What is a Children’s Day with less children to celebrate every year? Today, Japan may be the third largest economy in the world. Tomorrow, without its children, Japan will have no economy to boast about. Its years of population control and consumerism are driving its population to extinction.
On Children’s Day, May 5, the Statistics Bureau of Japan reported that the number of children under 15 years of age fell by 150,000 from a year earlier to a record low 16.49 million as of April 1, 2013. Because of prevailing values centered on consumerism, focus on career and Shintoism, couples delay having children and many people choose not to have any.
The figures, which were released on May 5, Children’s Day, show that those under 15 years of age were around 16.5 million in a population of 127 million, 12.9 per cent of the total population, one of the lowest levels in the world. In the United States by comparison, the percentage is 19.6 per cent, 16.5 per cent in China and South Korea 15.6 per cent .
The drop in births and the consequent aging of the population pose considerable risks to Japan’s economic well-being. Although the third largest economy in the world with a balanced pension system, it will find it impossible to sustain that without fresh blood. For now though, the government is not committed to any action that would stimulate the birth rate.