The upside of living in Japan's ageing society

The Spectator -- Sep 19

For the first time more than 10 per cent of the Japanese population are aged 80 or older, according to new official data. This reinforces Japan's reputation as the world's oldest society with 29 per cent of the population now aged 65 or more, a full 5 per cent ahead of Italy in second place.

The evidence is there for all to see: walk around a typical Tokyo neighbourhood in the mid-afternoon and all you'll see is old, often ancient people. You'll think you wandered into a gated retirement community or an open air gathering of the Darby and Joan club.

The new data adds yet more weight to the already abundant evidence of Japan's frightening demographic challenges. The ageing population percentage is a result of greater longevity coupled with a declining birthrate - 2022 marked the fewest births on record for the country. It is estimated that, at current rates, the Japanese population will decline by about 50 million (from 126 million to 75 million) by 2100. As Elon Musk once observed, unless the population bomb is defused the Japanese may be extinct in a few centuries (you can actually watch the Japanese population shrinking in real time here, if that floats your boat). ...continue reading