In his opinion piece “Reversing Japan’s demographic nosedive” in the June 20 edition, Ichiro Asahina says he was shocked by the latest Japanese demographic forecasts. Why be shocked by an inevitable prospect?

Unlike those who earn their living by armchair theorizing, I have long been worried by the depopulation trend. To place responsibility for this trend, I see the male-dominated politics and bureaucracy (including corporate management) depriving the young people, especially women, of a bright future, discouraging them from marrying and bearing children.

Asahina proposes urging young people to marry and have children. He should not dictate to others how to live if he is not willing to help reform society to make it more comfortable for young people to live and love.

Those who did not condemn the shameless attacks on the women complaining of sexual harassment are disqualified to discuss the issue of population decline. Those who did not try to help working-poor people secure a stable career are also disqualified.

Asahina’s statement that the population could, theoretically, decline to just about 1,000 around the year 2500 is absolute nonsense. Any theory predicting social trends has its limits in the applicable time span. No formula to predict population changes assumes a mechanism will still be valid after five centuries.

Let’s say goodbye to armchair theorizing for such a serious issue.


The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

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