Tag - depopulation



A couple looks out onto the Fukuoka nightscape. Due to its distance from Tokyo and its close proximity to South Korea and China, professor Tomoya Mori believes that Fukuoka is one of the few metropolitan regions of Japan that will see some form of growth in the decades to come.
JAPAN / Society / Perspectives
May 20, 2024
Why half of Japan's cities are at risk of disappearing in 100 years
Professor Tomoya Mori believes depopulation will alter the urban landscape of Japan in an unexpected way.
As Japan grapples with its population's rapid aging, supporting people who live and age alone is looming larger on the policy agenda.
JAPAN / Society
May 14, 2024
In Japan, 68,000 people over 65 projected to die alone at home this year
In the first official tally of solitary deaths, the National Police Agency said a total of 21,716 people had died alone at home from January through March.
Lawrence Wong will become Singapore's fourth prime minister on Wednesday. He will be tasked with steering the city-state into new territory as its economy slows down and its population ages rapidly.
May 13, 2024
New Singaporean PM faces some economic headwinds
Lawrence Wong will be sworn in as the city-state's fourth prime minister on Wednesday. Despite Singapore's strong economy, new challenges lie ahead.
Mikuni Minato is not a town that has recently fallen on hard times — it's been that way for a century.
LIFE / Travel
May 7, 2024
48 hours in Mikuni Minato, Japan’s port town that time forgot
A trip to Mikuni Minato may not appeal to the average tourist, but well-traveled residents will find it fascinating.
The number of children 14 years old or younger fell for the 43rd straight year to around 14.01 million as of April 1.
JAPAN / Society
May 4, 2024
Japan’s record-low children population weighs on growth
The number of children 14 years old or younger fell for the 43rd straight year to around 14.01 million as of April 1.
Strong family ties act as an insurance against economic and other shocks and can be strengthened by government policies that promote intergenerational solidarity.
May 3, 2024
As families change, so must safety nets
Intergenerational family ties act as a form of insurance. Governments like Singapore's are supporting such arrangements and others should follow suit.
Despite bustling cities like Tokyo and Osaka, Japan faces a rising number of abandoned properties, particularly in rural areas, which pose risks to communities and economies.
May 3, 2024
Abandoned homes will be a big part of Japan’s future
Statistics reveal a significant increase in vacant and abandoned homes, with projections indicating a further rise unless addressed soon.
A vacant house in Tokyo is seen demolished in January 2020.
May 1, 2024
Number of vacant homes in Japan hits record high of 9 million
The preliminary figure jumped by 510,000 from 2018, when the previous survey was taken, and doubled from 4.48 million in 1993.
Mitsunobu Inoike talks about the Kanakura district of Wajima, Ishikawa Prefecture, known for its terraced rice fields, on Friday.
JAPAN / Society
May 1, 2024
Noto quake survivors face tough choice: leave or remain
In the disaster-hit areas, many damaged houses are being left as they are.
The trial hearing of Masumi Hayashi, who denied killing four people and poisoning 63 at a festival by lacing a pot of curry with arsenic, was the focus of The Japan Times’ front page of May 14, 1999.
JAPAN / History / Japan Times Gone By
May 1, 2024
Japan Times 1999: Hayashi admits fraud, denies curry murders
The disturbing case of the Wakayama curry killer would continue for years, resulting in the eventual execution of the woman convicted of the crime.
Chika Kon asks a question at a mock assembly session organized by the town assembly of Zao, Miyagi Prefecture, in July. Kon is now a member of the assembly.
JAPAN / Politics
Apr 29, 2024
Local councils in Japan take measures to counter candidate shortfall
Efforts are being made to encourage participation to avoid undermining essential functions such as administrative oversight.
Sakiyama elementary school in Tamba, Hyogo Prefecture, in March .Over the past decade, the government has directed efforts toward policies designed to give young people incentives to base themselves in rural areas.
JAPAN / Society / FOCUS
Apr 27, 2024
In Japan, regional revitalization fails to halt population decline
Efforts to revitalize rural areas through various incentives has yielded limited results as people continue to gravitate toward urban centers.
Japan has entered an era of full-fledged population decline. If current trends remain unchanged, the nation's population is expected to decline by about half from 124 million in 2023 to 63 million by 2100.
Apr 26, 2024
Japan’s shrinking population is a big problem for the nation
An expert panel sounds the alarm on the nation's declining birthrate and population crisis.
Of 1,729 local municipalities nationwide, 744 have been identified as being at risk of disappearing.
JAPAN / Society
Apr 24, 2024
Over 40% of Japan's municipalities at risk of vanishing, study finds
The Tohoku region takes the top spot in both the number and percentage of municipalities at risk of disappearing due to a sharp population decline.
Later this month, author Shogo Imamura will open Honmaru, a bookstore that allows other businesses to rent its shelves. It's part of a wave of ideas Japanese booksellers are trying to compete with online spaces.
CULTURE / Books / Longform
Apr 22, 2024
The story isn't over for Japan's bookstores
Shops without staff, shelves for rent, cafes and meetups are some of the ways the country's dwindling bookstores are trying to survive.
A bill to tackle the low birthrate is passed at a Lower House plenary session on Friday.
JAPAN / Politics
Apr 19, 2024
Lower House approves bill aimed at tackling low birthrate
The government plans to start collecting the fees in fiscal 2026 and gradually increase the amounts to secure ¥1 trillion annually from fiscal 2028.
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.


Things may look perfect to the outside world, but today's mom is fine with some imperfection at home.
How 'Reiwa moms' are reshaping motherhood in Japan