Japan also spent 2.5 years banning schoolchildren from conversing during lunch https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/nov/23/japanese-schoolchildren-end-covid-ban-lunchtime-chatter And of course when not eating, for the last three years and counting it's been masked interaction only for all schoolchildren. Lots more hikikomori incoming.


When your country becomes an incelocracy


What a cursed word


Jordan peter-san


Getting some real Yoon suk-yeol vibes here.


Le nhk has arrived


I set a general principle of not speaking on issues I don’t have much proper knowledge of. But, nevertheless, it is still notable that despite being the “symbol” of demographic issues, Japan has a higher fertility rate than all of their developed neighbors (South Korea, Taiwan, China and her two autonomous polities - Hong Kong and Macau). It’s still fairly, even quite, low and it seems to me that Japan’s “drop” simply came earlier than most others. But it is worth a discussion.


South Korea sitting at 60% of Japan’s birth rate is hard to comprehend.


That sounds absolutely catastrophic for korea


It's amazing for the economy now. It is a minor problem 20 years from now. It is a big problem 40 years from now. It is a potentially country ending problem 60 years from now. Japan hit their mass retirement earlier than any other country and their birthrate was relatively decent compared to what will happen to China, Russia, South Korea, and Taiwan. A lot of European countries are also in a really crappy position.


I mean, the Army is running out of men to conscript right now with them basically sending physically / mentally disabled people to the training camps to fill the quotas(A reason why conscription is such a great selling point for conservatives-but that is a topic for another day) so it's a major problem right now for certain sectors.


the same goes for the high suicide rate and overwork deaths stereotype — those were 30+ years ago and right now even the United fucking States has a higher suicide rate than Japan does


>He said that he eventually wants the government to double its spending on child-related programmes. A new government agency to focus on the issue would be set up in April, he added. They've only known about this issue since my parents were children, but maybe they'll get around to it this time? Good ol' LDP. Still remember watching an LDP leadership debate where the three candidates (all men, of course) were discussing child-rearing and, like, none of them had been involved in raising their kids at all? Not much wonder, then, that they have no clue what's wrong and what's needed to fix it Prime Minister Tamaki when !ping JAPAN


Many casual observers on this sub do not understand how unserious the LDP is on so many topics. I get that people want to believe in the idea of a principled conservative party overseas but the LDP ain't it. Like, it's not as bad as the Republicans, not by a long shot, but the nation needs some serious political competition if anything social is going to get done. Let's just hope that next time it won't be lead by some pigeon mountain dude.


Near-guaranteed electoral victory is simply never a good recipe for the quality of any party.


Just look at how the ANC went from Nelson Mandela to Jacob Zuma.


>pigeon mountain dude Could you elaborate on this? I tried googling it but couldn't find what it meant


Ex-PM Hatoyama, whose wife was some sort of cultist and had a scandal I think? His name translates literally to “pigeon mountain”. IIRC he was only PM for like 1 year.


Maybe they should start by fixing Japan's god awful work culture and hours, so workers can go home to their wives and children.


The share of housework that men take up is positively correlated with birthrate (make of that what you will) And Japan and Korea are outliers in terms of how little housework men do (among developed economies, I should clarify)


But how? They're facing competition from China and Taiwan and other developing countries. And those countries have worse working environment than Japan


Those countries have an even lower birthrate than Japan...


The market will stay insane longer than you can stay solvent. This apply to the international trade and labor market here.


Tamaki does not have serious solutions to issues any more than the LDP does…


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Tamaki does not have serious solutions to issues any more than the LDP does…


just give guaranteed national university slots to newborns lol


That is the most big brain idea I have ever seen. It might actually solve their problem


I don’t think Japan’s brutal work culture is compatible with replacement-level fertility. They have to choose which one they want to have.


Work culture may be bad but it's gotten better steadily at the same time as fertility levels plummeted so it's hard to find a causal relationship or even a correlation there. The hustle of the 80s was ludicrous by modern standards.


I didn’t claim that work culture caused the decline in fertility, only that they will not recover a reasonable fertility rate without addressing it.


I see what you did there ;)


Speaking more as a parent than as someone who knows anything about Japan, having kids but not getting to spend any time with them would not really be worth it. My understanding is that the LDP is basically run by the large Japanese corporations though, so the chances that they mandate reasonable work hours/environments are slim.


From what I've read online, expats tell people to avoid Japanese companies and find employment with a Western firm in Japan because those companies have more sensible hours.


I’ve even heard culturally you can’t even say things like “good luck for your promotion” or “I don’t understand what you mean” to your boss as your job isn’t to question but rather do what you’re told.


The Japanese actually works fewer hours than Americans. https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/annual-working-hours-per-worker?country=USA~JPN


Realistically you can choose greater than replacement level fertility and just employ more people to make up for the loss in hours. Bonus buffs to population mental health as they now feel that there is a reason to wake up every single morning beyond grinding their balls off in an office building for the rest of their life. Now they actually have someone that depends on them.




Peak highbrow lowbrow r/neoliberal meme


Open your borders Stop having them be closed


Make it illegal to refuse service to people based on nationality/ethnicity/first language, and invest more in teaching English or whatever other language is massively popular that might help boost their ability to communicate with immigrants and foreign workers Seriously Japan is very socially closed even when their borders technically aren't, if they want big immigration that's what they need to change as well


Any move away from Japanese being the only needed language on shore is a nonstarter as most people would see it as a decline in Japanese culture. Immigration increase and reform is necessary but it will have to come with being able to teach immigrants to communicate in Japanese.


>Any move away from Japanese being the only needed language on shore is a nonstarter as most people would see it as a decline in Japanese culture I know, and that's why Japanese culture will decline by virtue of *fucking dying*. I'm just saying what they need to do, not saying they're going to do it. Nobody's going to immigrate to Japan if they have to work even harder to integrate than they would in the USA, when the USA is also the wealthier and generally easier option. Zero people who have the choice of sailing across the ocean to an immigration destination will choose Japan over the USA in that scenario. So they will need to make the change. But I agree, they likely won't.


To add on to this, your average Syrian, Venezuelan, or Somali is far more likely to speak some basic English than any Japanese. Hell, many immigrant source countries (Nigeria, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, etc.) do speak English. Either get with the times or get left behind.


Anecdotally, I have seen more native Vietnamese interested in learning English than native Japanese. They even seem very eager to learn.


Hell, they’re in a region worth Australia & New Zealand, both of which are far more accommodating.


Japan could do like Quebec, Free Japanese courses for all new immigrants with an easier path to citizenship if they learn it. It’s not perfect but combined with a point system like Australia and Canada it would be much better than what they currently do and they would get a significant number of immigrants


Doesn't Japan already put quite a bit of emphasis on English education in their schools? They even have stuff like the JET Programme to get all the teachers they could ever need from abroad.


They do have some, but their culture is still very insular in other ways, especially housing and employment (and to a lesser degree (but much more than in the USA where this kind of thing rarely comes up outside of the occasional hick small town), refusing customers who don't speak decent Japanese or at least look Japanese (which is just seen as an indicator that you can speak the language)), there's tons of anti-foreigner discrimination that's totally legal and very common. Look up vloggers who live in Japan and discuss how it is to get an apartment and find housing in Japan, or how it is finding a job that is both willing to hire foreigners, isn't teaching English to Japanese students since that's not a viable source of large scale immigration or economic expansion, and isn't a [Black Company](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_company_(Japanese_term)). It's incredibly difficult for many people. This is also after you finish and get your immigration/residency paperwork approved, and fun fact, official government paperwork/documents in Japan are so difficult even for some native Japanese people to navigate, they have specialists just to help you understand the very formal Kanji still used in government documents but almost nowhere else in society. It is not an immigrant friendly country, even where it's technically legal and open to immigration, even for English speakers.


They don’t have Japanese education program in their schools. There are some pilot programs but nothing on a large scale.


Yes. They spend more per capita than any other Asian nation of English education with some absolutely dismal results. As an aside, the guy you are replying to likely has no real actual experience with Japan. The only places I ever saw that visibly turned away foreigners were places you really probably don't want to go anyway (prostitution, etc.).


> invest more in teaching English or whatever other language is massively popular that might help boost their ability to communicate with immigrants and foreign workers Just taking a serious stab at orthographic reform would go a long way. The kanji+kana system is objectively a fucking awful system. It requires *years* of study to be able to read a high-brow newspaper without issue despite the spoken language frankly not being all that difficult. It's such a comically huge barrier to integration that it's not even funny. Even just a move to something like hangul would help tremendously.


Their current situation is better than being flooded with weebs


What's the weeb birthrate? 0.01?


That's the trick - weebs don't need the birthrate! This is just not how they reproduce. The economical feasibility can be tweaked by visa and media export conditions.


I thought weeb was transmitted by bite


Maybe some squid rabbies.


It's actually negative!


The half-life of a weeb actually in Japan is about 15 months. It's not so much a flood as a constant trickle both in and out


We must send over Benny from Fallout New Vegas to bada their bing.


I...fucking hate that this makes sense. God damn the Matthew Perry's.


*the goddamn of it all*


This would mitigate the problem a little bit, but anything short of an unprecedent immigration policy won't solve their problem.




Does anyone here have an intelligent take on this issue aside from immigration? Japan being a dominant party democracy does not automatically cause their birth rate to fall.


The fertility question generally is a political Rorschach test where people just plug in their priors.


Mine is just build more lol, so I’ve got nothing.


Japan has really liberalized zoning and is known for having their housing basically be treated like consumables that are worth nothing after 30 years so I’m not sure that’ll do it In the US it’d help a lot for sure though I think.


The fertility question awakes my inner succ. There are three ways to be a developed country and have high fertility. 1. Religion 2. Jews 3. Social spending (see France) The first two are really hard to accomplish with policy. The third one is easy.


My priors are: there are limited resources on this planet so stabilising population is good until we get off it.


That's a good argument for why to have it no higher than 2.1 but japan is at 1.36


which is strange since at least a few of these issues seem like common sense. lump sum cash payments, lower taxes for married couples, zoning reform to drive down housing costs, etc.


Part of the problem, as I understand it, is that most of these things have been tried (not necessarily in Japan), and been found not to have much impact. So you're often debating the impact of intangibles like culture or radical policies that are never going to get implemented. (Take with a grain of salt; I am not an expert in this field).


> been found not to have much impact To clarify, AFAIK it's not that the impact is low so much as it's that the expenditure:impact ratio is terrible. Government *can* meaningfully raise the fertility rate with cash transfers, but the size of those cash transfers has to be obscene to really move the needle.


Yeah, I wouldn't do it for less than $100 million


Two real world solutions. One, do what Sweden does and have a very nice maternity leave program for mothers funded mostly by the state. Two, you need to have homes have lots of space. American suburbs suck, but one unintentional positive is it makes it easier to have a 2nd/3rd kid.


Sweden's TFR is about the same as the United States. There are many many factors going into this.


You have to compare it to the countries surrounding them. America has a great birth rate because of immigration and Mexico being right next to us. Sweden doesn't have these boosts. Their maternity programs worked for them.


>America has a great birth rate Still below replacement rate so i wouldn't say "great". >Sweden doesn't have these boosts Looking into it. According to the governments of those countries 25.9% of Swedens population is foreign born. With 30% of children born every year being the child of a foreign born parent. 26% of American population is foreign born. With 26.2% being born to a foreign born parent. The largest percentages of Immigrants to Sweden are from Iraq and Syria which themselves have much higher birthrates then Mexico. It sure looks like Swedens birth rates are benefiting from immigration MORE than the United States


Honestly, Japan is a tough case for immigration. Having lived and worked in Tokyo for a few years, a huge part of the reason Japan is able to function so well is because of very strongly kept social mores that immigrants struggle to follow and often break. Japanese as a language is also a massive burden on immigrants, and I often met fellow ex-pats that had lived there for decades that were never fully (or even partially) literate. Think of the struggles that migrants have integrating into advanced economies in Europe, then add in a language that requires knowledge of 2000+ characters to be fully literate in. The Japanese government has also put a ton of effort into teaching the population to speak English, but the results are not impressive at all.


>Japanese as a language is also a massive burden on immigrants, and I often met fellow ex-pats that had lived there for decades that were never fully (or even partially) literate. Yeah they need to do what the Koreans did and just abandon Chinese characters. Source: Studied Japanese for 2 semesters at Uni.


The issue is the syllable count in words. Japanese words are often quite long and so kanji can be considered an effecient means of writing. Writing only in Hiragana and Katakana would increase the length of texts dramatically. Not to mention render most script currently written unreadable to new generations. Korean by contrast has a very low syllable count in its words making writing in Hanja (chinese characters) very inefficient. Hangeul is thus much more appropriate.


No thank you. I can't imagine anything more torturous than reading and writing only using Hiragana/Katakana. Source: Can read, write and sorta speak Japanese.


It would be entirely possible to write Japanese only phonetically. After all, you SPEAK it phonetically. Kanji work as a sort of shorthand cipher, which is useful if you're a master at reading and writing the cipher, but is dogshit for general literacy. ​ I refuse to believe that Japanese is some special language that resists being written phonetically. Hell, you could even use just roman characters.


The issue I see is the large number of homophones and the difficulty of distinguishing them if only hiragana and katakana are used. 貴社の記者は汽車で帰社した is very easy to read きしゃのきしゃがきしゃできしゃした is nonsense another example 庭には二羽鶏がいる にわにはにわにわとりがいる。


Japanese needs spaces. And what makes homophones difficult to understand in writing and easy to understand when spoken?


Don't need spaces when you have Kanji. Some homophones are distinguishable by pitch accent and in general spoken JP uses less homophones than written JP.


Can indicate pitch in writing as well. And I was taught that Japanese only has two pitches, anyways. ​ Realize that the Romans didn't use spaces either. Nor punctuation. There are advancements in writing that make literacy easier. The Japanese system is notoriously arcane.


If you're willing to just completely overhaul the entire written language with new punctuation rules and such then sure you can make work. I mean there have been attempts to dispose of the Kanji going back to the Edo period so you certainly aren't alone in thinking it a good idea. As of today though it is something of a fringe position to say the least.


>If you're willing to just completely overhaul the entire written language with new punctuation rules and such then sure you can make work. Yeah, like the Koreans did, as I originally posted lol


Throw in more Katakana


or maybe reduce the number of different pronunciations.


Have we so soon forgotten Shinzo Abe's message to us? Get laid and build aircraft carriers.


Build aircraft carriers put schools on them make fighting in tanks a stereotypical girls sport.


Japan would literally sooner shrivel and die than compromise what they think it means to be "Japanese". This is why we shouldve gone way harder with reconstruction after WWII, Germany style.


The future is far less star trek, and far more children of men A future of failed states, starving old people, and endless tracts of empty, echoing villages and towns


This is your brain under Conservatism.


Gee, you think? Unfortunately, mate, you'll need to loosen your party's totalitarian control to fix this problem. Which you won't. So suffer the consequences. No amount of subsidies or legislation will help you.


didnt know low fertility was due to being a dominant part democracy someone tell europe that


>didnt know low fertility was due to being a dominant part democracy No, but because of the side effects.




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This is what happens when you have a toxic work culture that isn’t conducive to family formation, combined with hostility to immigration. Even if they dramatically reverse course, they’re in for some real trouble in the coming decades.


Their TFR is higher than Spain; I think causality is a bit unclear.


This is what I mean when I say that the fertility question is a political Rorschach test - it's such a widespread phenomenon across countries and cultures that attempts to attribute it to this policy (or lack thereof) or that cultural norm always seem to fall flat.


Whatever israel is doing on this front the rest of the developed world needs to follow.


Have a sizable ultra orthodox minority that has a ton of kids?


Inshallah Japan converts to Hasidic Judaism


I don’t know why, but that sounds like a hilarious timeline. I wonder what the culinary fusion would be like 🤔


[something like this perhaps?](http://mobile.dudasite.com/site/shalomjapannyccom#2659)


*Mayim Mayim* is already part of the Japanese cultural zeitgeist 🤔


I don’t think the birth rate is particularly high in Israel if you take out Haredim which means the country is in its own even more twisted demographic crisis


Well while the Hasidim average something like 7kids more than 50% of those kids will end up leaving the community before they themselves have kids. In America they're trying to "fix" this by not teaching their kids English so they can't leave, but not learning Hebrew isn't really an option for them in Israel. So if you think about it the Hasidim are actually the largest producers of Secular Jews in the world.


Not sure about specific Israeli policy, but Jewish culture emphases having children and raising families.


Less secularism, more religion!


*Laughs in Korean*


Tbh what the fuck is up with Northeast Asian culture that results in this? Like the richer and more progressive West have significantly(but still low) fertility rate.


Higher expectations and lower ability to reach those expectations combined with cultures that are slow to change social mores that contribute to the previous two. But also, I think the one that is most critical, is simple lack of equality/empowerment for women. In Korea most people have to fight tooth and nail to get the most basic employment. Then you work superhard to keep it. For a variety of reasons (not simply supy) housing is beyond reach for most. Women in many cases would like the idea of marriage and a baby but they know two things: 1) whatever leave they take, when they come back they will fired or made to feel uncomfortable by their peers until they quit. They will be seen as having let the team down by making everyone do their work. 2) Most men still have very stuckist expectations for women and so women expect men wont help much. Best case scenario? Get married, have kids, throw away most of the hard work and independence you spent a decade building for more work and getting yelled at by your mother in law in a house you dont own while on a ten year lottery to buy a house you can barely afford an hour subway ride away from work.


Except, empowering women won't solve (or probably contribute that much) this issue either considering places like Norway, the Netherlands, and literally then entirety of Central Europe are near to and also trending toward Japan's birthrate and Finland is basically at the same value.


While you are correct on the whole, there are two things to consider. 1) Magnitude. As bad as the trendline is globally it is much much worse here in Korea. The TFR in Korea is literally half the OECD average. Korea and Japan are not a little worse than negative trend, they are significantly and catastrophically worse. 2) Despite a global trend these issues are still local. The empowerment of women is not a side convo in the discussion about improvement of birth rates, but a major political and social issue of import to millions of people in these countries that needs to be solved. And improving their station is one way to help increase that birth rate. Fundamentally immigration will have to be a part of any discussion. There is no realistic way to get the average person back to having 2-3 kids on average. Not happening. But Korea does seem to aknowledge that and in the Korean press there is frequent mention of chamges to immigration and increased portrayals of inter-cultural families. Its a long way from were it needs to be and there is a lot of work to be done to get Korea were it needs to be on immigration but its trending in the right direction. Also this is a country that back in the early aughts, whole families literally lined up to donate their precious heirlooms, jewlery, and even pulled out gold teeth to give to the state so they could repay the IMF loan. Never underestimate what Koreans may do when they feel their nation is on the line.


>Like the richer and more progressive West have significantly(but still low) fertility rate. Japan is on par with Spain, Finland, Canada, Italy, and Portugal.


I don't understand why they don't just stimulate birth rates. It's not rocket science, but it does require some willingness to do so from the government. This article is so disingenuous and the author is all but hiding his biases.


Japan when told to have seggs or stimulate immigration: 🗿