December 20, 2012
ISN'T THE QUESTION...:
Without Babies, Can Japan Survive? (ALEXANDRA HARNEY, 12/20/12, NY Times)
THE first grade class at the elementary school in Nanmoku, about 85 miles from Tokyo, has just a single student this year. The local school system that five decades ago taught 1,250 elementary school children is now educating just 37. Many of the town's elegant wooden homes are abandoned. Where generations of cedar loggers, sweet potato farmers and factory workers once made their lives, monkeys now reside. The only sounds at night are the cries of deer and the wail of an occasional ambulance.Nanmoku's plight is Japan's fate. Faced with an aging society, a depopulating countryside and economic stagnation, the country has struggled for decades to address its challenges. As Japan goes to the polls on Dec. 16 for parliamentary elections that will most likely mean the seventh prime minister in six years, voters need to demand that politicians address the most important issue of all: the country's low birthrate.Sadly, this issue is hardly being discussed on the campaign trail.
..whether a nation with no culture should survive?Posted by Orrin Judd at December 20, 2012 7:41 PM