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Japan’s Dwindling Birth Rate and Cultural Changes are Leading to Massive Decline

Japan’s Dwindling Birth Rate and Cultural Changes are Leading to Massive Decline

And the U.S. is not far behind

Thirty-somethings in Japan aren’t having sex and it could lead to the end of Japanese culture as we’ve known it.

Without sex, there are no kiddos and without a generation to perpetuate it, the culture is doomed. In what’s referred to as a “demographic time bomb”, death rates are far above birth rates, leading to instability in every market from housing to investment, according to The Independent.

The Independent explores:

The country is facing a steep population decline as a growing number of youngsters abstain from sex and avoid romantic relationships.

Some men claimed they “find women scary” as a poll found that around 31% of people aged 18 to 34 from the island nation say they are virgins.

One woman, when asked why they think 64 per cent of people in the same age group are not in relationships, said she thought men “cannot be bothered” to ask the opposite sex on dates because it was easier to watch internet porn.

The number of births dropped below one million in Japan for the first time last year, according to the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

Japan’s National Institute of Population and Social Security Research predicts that the country’s current population of 127 million will decline by nearly 40 million by 2065.

The fertility crisis has left politicians scratching their heads as to why youngsters are not having more sex.

Lack of proper socialization and the ability to handle rejection in a healthy fashion can be blamed for the deficiency in hookups.

Comedian Ano Matsui, 26, told the BBC: “I don’t have self-confidence. I was never popular among the girls.

“Once I asked a girl out but she said no. That traumatised me.

“There are a lot of men like me who find women scary.

“We are afraid of being rejected. So we spend time doing hobbies like animation.

“I hate myself, but there is nothing I can do about it.”

Artist Megumi Igarashi, 45, who once made a 3D image of her own vagina, said “building a relationship is not easy”.

“A boy has to start from asking a girl on a date,” she told the BBC.

“I think a lot of men just cannot be bothered.

“They can watch porn on the internet and get sexual satisfaction that way.”

Neither is the U.S. immune from the same fate. A generation getting married later or not at all, an increase in one-child households, lack of interest in pursuing a mate in favor of digital relationships, etc. Decline here may be slower, but it’s already in progress unless something changes and quickly.

Despite new-wave feminists claims, statistically, traditional gender roles serve a purpose well beyond oppression — ensuring a civilization’s survival. The family unit is the cornerstone of every successful civilization.

Multiple studies have found a direct relationship between traditional gender roles (or ‘stereotypes’ as some studies call them) and increased fertility rates.

It’s pretty straightforward — in the absence of defined roles, the family unit suffers. When men are terrified of women and women think every man that looks at them lustily has committed some form of sexual assault, there’s little chance for successful procreation, much less a proper family.

Birth rates here at home continue to decline, leaving demographers freaking out. From a WaPo report earlier this year:

The United States is in the midst of what some worry is a baby crisis. The number of women giving birth has been declining for years and just hit a historic low. If the trend continues — and experts disagree on whether it will — the country could face economic and cultural turmoil.

According to provisional 2016 population data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday, the number of births fell 1 percent from a year earlier, bringing the general fertility rate to 62.0 births per 1,000 women ages 15 to 44. The trend is being driven by a decline in birthrates for teens and 20-somethings. The birthrate for women in their 30s and 40s increased — but not enough to make up for the lower numbers in their younger peers.

A country’s birthrate is among the most important measures of demographic health. The number needs to be within a certain range, called the “replacement level,” to keep a population stable so that it neither grows nor shrinks. If too low, there’s a danger that we wouldn’t be able to replace the aging workforce and have enough tax revenue to keep the economy stable. Countries such as France and Japan that have low birthrates have put pro-family policies into place to try to encourage couples to have babies.

If you love America, you’ll have more babies, basically.

Follow Kemberlee on Twitter @kemberleekaye


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As the proud father of four great kids, I have done my part!

Japan currently has double the population that it had when it invaded China back in 1931. It has 50 million more people than it did when it bombed Pearl Harbor. So it’s population might drop to 90 million in 2065. So what, that is the number of people it had in 1960. Japan still has it’s nation. It still has it’s culture. Japan doesn’t have Islamic terrorists. It does not have mass immigration. That is a good thing.

The US might have a population drop. Good. We need to end all immigration and start mass deportations as well. We were a better nation in 1920 with 100 million people than we are 100 years later with over 300 million people.

    regulus arcturus in reply to ChrisMallory. | October 13, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    Japan has an enormous social welfare safety net, and has experienced practically zero economic growth for 20 years.

    They cannot afford this safety net, and there is no replacement population to fund it currently.

    The US has a similar but not as catastrophic demographic profile, but will run into the same wall with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid funding in a little over a decade.

    Then, things get really interesting here.

      LukeHandCool in reply to regulus arcturus. | October 13, 2017 at 7:09 pm

      Yes, an inverted population pyramid does not bode well for the health of a nation’s economy, nor its self-confidence.

      Polls show the Japanese are more pessimistic about the future than any other Asian nation.

      Maybe the problem is the social safety net and all of the attendant regulation and finger wagging, not the birth rate. People that take risks and lose without any hope of a soft landing tend to be more tenacious people. People like this stand out from other weaker people and become more sexually attractive. Maybe we need to let people feel the sting of failure, because in my experience growth can’t happen without it.

      If we cut off the freeloaders things will look a lot better

    Tom Servo in reply to ChrisMallory. | October 14, 2017 at 9:37 am

    Foolish thoughts. 100 million people, when 80% of them are under the age of 30, is a growing vibrant nation capable of anything. (that’s what we were in 1900)

    100 million people, when 80% of them are over the age of 75, is an absolute disaster that is guaranteed to collapse.

    The second scenario is what Japan faces, and what we would face if population dropped just because of lowered birth rates.

    Remember Rome went through much the same thing in the 3rd and 4th centuries – that’s why they brought so many “barbarians” into the Empire; it was the only way they could keep things running on a day to day basis. By the end of the Empire there were almost no actual “Romans” left in their armies – they were all hired from the competing barbarian tribes.

      Rachel in reply to Tom Servo. | October 14, 2017 at 12:34 pm

      Exactly. It isn’t a question of the overall population numbers, but, rather, how that population is distributed over various age groups. Japan’s population has become heavily skewed towards the elderly, with fewer and fewer young people and births, and it’s getting worse all the time. Supposedly, more diapers for the incontinent elderly are sold in Japan than baby diapers. Eventually, the population will reach a tipping point, the point of no return, and the population will crash with no possibility of recovery.

    In 1940 approximately 35% of Japan’s population was in the age group 1 day to 14 years of age. An additional approximately 60% were in the age group 15 to 64 and the remaining approximately 5% were 65 and over. A nation can fight a war with that sort of population distribution by age. An insular nation which avoids immigration can also sustain itself if that sort of distribution is maintained.

    In 2010 approximately 13% were 1 to 14, 63% 15 to 64 and about 24% 65 and older.

    Unfortunately I don’t have the time to find the further breakdown of the 15 to 64 group. I suspect in 1940 it tended to be concentrated in the 20 to 40 age group, but in 2010 more heavily concentrated in the 40 to 64 group.

My Japanese mother-in-law was born 9 months after her given-up-for-dead father walked into town one day to the complete surprise of his wife (after the war ended he was a POW on an island in the Pacific, unbeknownst to his wife).

My mother-in-law was one of 13 children.

Families of that size were not unusual at that time, just a little over a half-century ago.

Now it is almost unheard of to find a family in Japan with 3 children or more. In our years living there, we met very, very few families with 3 children and only one family with 4 kids (and only because the third pregnancy, which was not planned, ended up in twins).

When those around me pooh-pooh my pessimism about the future, I feel they just don’t realize how many ways there are for a society/civilization to change (usually for the worse) on a dime.

    If they can change for the worse on a dime, they can do the opposite also.

      Tom Servo in reply to Shane. | October 14, 2017 at 9:43 am

      “If they can change for the worse on a dime, they can do the opposite also.”

      No. We wish that were true, but it never is – it would fall into the classification of a “miracle”, and miracles just don’t happen all that often, especially not to entire nations.

      Nations can be screwed up forever by just a single wicked generation – look at Venezuela. But building a healthy, sustainable nation takes generations of careful planning, prudent living, and plain old hard work.

      Communism collapsed 30 years ago in Eastern Europe, and they are just starting to crawl out from under its legacy. The 40 years in the wilderness from Exodus may just be an observation of how long it takes a new generation to take control from an older generation that is mired in the old way of doing things.

    Matt_SE in reply to LukeHandCool. | October 13, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    But it didn’t change on a dime. It took decades to promote this new attitude in the younger generations. We’re only noticing it now.

    A month or two ago I was coming out of Office Depot with my horde– 5 kids, one in arms.

    We happened to run into a group of Japanese guys stationed on the Army base in El Paso (no special figuring, it’s written on their chest) and it was darkly funny.

    Three early twenties guys walk past. One looks back. His eyes get big. He says something about kids to his friends. (I was stationed in Japan, and I suck at Japanese…but I got a few words.)
    They all look back at us, boggling.

    I give a big grin, and a peace sign.

    They boggle a bit more as we round a corner.

    It totally made my day….

    I’m trying to imagine having three kids in the tiny apartments that I saw in Japan…eeek.

Manufacturing is increasingly done by robots, and Japan is at the forefront. Population decline is not something to be feared.

    regulus arcturus in reply to Petrushka. | October 13, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    It is if you have a gigantic demographic retiring nearly simultaneously, zero economic growth, and no funding for your retirement safety net, as Japan does.

    They are in terrible fiscal and economic trouble, and have already taken mostly ineffective extraordinary measures, including their central bank devouring the majority of the entire Japanese bond market, and making headway into other asset classes.

      Whenever there has been a period in history when a nation has run out of children – and it has happened many, many times to many, many cultures – there is always another culture nearby which has plenty of children that are looking for a new place to live.

      Children quite quickly become soldiers.

      and this has happened over, and over, and over.

      Constantinople, at the final battle when it fell, could only muster 8000 defenders against an attacking army of 100,000. They had the most powerful “tech” of the time – walls 1000 years old that had never been breached, but even they couldn’t hold when there was no one left to defend them.

      Japan won’t be saved by an army of robots. or replicants.

Thanks for this very timely and insightful post, Kemberlee. Giving birth is painful (as I’m sure you know), and modern snowflakes here and abroad just don’t want to go through the pain and the 18 years of parenting. I’m glad you chose to do it.

LoneStarWhacko | October 13, 2017 at 8:16 pm

“Grass eaters or herbivores” are the basic reaction to Japanese feminism. Traditional Japanese society was very role centered. Why would a young Japanese man want anything to do with a feminist?

Allow me to oversimplify:
When women are young, they think they don’t need a man. By the time they realize they want a man, men don’t want them.

    regulus arcturus in reply to Matt_SE. | October 13, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Culturally, Japan has gone beyond that though.

    There is something that is systematically turning off Japanese to the institution of marriage.

      It’s not that hard to figure out. This is what it looks like when a culture, and a people, dies. Culturally and psychologically, they were always an extremely proud people, and apparently have never recovered from the humiliation they received in 1945.

      Refusing to have children, or to engage in relationships, is how a pacifist culture commits seppuku.

        Matt_SE in reply to Tom Servo. | October 14, 2017 at 11:43 am

        “Refusing to have children, or to engage in relationships, is how a pacifist culture commits seppuku.”

        People don’t live their lives to carry on the national honor. They live their lives as individuals, with their scope of vision greatly reduced from the 30,000 foot altitude you’re describing.

        This is doubly true of the young. Youth in Japan are light years away from the traditional culture you think they represent. This isn’t some form of youth protest, it is the result of cultural forces that have steered them down the wrong path but which they’re unwilling/unable to identify.

      “There is something that is systematically turning off Japanese to the institution of marriage.”

      That’s not exactly true: something is systematically turning off Japanese men TO SEX. Or maybe, “sex with real women.”
      You don’t have to be married to have kids. In previous eras, they even considered teen pregnancy to be a problem!

      Now, you can’t even get Japanese teens to screw each other, the very opposite of biological impulses. There is something rotting their culture, and the culture is short-circuiting the interaction of the sexes.

      Per my brief oversimplification above, I assume that’s some variant of female “empowerment.” If you study history, the same thing keeps popping up like clockwork. Women are never so equal as when their country is on the brink of collapse.

      I think that’s not an accident.

“There are a lot of men like me who find women scary.”

Malignant masculinity, huh?

What a snowflake, gets turn down once and gives up on dating?

Geez, this is the Country that attacked Pearl Harbor?

    Conan in reply to gonzotx. | October 13, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    Also if he only did it once he picked the prettiest girl most likely and didn’t understand he was out of his league.

    tom_swift in reply to gonzotx. | October 13, 2017 at 11:12 pm

    I know just enough Japanese to know that, typically, almost everything is lost in the translation.

    And if he’s talking haragei it will sound like he’s saying the opposite of what he’s actually trying to convey.

    Approximately 90% of the world’s total weirdness comes from Japan, and language is a good chunk of that.

regulus arcturus | October 13, 2017 at 11:21 pm

The Japanese are very good baseball players.

This has something to do with the repopulation problem they now face…

The population collapse can be very fast.

If in a particular generation a woman has, say, four children in her early 20s, but a woman of a later generation averages perhaps one child when she’s fifteen years older, the population is going to drop to some 15% of its old value, and it will only take a few decades to do it. That’s not opinion, it’s arithmetic.

At some point civilizations run out of basic manpower, and they fall apart when basic maintenance can no longer be performed. Somebody has to fill in all the potholes, climb up poles to repair the phone lines, pump gas … manpower is needed to perform all the prosaic tasks which keep things running.

    Matt_SE in reply to tom_swift. | October 14, 2017 at 11:53 am

    As stated above, the ebb and flow of population wouldn’t be as much of a problem if societies stopped basing their social welfare systems on the presumption that their populations would continue growing indefinitely.

    This is the basis of every welfare system on the planet, since nobody thinks 1 worker can support 1 retiree. If it takes 4 workers, then it takes 16 workers to support them when they retire, and 64 workers the next generation. A geometric increase without end that planetary resources as a whole couldn’t sustain.

    Traditional welfare is the definition of “unsustainable.”

Another fascinating aspect of the cultural weirdness is their porn industry:
There are something like 7 (SEVEN!) male porn actors IN TOTAL in the industry, servicing something like 2,000 women.

It shouldn’t be so hard to find men willing to screw (often beautiful) women, and it maybe shouldn’t be so easy to find women whose only marketable skill (or lifestyle preference?) is porn.

Whatever is wrong with Japan is occurring at a very fundamental level.

From what I’ve read, I understand that many Japanese women don’t want to get married. They are self-absorbed, and they enjoy working and getting to spend their incomes solely on themselves. They don’t want to get stuck staying home taking care of children and their elderly in-laws when they can have a good time staying single.

    Matt_SE in reply to Rachel. | October 14, 2017 at 2:09 pm

    As I suspected, “female empowerment.”

    The cultural expectations of women are even more insane than here– short version, the women are not only expected to work like men (remember that working yourself to death is not that unusual in Japan) but they’re expected to do all the work of a stay-at-home, too, and for behavior….
    Well, the Marines on my ship never had any issues getting a date. Because the ladies considered them so incredibly nice, compared to how Japanese guys treated them. (Several of them were utter jerks.)

    I don’t know the flip side of that, none of the women I knew dated Japanese guys. Since they DID date locals in Korea, that might be evidence enough.

    Obviously the guys who behaved better were probably already snapped up, but the stuff I heard from Navy wives suggests that the majority of the population is as screwy as those poor ladies who figure out at 45 that they’ve sacrificed their chance at kids for a career.

If the brits, french and germans weren’t flooding their countries with young muslems, they would be in much the same situation. Low birth rates is of the causes. The decimation of the gene pool, a result of WW2, is the other.
In each of these countries, the mass-slaughter of their young manhood in war has taken a serious, permanent toll.

France,England and Germany are in the forefront of re-stocking
their younger generations,in an, ahh,unique way: Immigration. Solved it, yes, at least a superficial glance at their numbers say so. In the long run….I think they doomed their counrty, and quite possibly the entire continent.

buckeyeminuteman | October 17, 2017 at 12:36 pm

20-something an 30-something year old men should be busy making babies, instead they’re on the couch playing video games like they were 10 again. This country has a man-child problem. Sounds like Japan has an even bigger one.

    There really isn’t a conflict between making babies in a responsible, stable marriage and playing video games. Most of the gamers I know who have kids got married, first, and are paying for them on their own. (Husband and I are both gamers– 5 kids and counting; homeschooled and no public or family help….usually quite the opposite!)

    There are a lot of guys who just… sit there, though. Passive, won’t resist their girlfriend’s will except passively, but won’t actually DO much, either. Limp rags, ugh.

    When I was a kid, they were always watching football. Now, they’re “playing videogames,” usually either sports or FPS. Or just drinking.

I have now lived in Japan for about 4 months, and will live here for several years. While no society is perfect, this is about the last one on Earth I would criticize. The Japanese are hard-working, law-abiding, and fun-loving people who also happen to have incredible technological capabilities.

Everywhere I go here I see young children with their parents, and they seem affluent and well-educated. Despite reports of no economic growth for years, the Japanese seem to have plenty of disposable income, and I have rarely seen anyone homeless or begging. The “demographic time bomb” seems like a load of BS to me. This country will prosper whether it has 100 million or 150 million people.

    I pray you’re right.

    Edward in reply to Noonan. | October 17, 2017 at 7:50 pm

    I happen to agree with your perception of the Japanese people. With Foxfier I hope that you are correct. But to believe your anecdotal evidence is correct and the article, based (at least in large part) on statistics and projections from Japanese government sources, is BS might be a mistake.