Tag - depopulation



Japan's fall to No. 4 in the global economic rankings reflects an aging population and declining resources.
Feb 20, 2024
Japan slips in the global economic rankings: So what’s next?
The IMF has forecast that India will overtake Japan economically in 2026 and Germany in 2027.
Men in loincloths scramble for a bag of talismans during the Sominsai festival at Kokuseki Temple in Oshu, Iwate Prefecture, on Saturday.
Feb 18, 2024
Festival with 1,000-year history succumbs to graying population
Kokuseki Temple's Sominsai festival used to take place from the seventh day of Lunar New Year through to the following morning.
An honor guard from the Self-Defense Forces prepares for a ceremony.
JAPAN / Politics
Feb 17, 2024
Japan SDF to soften hairstyle rules as recruit shortage worsens
The Defense Ministry will allow recruits to have longer hair from April this year as it aims to attract young people.
At the Akan International Crane Center, just north of the city of Kushiro proper, visitors can see the majestic red-crowned crane — a symbol of Hokkaido.
JAPAN / Society / Longform
Feb 17, 2024
Faces of the north: A Hokkaido town grapples with depopulation
Residents of Kushiro face an issue that more and more communities in Japan are having to deal with. The city may be young, but it's rich with tradition.
The government plans to establish a system that allows any child to enroll in day care establishments regardless of whether their parents work or not.
Feb 16, 2024
Japan's Cabinet OKs bill on measures to tackle falling birthrate
The bill includes plans to expand child benefits and establish a system allowing any child to enroll in day care establishments.
Pedestrians in Piazza Cordusio in Milan. Europe's fertility rate has been stuck around 1.5 births per woman for the past decade.
Feb 16, 2024
How Europe can dodge a birth rate hard landing
Europe's fertility rate has been stuck around 1.5 births per woman for the past decade, far short of the 2.1 needed to maintain population levels.
To help alleviate labor shortages, positions such as taxi, bus and truck drivers are expected to become eligible for the Specified Skilled Worker No. 1 visa.
Jan 28, 2024
Japan preparing to add transport roles to skilled visa amid shortages
The move would bring the eligible industries under the Specified Skilled Worker No. 1 visa to 16 with railway, forestry and timber sectors under review.
Vietnamese people take Japanese lessons in Hanoi in June 2023 before heading to Japan to work.
Jan 26, 2024
Number of foreign workers in Japan surpasses 2 million for first time
Tokyo has the largest population of foreign workers, followed by Aichi and Osaka prefectures.
Unfortunately for Japan, the demographic cliff is approaching and the government will need more than minor course adjustments to fix its Self-Defense Forces' recruitment woes.
Jan 26, 2024
Cosmetic changes won’t fix the SDF’s recruitment problem
Facing demographic decline, Japan explores innovative solutions to boost recruitment in the Self-Defense Forces.
Tokyu Bus Corp. President Takashi Furukawa wants to set a precedent for fellow bus operators that are in desperate need of drivers, drawing on his experience working in Vietnam, where he once helped introduce Japanese know-how in running transportation services.
JAPAN / Society / FOCUS
Jan 20, 2024
Tokyo bus operator banks on foreign drivers as shortage looms
Tokyu Bus Corp. President Takashi Furukawa wants to set a precedent for fellow bus operators that are in desperate need of drivers.
Kazuo Nozaki (left) played a central role in the establishment of the Tsuchinoko Expedition, and Kohei Michishita, executive director of Shimokitayama Tsuchinoko Park, on Nov. 27, 2023.
LIFE / Travel
Jan 19, 2024
Village revisiting craze of phantom creature for local promotion
A snake-like creature that can tell lies, swill sake and jump 2 meters high becomes the best hope for a community suffering from depopulation.
China's birthrate has been plummeting for decades as a result of the one-child policy implemented from 1980 to 2015 and its rapid urbanization during that period.
Jan 17, 2024
China's population drops for second year, adding to growth concerns
A plunging birthrate and a wave of COVID-19 deaths accelerated a downturn that will have long-term economic effects.
Akio Mimura, honorary chairman of Nippon Steel and head of a private panel focused on depopulation, submits the group's proposal to Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo on Tuesday.
JAPAN / Society
Jan 10, 2024
Japan should aim to maintain population of 80 million by 2100: panel
A group comprising academics and business leaders say a higher target than the projected 63 million is needed to maintain economic growth.
Young men and women celebrate Coming of Age Day in Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, on Jan. 11, 2016.
JAPAN / Society
Dec 31, 2023
Japan's 18-year-olds at record-low 1.06 million on falling births
In Japan, the age of adulthood was lowered from 20 to 18 in April 2022 in a bid to encourage active social participation by youth.
The Alumy website, which offers a service for companies that want to connect with individuals who have quit their jobs
BUSINESS / Companies
Dec 31, 2023
More Japanese companies move to rehire former employees
Previously, it had been widely believed that quitting a job means completely severing the relationship with the employer.
As Japan's productivity declines due to the shrinking working-age population, policies that allow for everyone’s full participation in the labor force, especially women, are needed more than ever.
Dec 29, 2023
A look back at Japan’s gender laws and fairness in 2023
Gender equality needs to improve to boost Japan’s prospects. What hits and missed opportunities will we remember from 2023?
Children take part in Christmas activities in Tokyo's Minato Ward on Saturday.
JAPAN / Society
Dec 25, 2023
Japan to open nursery places to all children by fiscal 2025
At the moment, typically only children from families where both the parents are working are admitted to day care.
Tokyo is the only prefecture whose population is projected to grow from 2020 to 2050, increasing 2.5% to 14.40 million.
JAPAN / Society
Dec 24, 2023
Only Tokyo is expected to see population growth in Japan
Eleven prefectures will each see their population shrink by over 30% amid a falling birthrate.
Low fertility threatens to undermine South Korea’s economic future by shrinking its workforce and slowing consumption.
Dec 14, 2023
South Korea set to see fertility rate fall even further
The country already has the world’s lowest fertility rate at 0.78 as of 2022.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks at a government meeting on child policies on Monday.
Dec 12, 2023
Japan to boost spending on measures to tackle low birthrate
The government will make official a program that will have nursery schools accept children even if both parents do not work, among other measures.


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