Japans Population Problem

By: Cami Lamont

Japan will continue to wither in the years to come because of its overwhelming elderly population

Problems

Having a median age of 46.5, Japan is the oldest society on earth. Taking up over a quarter of the countries population, people of 65+ years will continue to age rapidly, while the younger Japanese population are going to keep putting off having children at a young age. This demographic will lead to a large increase in older population, raising the percent of 65+ population from 25% to 40% by 2060, and the population that is 19 and under is predicted to decline to a mere 13% by 2060.
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What Japan is known for.

Close in size but larger than California and having almost 100 million more people in its borders, Japan is known for its innovation and its ability to shape the world's technology landscape. Although most people would know this country as the place where you get sushi, Japan is very technologically advanced, creating famous companies in the world today, such as Sony and Toshiba.

Negative effects of Japans physical features.

In Japan, only about 15% is suitable for agriculture, this is because the land is not flat enough. That same land is also most suitable for living. The land is prized and priced very high because most of the land was mountainous and not suitable for farming. The population and areas of agriculture are therefore concentrated together. Because of this, it means that most of the 130 million people and the food that is meant to feed all of those people, are squeezed into a mere 15% of all of Japan. The mountains of Japan contain 10% of the world's most active volcanoes. All of these factors create the conclusion that Japan's huge population and small amount of farming land don’t coincide with a sustainable food supply for the population.

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Effects of the Climate

The capital of Japan, Tôkyô, is in a similar geographical position to Los Angeles or Washington D.C. In Japan, on top of the four seasons there is a rainy season, lasting about a month in June, followed by a really hot summer. This is important to the farming of rice, Japan's traditional food that it’s known for. As Japan changed from an agricultural society to an innovative, populated country, a lot of its natural beauty was destroyed by overcrowding and industrial development.

Natural disasters

Earthquakes are frequent in Japan, occurring more often than they are felt. Even so, one big enough to be noticed by scientists occurs every three days in Tôkyô. Occasionally they do serious damage. Also, Japan has become a world leader in research in predicting earthquakes because of the frequent earthquakes that they have to deal with. The development of this advanced technology has permitted the construction of skyscrapers even in earthquake prone areas. Also, typhoons sometimes hit Japan. They seem to be common target for natural disasters.

The Governments Plan to Fix This Issue

There are steps being taken in the right direction but they are not to a big enough magnitude. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is aware of this unstable demographic and is trying to get women more job opportunities by urging business firms to hire more women. Normally women will quit their jobs and never return to work after they give birth, but the government wants to encourage the women to come back. However, just employing the women won't solve Japan's problem. Because of the decline of young workers and the difficult farming situation, it would make a lot of sense to import different finished goods to decrease the need for labor. Also, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is trying to increase the health care plans and long-term care insurance. Even though plans are being made to try and help this tough population situation, if things don't start being put into place, Japan will suffer from this terrible population crisis until the country is finished.

Citations

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