Japan’s Population Problem

Topics: Aging, Demography, Gerontology Pages: 3 (895 words) Published: July 6, 2013
Japan’s Population Problem

The past few decades have seen surprising innovation in medical science and thanks to that, according to World Bank, the current average life span of Japanese is 82.9 years old. Most Japanese can enjoy their lives much longer than those of past. In 1960, the average life span of Japanese was under 70 years old. However, contrary to common wisdom, prolonging the average life span is not always good for society. In addition, the birthrate is continuing to decrease. That is why it’s often said that Japanese society is aging society with a low birthrate now. Aging society means that the society which have over 7 percent of people who are over 65. In rich countries like Japan, decreasing birthrate and increasing aged population are going forward together. It is a very severe problem. To solve it, we have to find the way of increasing the birthrate and reducing aged population. I mean we should have more children to keep valance.

We can see some characteristics of the population problem in Japan. Increase of the number of old people who are over 65 in Japan is sharper than any other country. In 1995,the percentage of aged population increased over 14. Current fertility rate of Japan is 1.39. According to The Japanese Journal of Population, the population of Japan will be under 90 million by 2055. Some people may think that is good situation because if it’s true, we don’t have to ride a jam-packed train and daily life will become more comfortable. It is true that some Japanese cities like Shinjuku are always crowded. However, these benefits would be offset by much higher tax burden and a sluggish economy.

The problem is that tax burden for young people will become heavier. According to Statistical Handbook of Japan, the percentage of aged population will increase over 25% by 2025. Therefore, the proportion of people dependent on social retirement and health care programs is becoming larger. To ensure that elderly...
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