January 30, 2012

IN THE ABSENCE OF CULTURE:

Population Bomb: Japan Running Out of People (PALASH R. GHOSH, January 30, 2012, IB Times)
The government's Health and Welfare ministry just reported that Japan's population may shrink by one-third over the next fifty years (from the current 128-million to 87-million) By that time, about 40 percent of the people will be of retirement age. Moreover, Japanese life expectancy will continue to climb (up 84.2 years for men in 2060, and 90.0 years for women). [...]

As of 2008, the national birthrate was 1.37 children per woman, according to the Japanese health ministry. If this trend continues, Japan's population will drop from 127 million currently to 95 million by 2050.

Simply put, Japan has too many non-working elderly people and too few people of working age to support them. As this discrepancy widens in the coming years, the costs of taking care of the aged will become an ever-greater burden on the already-weary Japanese of prime working age.

"We have never seen a country of the size and importance of Japan face these kinds of demographic issues before," said Dr. Stephen Bronars, Ph.D., a Washington D.C,-based senior economist with Welch Consulting, a labor & employment consultancy.

Japan's overall public debt is more than twice its entire $5-trillion economic output, which far exceeds any other industrialized country. A few days ago, Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda promised to push through tax and social security reforms to tackle the mountainous debt. Among other measures, Noda wants to boost the 5 percent sales tax in two steps -- to 8 percent in 2014 and 10 percent by 2015.

"As things stand right now, the burden will be too heavy for future generations," Noda told lawmakers.

Posted by at January 30, 2012 6:36 PM
  

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