these and other factors. Japan's population is still rather large for such a small island and they do suffer a lot of problems from earthquakes and tsunamis that I can well imagine feeling it futile.

The depletion of resources and lack of interest in living in third world countries is already shrinking the population, but it isn't swift enough still. The mere fact first world countries are starting to see a slow in their population growth is good, but then again in the U.S. there is a huge problem with teen pregnancy. Moreover, though Japan's population has a growing number of elderly and statistically a pretty low birthrate, they have the longest lifespans on the planet statistically. The government needs to be aware of this and should be concerned, but it isn't a problem they can really fix and nor is it a dire need. When you think about Japan's population on such a small island compared to the continental U.S. Japan has about a third of the U.S.'s population.

Culture and lack of free time is probably the part to harp on at the moment now. I think everyone agrees their work ethic though stupendous is detrimental to the individual's freedom and potential for happiness. Whether it be feelings of apathy, frustration, and futility from natural disasters; being overworked and having so many other distractions are other factors that all feed into one another and fatigue is at the heart of it all. When the targeted breeding audience is constantly fatigued, has such high expectations, and due to ludicrous expenses to have children, of course, the population is not going to grow, it'll continue to shrink.

I could go on and on, but it isn't a simple problem. The government can do its part, but some things will need to change naturally with the progression of time. It isn't a huge problem people, no need to lose your minds over it.


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Posted 10/24/13
Kotaku has an interesting article that analyzes the numbers with a more critical eye. It's worth reading since it is easy to be mislead by the numbers:
http://kotaku.com/wrong-about-japan-and-sex-1450567428

As said in the article:

Simply writing it off as, "Oh, well, Japanese people don't have sex" seems to dehumanize an entire country. People have sex. It's what we do.
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Posted 10/24/13
It is understandable because if one can not get a grasp on their current daily demands, then it will be harder for them to even add more demands to their life causing a lot stress...
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Posted 10/24/13
I have more concern and surprise on the shrinking birthrate in the states we have here ...
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Posted 10/24/13
i feel like alot of the issue people are having is from a downturn in economic power, less people less workers less fancy toilets with seatwarmers
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