Fumio Kishida, the current Prime Minister of Japan, said that the country is on the verge of a serious population crisis due to the constantly falling birth rate. Because of this, he expressed a sense of worry that Japan is failing to function as a society because of its constantly falling population. He further said that now is the time to act upon the matter if Japanese society wants to survive for a long time. The situation is extremely concerning for the country, especially because of its identity as the country with the highest percentage of the aged population.
Based on recent reports, almost 30% of the Japanese population is above the age of 65 years old. This means that out of its 125 million population, almost 37 million people in Japan belong to the age group of 65 years and above. In comparison to these numbers, last year, the birth rate in Japan had fallen to just 800,000 births per year, with the future forecast of this rate falling even lower. There are many reasons behind these changes that Japan is experiencing. One of the most obvious reasons is increased life expectancy in the country because of its healthy living style and well-established healthcare sector.
Many countries have reported a significant fall in their birth rates because of rapidly changing urban lifestyles and economic developments which have pushed couples to opt for having only one child. Recently, China reported a decline in its population growth after almost eighty years while citing similar reasons. Industrial growth and inflation have pushed both parents to work to effectively address the rising expenses.
Because of this, many young couples have adopted the one-child practice as it makes it easy for them to fulfill the necessities of their kid. Many developed countries have witnessed an exponential decline in the number of newborns because of the rapid adoption of this fast-paced lifestyle. Following the same theory, developing countries such as India are still witnessing higher birth rates because of their rural population, which is almost 70% of the country’s total population. However, Indians living in urban areas are also slowly adapting to this concept.
But when it comes to Japan, many other factors have affected Japanese society. Japanese people are becoming more lonely day by day, and the country's social culture is one of the reasons behind it. There have been many studies that have highlighted this trend with the Japanese population. The COVID-19 pandemic has only worsened the situation as the country had barred almost all foreign entries during the time of the pandemic.
Addressing the situation, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida told the legislators that now is the time to act and think about policies regarding children to increase the birth rates in the country. He also said that these talks cannot be postponed further as this will only affect Japanese society. Thus, during his address, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that the Japanese government will be doubling the funding for various programs for children. He also said that a special agency will be established in April which will especially look after these matters.