Japan's Baby Crisis: Why Does the Birth Rate Keep Falling?
Haruka Sakamoto, Senior Fellow, The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research & Associate Professor, Tokyo Women's Medical University
Kenji Shibuya, Research Director, The Tokyo Foundation for Policy Research
14:00-15:00 Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Language: The speech and Q & A will be in English.
Japan is heading towards a demographic crisis, with the number of births in 2002 falling below 800,000 for the first time since the collection of statistical data. At this rate, Japan's population could drop from 125 million to 88 million by 2065. Japan's birthrate of 1.3 births per woman is among the lowest in the world, although still well above South Korea's 0.78.
While factors such as Japan's high cost of living, limited living space, and insufficient childcare support are gradually being addressed by the government, experts are still baffled by the continuous decline. They fear the measures taken will not be effective. Some argue that there are other, hard-to-change factors behind the demographic problem, such as changes in the values of younger people and an increased education burden. More unorthodox explanations for people avoiding relationships and children include Japan's otaku culture and even the influence of anime's two-dimensional world.
Experts in the field Haruka Sakamoto and Kenji Shibuya will present an in-depth analysis of the true causes behind the declining fertility rate in Japan, drawing on extensive data obtained by the surveys they have conducted to date.
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