Yokoze, a quiet, scenic town of around 8,400 in the mountainous Chichibu region in Saitama Prefecture, isn’t immune to the sweeping demographic change impacting hundreds of rural municipalities across Japan.

The town’s population has been shrinking for the past two decades as its residents age. It’s one of 869 municipalities the Japan Policy Council think tank warned could “vanish” in the near future due to fewer births.

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