Tag - depopulation



Ayuko Kato, minister in charge of children's policies (right), stands after a bill on expanding child-rearing allowances clears a Lower House committee on Thursday.
JAPAN / Politics
Apr 18, 2024
Lower House panel approves bill aiming to address low birthrate
The bill will expand child-rearing allowances, funded through a new system to collect additional fees on top of public medical insurance premiums.
Held April 19 to 21 and organized by the nonprofit organization Kominka Japan, the Minka Summit bridges architectural tradition with contemporary possibilities.
LIFE / Style & Design
Apr 16, 2024
Minka Summit returns for third year of home design, talks and more
The Minka Summit showcases Japan's traditional homes amid modern crises and a steady build in interest.
Sweden is known for its generous parental leave system, with parents allowed to share 480 days of leave per child and 90% of fathers taking such time off.
Apr 12, 2024
Swedish-style paternity leave could unleash Japan’s potential
In Sweden, most new fathers take paternity leave, with direct benefits for the economy and families — an approach that holds important lessons for Japan.
Ayuko Kato, minister for children-related policies
Apr 12, 2024
Japan discloses more details of costs to fight low birthrate
The planned fees that will be added to public medical insurance premiums aims to help secure funds to combat the declining birthrate trend.
Emperor Naruhito at Meiji Shrine in Tokyo on Tuesday
Apr 11, 2024
Japan to launch full-scale talks over shrinking imperial family
Japan's ruling and opposition parties are set to start talks on measures to address the shrinking number of imperial family members.
Members of the Community-Reactivating Cooperator Squad living in Tokushima Prefecture meet in the city of Yoshinogawa in the prefecture in December 2022 to learn from each other's experiences.
JAPAN / Society
Apr 5, 2024
Record 7,200 served as 'community reactivators' in FY 2023
The government aims to increase the number of community cooperators to 10,000 by fiscal 2026.
Recent research suggests that within developed countries, the old positive relationship between status and fertility is re-emerging.
Apr 3, 2024
The wealthy are starting to have more babies than the poor again
After a century during which higher income and status meant fewer children, the current trend is potentially a momentous change.
Ayuko Kato, minister for policies related to children, speaks at a parliament session on Monday.
JAPAN / Politics / FOCUS
Apr 2, 2024
One year on, Japan's children agency struggles to show leadership
The agency is facing challenges to demonstrate leadership, unable to move forward with unprecedented measures to combat the declining birthrate.
Japan will charge members of medical insurance programs with fees starting in fiscal 2026 to tackle the country's sluggish birthrate.
Mar 29, 2024
Fight against low birthrate to cost ¥450 monthly per head
The government plans to boost annual spending on measures to fight the sluggish birthrate to ¥3.6 trillion by fiscal 2028.
Hiroaki Wada (left), the director of Shimane Cinema Onozawa, and his wife, Sarasa, stand in an area selling snacks.
Mar 26, 2024
Couple fills a void in rural Shimane by opening a cinema
Now one of only three movie theaters in the prefecture, Shimane Cinema Onozawa hopes to offer the joy of the big screen to residents of Masuda.
Ichibata Department Store, located in Matsue, capital of Shimane Prefecture, was the last remaining department store in the prefecture but ended its 65-year history on Jan. 14.
BUSINESS / Economy
Mar 21, 2024
More prefectures losing department stores even amid pandemic recovery
In 17 prefectures there is currently only one department store and there are none in three, set to rise to four in July.
A street in Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, is still filled with rubble on March 16, more than two months after the Jan. 1 quake.
Mar 18, 2024
Two months on, resident displacement persists in quake-hit Ishikawa
According to a survey, over 9,000 residents remain evacuated outside of Wajima and Suzu as of March 1, two months after the Jan. 1 quake.
Shi Pong Hsu, 75, makes coffee in a Singapore coffee shop. The city-state's government projects that almost a quarter of its population will be 65 or over by 2030.
Mar 10, 2024
Singapore is bracing for a super-aging society
Japan and South Korea may be the poster children for low birthrates, but Singapore is confronting its own decline. Its solution? Bonuses for nurses.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said the government would draw up a political policy package for the next three years or so for system reforms allowing the country's competitiveness and birthrate to improve by 2030.
BUSINESS / Economy
Mar 1, 2024
Japan may have lowest per capita GDP among major economies in 2060
The government estimate is likely to materialize if the country's productivity growth remains low as in recent years and the population continues to fall.
Nissan is planning an autonomous vehicle ride-share service for Japan with a 2027 launch date to address a lack of taxi drivers due to the nation’s aging population.
BUSINESS / Companies
Feb 28, 2024
Nissan plans 2027 driverless ride-share service for aging Japan
Nissan will trial the service in Yokohama's Minato Mirai area, with 20 vehicles equipped with a safety monitor in each driver’s seat.
An employee organizes baby supplies at a store in Siheung, South Korea, on Tuesday. A lack of babies is speeding up the aging of South Korean society, generating concerns about the growing fiscal burden of public pensions and healthcare.
Feb 28, 2024
South Korea keeps shattering its own record for lowest fertility rate
The number of babies expected per woman in a lifetime fell to 0.72 last year from 0.78 in 2022.
The number of babies born in Japan in 2023 fell to a record low, government data shows.
JAPAN / Society
Feb 27, 2024
Japan births hit record low and population down by largest margin in 2023
The 2023 figure declined by 5.1% from the previous year's preliminary total of 799,728, the largest ever margin of decline.
Japan is aiming to reverse the trend of people marrying later in life, or not at all, as depopulation progresses throughout the country.
JAPAN / Society
Feb 27, 2024
AI plays cupid as Japanese authorities try to boost marriage rate
Some systems being used recommend partners based on an applicant's internet browsing history.
Hideo Shimoju points to a possible site that his fellow neighbors may relocate to. Such relocations have happened before, but not preemptively.
ENVIRONMENT / Climate change / Longform
Feb 24, 2024
In disaster-prone Japan, some communities consider major moves
Rural communities are considering collective relocation as a means to deal with worsening climate disasters.
Moody’s predicts China's potential economic growth will decline to 3.5% by 2030, with weaker demographics and a graying population being a major driver of the slowdown.
Feb 21, 2024
China’s economic engine is running out of fuel
Moody’s now predicts that China's annual economic growth will fall to 4% in 2024 and 2025, before slowing further, to 3.8%, on average, for the rest of the decade.


Historically, kabuki was considered the entertainment of the merchant and peasant classes, a far cry from how it is regarded today.
For Japan's oldest kabuki theater, the show must go on