Musk: Japan will “cease to exist” Fix the birthrate

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Elon Musk has warned that Japan will “cease to exist” unless it addresses its falling birthrate and allows immigration and improves its work-life balance, says an article published in The Guardian.

Risk of stating the obvious

“At the risk of stating the obvious, unless something changes to cause the birthrate to exceed the death rate, Japan will eventually cease to exist. This would be a great loss for the world,” the Tesla chief executive.

Half-hearted attempts

Musk, who has previously expressed concern about global population loss, was responding to government data indicating that Japan’s population fell by a record 644,000 people last year, the 11th year in a row.

Others used Musk’s tweet to criticise successive governments’ half-hearted attempts to improve the birthrate in the world’s third-largest economy, saying Japan was not the only wealthy economy experiencing long-term population decrease.

Japan experts

“What is even the point of tweeting this?” wrote Tobias Harris, a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress. 

“The anxieties surrounding Japan’s demographic future is not that ‘Japan will eventually cease to exist’ but rather the profound social dislocations that are occurring as a result of the decline to a lower population level.”

Everything is contradictory

“They keep saying the birthrate’s falling, but given that the government isn’t taking thorough steps to deal with it, what can we say?” one Twitter user said. “Everything they say and do is contradictory.”

Factors affecting decline in  birth rate

Experts attribute Japan’s low birthrate to a variety of factors, including the high financial expense of raising children, a lack of daycare options, and the country’s traditionally long working hours.

Government record

According to government figures, the country’s population is also one of the world’s oldest, with about 29 percent of the people aged 65 and up.

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Source: The Guardian

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