The National Institute of Population and Social Security Research on March 27 announced a population estimate for Japan in 2040. As expected, what emerges out of this is a nation with an unprecedented rapidly aging and declining population. The implications of the estimate must be taken very seriously and preparations made to ameliorate the impact of this situation.

The estimate shows population trends in 2040 for each municipality. It is imperative that both the central and local governments design a sustainable social security system in time as well as to consider ways to secure a sufficient number of workers to prevent a decline in industrial capability. Local governments also need to work out measures aimed at maintaining and stabilizing people's lives in local communities by foreseeing what will happen to their industries, social services, transportation and so on.

The estimate shows that Japan's population in 2040 will stand at 107.276 million, a decline of about 20 million from 2010's 128.057 million. A January 2012 estimate by the same institute had shown that in 2060, Japan's population will number 86.737 million, about 30 percent less from the 2010 level.