I recently came across several Japan Times articles on the challenges that Japan faces with its aging population and falling birth rate, and was surprised to see such an outstanding nation struggling despite being a world leader in many fields,
If there is only one piece of advice I can give, it would be to encourage employers to send employees to participate in volunteer groups of their choice. There is no better way for young people to meet friends or potential spouses and it also shines a good light on their employers.
While helping others they also help themselves, both by improving their social lives and by being able to professionally network with others who have similar cares and interests. They will meet people outside of their fields, which often results in unexpected positive results.
One of the major problems in the digital age is the reduced personal interaction among younger generations. It has also greatly reduced the size of social groups. Entire fields of organizations have suffered a complete loss of new members due to changing interests and social expectations among the young.
Youth who feel comfortable in their digital groups and hobbies often have no reason to participate in other social groups. Or they simply do not feel comfortable or confident enough with themselves to participate in other groups.
In America, one quiet solutions to this issue is our volunteer system. America has a massive network of millions of volunteer workers who assist society in countless ways, such as caring for homeless people, caring for animals, or providing food or home services to the elderly. The list of services is endless.
Japan does not lack good people to volunteer; a large volunteer system simply never developed due to not having such widespread problems.
As Japan is a nation of countless interests and skilled people, I do not have any doubt that it could create an equally impressive volunteer system to help assist the government in continuing to improve the country, and also greatly improve the social situation for young Japanese.
OVERLAND PARK, KANSAS
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.