It’s now or never to stop Japan’s shrinking population, PM says


As you may know !

[–]Boeing367-80 46 points47 points48 points  (3 children)

Yeah, I was at a company and we had a consulting firm helping us on software that had a Japanese American woman. She disappeared and we were told she'd have the opportunity to go to Japan and she always wanted to get in touch with her heritage.

Three months later, she came back. Turns out, she might have looked Japanese but she was too culturally American to fit into Japan. Which did not surprise me at all, because she had an "in your face" personality (which, personally, I thought worked for her). But man, that kind of thing does not work in Japan, not at all and especially not in a woman.

But at least she figured out who she was - namely, American.

[–]Soros_Liason_Agent 405 points406 points407 points  (62 children)

There's quite an interesting BBC article about a western immigrant to Japan, and she tells a story of how rural japanese towns are dying out because no one lives there anymore and everyone moves to the cities. She tells this gathering of villagers that she would be willing to move her and her family out to the village if they wanted.

They reject her offer because she doesnt know the culture well enough or some bullsh*t.

The village was on the path to extinction, yet the thought of it being invaded by "outsiders" was somehow worse.

Pretty stupid really.

[–]wvj 713 points714 points715 points  (40 children)

Hijacking top comment but also relevant to 'too late for that.'

I taught ESL in Japan in 2006-7. Talking about this makes me feel old as fuck. But one of the things I noticed speaking with my students, was that when we'd do the very common 'so why are you interested in learning English?' type question, the answer from the younger women was basically 'to flee Japan,' albeit put more diplomatically.

That answer was laden with all the demographic nonsense. I went back to study some of it when I did some of my graduate work at Waseda. They've created a horrible self-perpetuating cycle; women are still encouraged out of the work force (Japan has the worst or near the worst rankings for gender equality among rich nations), men are still encouraged to be absent from their families for their work (making family life that much less appealing), living costs are high, elder care is essentially mostly a family matter (and thus marrying women are essentially signing on as future nannies to their husband's parents), etc. At the same time, many women are very keenly aware of all of this and are looking for better personal prospects, but that almost certainly means being single beyond what is considered ideal. Less marriage -> shifted demographic pyramid -> more elders for the wives to not want to deal with -> less marriage. And that's just one of the kind of feedback loops.

Almost all of the government efforts to deal with the problem are childcare focused (ie various iterations of the 1994 'Angel Plan' which is in a lot of ways the start point to the whole demographic panic in popular discourse), but aiming at childcare is addressing the problem too late. The costs of raising a child are part of the concern, but they come after many more significant concerns that they really haven't done much about.

[–]Obandigo 2767 points2768 points2769 points  (467 children)

What is their government going to do?

Make people want children and make them fuck?

Being from the states I have a son, there is no goddamn way you can make me have another child now even if I could.

The simple answer is people don't want to be burdened anymore. When you're burdened by your government, inflation, rising house costs, daycare costs, pay not equaling what it should.... of course no one wants a fucking kid.

Combine that with how conservative Japan's beliefs are, and it's no wonder they're in this fucking situation

[–]cylonfrakbbq 155 points156 points157 points  (15 children)

They actually have an opportunity to kill 2 birds with one stone

1) Dying rural towns
2) Lack of flexibility with work

If they let more people work from home for certain office jobs and incentivized people move to rural towns, that could potentially fix some issues with both. Granted the town would need good internet

To sum up, let's keep in mind that camDown has a modern UI, that is secure and has the improved features that you need and I am sure your family would say the same.