Japan's Population Problem
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Japan's Population Problem

The graying of a population that many are unaware of

Japan's Population Problem
Time Magazine

The media rarely focuses on international topics, preferring to focus strongly on American issues or politics, which causes many Americans to lead more sheltered lives when it comes to knowing about the international community. However, its time to shine light on a big problem that could eventually be seen in America, this has to do with Japan's rapidly decreasing population.

Japan's population problem focuses on an issue that is quite common in many developed countries with good healthcare, a graying population. Having a graying population essentially means that there is a high number of older or elderly people in a country, and fewer young families, which can be detrimental to a country. This graying of a population is most noticeable in Japan, where in 2016 it was measured that 25.5% of the population was over the age of 65, a staggering number. Additionally, young people in Japan just do not want to have children anymore, the total fertility rate or the number of children a woman will have during her childbearing years his at 1.45 according to the World Bank, a number that is much lower than the world average total fertility rate at 2.45 in 2015. Though, why is this happening? It seems to be a combination of the stress of Japan's workforce and it's excellent medical procedures.

Japan is known for having a very committed and dangerous workforce. Both Japanese men and women work the most hours out of anywhere else in the world, in fact, they work so often it can be dangerous. When walking the streets of Tokyo or other large cities, it is common to seen bodies on the streets, mostly dressed nicely in suits, passed out from lack of sleep. Additionally, there have been a number of deaths due to the Japanese work ethic. The Japanese even have a word for it, Karōshi, which literally translates to overwork death. With the amount of time that men in women in Japan put into their careers, it is pretty clear to see why raising a child would be extremely difficult to have a job. However, many Japanese women would love to become a full-time mother and quit their jobs, but the amount that men in Japan make is not enough to support a child, so starting a family is even more difficult. The other reason that the population is graying is because Japan has such great medical technology, the elderly are able to stay alive for longer. This prolonged life for the elderly and lack of new families has been a huge issue for Japan, but there have been a few ways the Japanese government has been trying to fix it.

As a population gets older, there are fewer people in the workforce, meaning there are fewer people to support the elderly, which means that elderly support often lies on the government, costing them a lot of money, and bringing the economy down. This is one of the main reasons why the Japanese government is trying as hard as ti can to solve the issue of their graying population. The main methods that the Japanese government has been using are associated with contraceptives. They have tried to limit the access to birth control pills, condoms, IUDs and other contraceptives in a way that would cause young couples to have a child. Additionally, the government has tried to implement a program into the education system that would promote ideals of growing up and starting a family, instead of focusing on a career. These methods have been somewhat successful, but not to the point that it has completely stopped the graying of the population. However, if Japan doesn't take bigger actions, their population will only continue to decrease, and their economy with it.

Though this issue might seem miniscule to people in America, what is happening in Japan could happen to us at any time, and perhaps watching what the government does to fix the issue might, in the end, help us out as well.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

23 Pandemic-Approved Date Ideas That'll Send Sparks Flying From Six Feet Apart

There's a safe way to date right now and yes, it includes masks.


While some people would rather opt out of dating altogether during the pandemic so they don't have to wear a mask on a first date, others are choosing to listen to both guidelines and their heart in order to find love during the time of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Should you be one of the individuals welcoming romance right now, there are pandemic-approved dates you can go on that still adhere to guidelines (and yes, you'll have to wear a mask).

Keep Reading... Show less

I didn't believe the notification when it came through to my phone: Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died from complications due to cancer.

Keep Reading... Show less

In our patriarchal society, men hide from their feelings, but toxic masculinity is literally killing men. They swallow the pain and move on so that they can look, feel, and act "tough."

But, strength is derived from asking for help and voicing your struggle and, trust me, working on your mental health is one hell of a struggle. The real way to "man up" is to acknowledge the downfalls in unjust societal norms. Mental health problems do not mean that a man is weak, they are neurologically-based disorders that require professional treatment.

Keep Reading... Show less

11 Things Your Boyfriend Should Do Before He Drops $499 On A PS5

Let's start with spending less time gaming and more time with you.


Scrolling through Twitter this week had me rolling on the floor laughing as I read some of the hilarious tweets from ladies who, whether in a relationship or not, shared reactions to the news that PlayStation 5 is on its way

As this "buy your boyfriend a PS5" joke takes off across the internet, let's just say, there are a few things your BF should be doing before dropping $499 on the new gaming system — or, if the tweets are real for some, before you buy it for him as a gift.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Sorry, But 'I Don’t Care About Politics' Is Not A Valid Excuse For NOT Voting

The younger generation of voters is so crucial to the upcoming election because our vote is going to shape the world that we are about to enter as adults.


When I ask my friends if they are voting this term most of them respond with "no" followed by an explanation of "I don't care enough," "It doesn't affect me," or "I don't keep up with politics," etc. I get it, as a college student I know that there are many other things to be concerned about like school, relationships, work, and friends. I also understand that keeping up with politics can seem like trying to keep up with an over-exaggerated reality show that has way too many seasons. Not to mention most news stations and websites are biased so it's hard to decipher if what you hear is true or fake.

However, despite all of this annoyance, as the next generation of Americans, we have to remember that we owe it to ourselves, our families, and to our futures to care.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tasia Sli

Tasia Sli and Anna Yang met in quintessential New York fashion at a chic rooftop event, inquisitive Yale grad Anna gravitating towards model/entrepreneur Tasia.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Anna Hernández-Buces

"Do you have big parties on Cinco de Mayo?"

Keep Reading... Show less

Two of my favorite things in life are reading and books. Obviously, they go hand-in-hand. In my life, I've realized that there is nothing better than learning about the current world or getting fully immersed in another world. Reading can inspire, teach, and entertain you.

For me, the feeling of opening a book and smelling that fresh book smell can't compete with anything else.

Keep Reading... Show less

Expecting mother and wife to singer/songwriter John Legend may have accidentally slipped up and revealed the gender of her and Legend's third baby today on her Instagram story.

Keep Reading... Show less

20 Books About Latin And Hispanic Heritage Absolutely Everyone Should Have On Their Bookshelf

Any ally of the community needs to be reading these incredible reads.


I go through phases when it comes to what I like to read. I am typically reading two books at any given time: one serious nonfiction and one escapist fiction novel to have on hand and open up depending on my mood.

What remains consistent, however, amongst most of my fellow bibliophiles is a desire to try new and different authors and genres. I, as an Indian woman, have been partial to reading books written by fellow Indian and Desi writers since I first got a library card.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Asked 46 Women What They Thought About The Term 'Plus-Size', And Here's What They Had To Say

It's 2020, where change is inevitable and norms are not only questioned, but challenged.


We live in a world where it's become customary to push boundaries, break rules, and question standards upheld by society. Though try as we might, some of these standards are harder to conquer than others — body image is one of the top contenders.

For years, the body positivity movement has pushed for the acceptance of all marginalized body types not represented or celebrated in the media. Recently, we've gotten better at appreciating and accepting all body types, but one thing that's still lingering is the stigma of body image in the fashion industry — more specifically, the term "plus-size."

Keep Reading... Show less

Many popular TV shows are holding off premiers until spring, so most people are relying on their television subscriptions to get them through a socially distant fall semester.

Thankfully, Netflix was busy filming this past year because there is a ton of new original content coming in the near future. From mysteries to romances, here are some of the best new shows you have to check out this year:

Keep Reading... Show less

Taylor Swift Sang 'betty' At The ACMs And It Was The Perfect First Live 'folklore' Performance

I guarantee that Inez is spreading rumors about how fire this performance was.


The Academy of Country Music Awards were last night and the performances were wonderful, but Taylor Swift's live version of "betty" from her newest album "folklore" really took the cake for me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

9 Reasons I Unfollowed All The Fitness Influencers On My Instagram Feed

I don't need to feel bad about myself because of who I follow on social media.


Throughout quarantine, something that a lot of us picked up on was working out. With all the free time, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to work on that "dream bod" you've been wanting for years, or to just feel good about yourself.

A common way to stay motivated and keep yourself on-task is to follow fitness influencers on various platforms. For some people, yes, this can be a healthy and helpful way to keep your drive. In other cases, however, this can do more harm than good.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments