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Japan sounds alarm on birth rate
BBC ^ | 3 December, 2004

Posted on 12/04/2004 3:41:38 PM PST by traumer

The Japanese government says urgent policy changes are needed to persuade women to have more children.

Japan currently has one of the lowest birth rates in the world. Discrimination in the workplace and poor government policies have been blamed for deterring many Japanese women from having children.

But the government says that unless the trend is reversed quickly, the shortage of children risks doing damage to the economy.

The decline in Japan's birth rate is so severe they have invented a word for it - 'shoshika', meaning a society without children.

Unless women here start having more babies, the population in Japan is expected to shrink more than 20% by the middle of this century. Nearly half would be elderly, placing impossible burdens on the health and pension systems.

An official White Paper which has just been published recommends that the government now focus all its efforts on women born during Japan's last baby-boom, who are now in their 20s and 30s, in a final push to reverse the trend.

Today, record numbers of women in this age group are unmarried and without children. But it is not clear what kind of policies would work.

The government has already introduced a so-called 'Angel Plan', then a 'New Angel Plan', and most recently a 'Plus One Proposal' - all intended to offer more child-care facilities and other benefits for working mothers.

But the biggest obstacle to having families could be social attitudes. Men are still expected to spend long hours at the office and little time at home, while there is pressure on women to give up work when they have children.

A former prime minister who is in charge of the governing party's committee on population famously told women to stay at home and breed.

It is attitudes like that, still commonplace here - and not policies - which Japanese women say are putting them off getting married.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Japan; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: birthrate
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1 posted on 12/04/2004 3:41:38 PM PST by traumer
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To: traumer

As my dad always says..."follow the money trail".


2 posted on 12/04/2004 3:45:05 PM PST by diamond6 (Everyone who is for abortion has already been born. Ronald Reagan)
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To: traumer
It is attitudes like that, still commonplace here - and not policies - which Japanese women say are putting them off getting married.

Which is a lie. In most parts of North America, women are strongly encouraged to engage in family planning and work--and they have low fertility rates, as well.

3 posted on 12/04/2004 3:45:45 PM PST by MegaSilver
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To: traumer

Doesn't China have something like extra 40+ million men ?
Ship them over...


4 posted on 12/04/2004 3:47:32 PM PST by traumer
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To: traumer

I've read about this problem before in Japan. The main issue/concern is, is that they have this HUGE elderly population that lives off the Government.

No babies means no workers yoked to supporting the elderly until they die, which means their government and economy is going to go down in flames. Just like ours, LOL!

I'll go see if I can scout out those other articles as to what the REAL reasons are behind this panic over no babies being born. It ain't because they just love babies, LOL!


5 posted on 12/04/2004 3:48:42 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
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To: traumer

Yeah consequence of the One Child Policy. The Japanese dislike immigration.


6 posted on 12/04/2004 3:49:13 PM PST by Haro_546 (US out of UN)
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To: Haro_546

It's not that they dislike immigration. They dislike having children because they're inconvient and abortion is very matter of fact in Japan. This is the rest of the world's problem as well anyway. All these nations whining about their birth rates... well stop aborting and have children already and stop waiting till you can 'afford' children.


7 posted on 12/04/2004 3:51:13 PM PST by cyborg ( Hy verkwik my siel; Hy lei my in die spore van geregtigheid, om sy Naam ontwil.)
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To: traumer

Guess they need to get an NBA franchise.


8 posted on 12/04/2004 3:52:12 PM PST by canuck_conservative
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To: diamond6

More than 34,000 Japanese took their own lives in 2003, according to the National Police Agency - an increase of more than 7% from the previous year.

Three-quarters of those who committed suicide were male,


9 posted on 12/04/2004 3:52:30 PM PST by Truth666 (http://www.google.com/search?q=%22Proof+that+at+least+one+of+two%22)
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To: cyborg
They do dislike immigration.
In Israel is in danger of arab dominance in the ballot box because the muslims do not abort their children.
10 posted on 12/04/2004 3:54:02 PM PST by Haro_546 (US out of UN)
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To: cyborg
I thought I read a post by you in which you wrote that you were not going to have kids.
11 posted on 12/04/2004 3:54:45 PM PST by Max Combined (Clinton is "the notorious Oval Office onanist ")
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To: traumer

Strange. I thought Japan was over populated. My son stationed there and talks about how crowded it is.


12 posted on 12/04/2004 3:54:59 PM PST by CindyDawg
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To: Haro_546

Oh I know that but aside from immigration, the problem would be a lot less 'alarming' if they didn't have as much abortions.


13 posted on 12/04/2004 3:55:26 PM PST by cyborg ( Hy verkwik my siel; Hy lei my in die spore van geregtigheid, om sy Naam ontwil.)
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To: CindyDawg

"Over-populated" is leftish word.


14 posted on 12/04/2004 3:56:19 PM PST by Haro_546 (US out of UN)
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To: traumer

Why don't they just import millions and millions of Mexicans like we do?


15 posted on 12/04/2004 3:56:52 PM PST by spodefly (I've posted nothing but BTTT over 1000 times!!!)
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To: Truth666

More than 34,000 Japanese took their own lives in 2003, according to the National Police Agency - an increase of more than 7% from the previous year.
Three-quarters of those who committed suicide were male...

Because of sexual frustration ??


16 posted on 12/04/2004 3:57:15 PM PST by traumer
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To: Haro_546

Well,.... I'm am lefty:')


17 posted on 12/04/2004 3:57:42 PM PST by CindyDawg
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To: Max Combined

Yes I've written that before esp. after reading articles about children being kidnapped and abused. If I was to get married, I would leave it up to God to decide whether I'd be a good mother or not by not using any birth control whatsoever. I would love to have children but not in the context of single motherhood.


18 posted on 12/04/2004 3:58:38 PM PST by cyborg ( Hy verkwik my siel; Hy lei my in die spore van geregtigheid, om sy Naam ontwil.)
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To: traumer

We're headed the same way with inflation and taxation making the buying power of the dollar much less than it was pre world war 1. With taxation over 1/3 of the average taxpayer's income, it takes a lot of extra time (years) to pay off debts, build up a nest egg, and start a family with a reasonable amount of income.

Stop sacrificing our country's future to the wants of political power.


19 posted on 12/04/2004 4:00:32 PM PST by anobjectivist (Publically edumacated)
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To: traumer

As natural resources get depleted population will decrease and eventually the planet will maintain about 1 billion people.


20 posted on 12/04/2004 4:03:49 PM PST by CROSSHIGHWAYMAN (NO PRISONERS!!)
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To: traumer
According to the CIA factbook, Japan has more about 1.9 million more women than men. (If I did the math right)

http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/ja.html

"total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2004 est.)"
21 posted on 12/04/2004 4:05:17 PM PST by Dan Evans
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To: traumer

"Three-quarters of those who committed suicide were male..."

Like all other violence, most suiciders are male. I venture this is in-line with stats from other nations.


22 posted on 12/04/2004 4:07:15 PM PST by jocon307 (Jihad is world wide. Jihad is serious business. We ignore global jihad at our peril.)
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To: CROSSHIGHWAYMAN
As natural resources get depleted population will decrease and eventually the planet will maintain about 1 billion people.

I don't think natural resources are depleting. I think people are becoming more prosperous and cultured. Culture tends to inhibit population growth.

23 posted on 12/04/2004 4:11:27 PM PST by Dan Evans
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To: jocon307
I venture this is in-line with stats from other nations

Actually, the suicide rate in Japan is very high relative to other nations

What is in line with other nations is the violent death rate - the sum of deaths due to murder and suicide.

Interestingly, nations with very low murder rates (Japan, Switzerland) have high suicide rates, while nations with high murder rates (Mexico) have very low suicide rates.

The US is around average of all nations in both categories.

24 posted on 12/04/2004 4:12:44 PM PST by jscd3
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To: MegaSilver

Just my opinion but I think a lot of women would stay home with the children if they could find a way to make it work. Unfortunately when we were yelling for equal rights way back when, the guys heard us and now a lot of them think we should work too. Equal rights, you know:')


25 posted on 12/04/2004 4:13:38 PM PST by CindyDawg
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To: cyborg
Yes I've written that before esp. after reading articles about children being kidnapped and abused. If I was to get married, I would leave it up to God to decide whether I'd be a good mother or not by not using any birth control whatsoever. I would love to have children but not in the context of single motherhood.

It's always interesting reading what people think about having children before they do. They don't have a clue. No offense....this is true of everyone.

I know this is getting off the subject of this thread, but having children can be the best thing in one's life. I agree...not as a single mother. I hope you find a wonderful husband and father.

But children can change one's life, especially if you allow them to and don't get uptight about not being able to go out at the last moment or losing one's "freedom." When one has a child, there is a resevoir of love that opens up that you just won't believe until it happens to you. Yes, it is not easy to discipline and bring up children with decent values this year. But there is nothing better than snuggling with your children and loving them.

When you have your children, appreciate them and everyday that you have with them. And your life will be wonderful.

26 posted on 12/04/2004 4:14:36 PM PST by Republicanprofessor
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To: CindyDawg; MegaSilver

The two income household is a given these days. Having said that, if you want to send your child to the best schools,etc. what else are you supposed to do?


27 posted on 12/04/2004 4:15:40 PM PST by cyborg ( Hy verkwik my siel; Hy lei my in die spore van geregtigheid, om sy Naam ontwil.)
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To: traumer
If most Japanese males had an interest in his wife beyond mommy replacement (cook and clean for me), let alone any interest in the kids, there might be more rugrats running around over there. Rugrat... roughly translates into kahpetto nezumi (carpet mouse).
28 posted on 12/04/2004 4:16:40 PM PST by DTogo (U.S. out of the U.N. & U.N out of the U.S.)
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To: cyborg

We gots to fix you up hunny! There must be a nice single Freeper around here somewhere who is lookin' to get hitched!


29 posted on 12/04/2004 4:18:41 PM PST by anniegetyourgun (Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your taglines......)
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To: Republicanprofessor

Hard to find a man who doesn't run in the other direction when you say you want to be a stay at home mother. However, I'm confident I will someone. Children are a blessing and not the curse that this society would have people believe, esp. women.


30 posted on 12/04/2004 4:19:17 PM PST by cyborg ( Hy verkwik my siel; Hy lei my in die spore van geregtigheid, om sy Naam ontwil.)
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To: anniegetyourgun

I'm trying... I want to do my part in outbreeding the libs ;-)


31 posted on 12/04/2004 4:20:32 PM PST by cyborg ( Hy verkwik my siel; Hy lei my in die spore van geregtigheid, om sy Naam ontwil.)
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To: DTogo

True! When I took Japanese in college, my instructor, a Japanese woman married to an American man, told the class, "If you ever go to Japan, don't fall for a Japanese man!"


32 posted on 12/04/2004 4:22:42 PM PST by Tax-chick (Poison ivy berries are a favorite food of the Downy Woodpecker.)
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To: cyborg

You need to move to the South!


33 posted on 12/04/2004 4:23:17 PM PST by Tax-chick (Poison ivy berries are a favorite food of the Downy Woodpecker.)
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To: jscd3

The birth rate always falls when women become educated, enter the work-force, and have access to birth control.

There is also some correlation to the freedom enjoyed by women since Muslim countries have maintained their birth-rates at a very high level whereas in every other country on earth, the fertility rate (children per woman) has fallen steadily since the 1950s.

There is nothing that a government can do about it. No policy enacted anywhere has affected it in the least.

The fertility rate has fallen to an average of 1.9 children per woman (versus the population sustaining level of just over 2.0 per woman) in every industrialized country.

Not so bad in the long-run since the old studies said that population explosion would pollute and destroy the planet. Sorry not going to happen. The planet's population is going to stabilize at 7 billion very soon.

The only bad thing is that in Muslim countries, women are still the property of men and their population continues to explode. Something to think about in terms of how we win the war against the Mulsim extremists. EQuality for women is one of the biggest steps needed.


34 posted on 12/04/2004 4:23:29 PM PST by JustDoItAlways
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To: Tax-chick

I agree :-)


35 posted on 12/04/2004 4:24:03 PM PST by cyborg ( Hy verkwik my siel; Hy lei my in die spore van geregtigheid, om sy Naam ontwil.)
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To: jscd3
Interestingly, nations with very low murder rates (Japan, Switzerland) have high suicide rates, while nations with high murder rates (Mexico) have very low suicide rates.

That is interesting. Here's something else: I once read that Japanese consider a murder-suicide within a family to be two suicides. So if a man kills his family and then himself they are all tallied as suicides.

36 posted on 12/04/2004 4:24:19 PM PST by Dan Evans
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To: cyborg

Come stay with us, and we'll find you a nice Catholic man with a good job and a house in the suburbs :-).


37 posted on 12/04/2004 4:25:04 PM PST by Tax-chick (Poison ivy berries are a favorite food of the Downy Woodpecker.)
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To: cyborg

Lots of guys in the red states like stay at home mothers. I simply can't afford a family due to my blue state cost of living.


38 posted on 12/04/2004 4:25:25 PM PST by Clemenza (Gabba Gabba Hey!)
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To: Tax-chick

My mom would go bananas if that happened *lol*


39 posted on 12/04/2004 4:25:31 PM PST by cyborg ( Hy verkwik my siel; Hy lei my in die spore van geregtigheid, om sy Naam ontwil.)
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To: cyborg

Bring your mom, too! The Charlotte area is very cosmopolitan.


40 posted on 12/04/2004 4:26:17 PM PST by Tax-chick (Poison ivy berries are a favorite food of the Downy Woodpecker.)
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To: Clemenza

Speaking of blue state cost of living... well nevermind. This isn't a property tax thread ;-)


41 posted on 12/04/2004 4:26:26 PM PST by cyborg ( Hy verkwik my siel; Hy lei my in die spore van geregtigheid, om sy Naam ontwil.)
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To: spodefly

I was going to suggest that they adopt the European "solution" and let in limitless streams of Muslims. But then I remembered, the Japanese aren't stupid.


42 posted on 12/04/2004 4:26:50 PM PST by rbg81
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To: cyborg

No income tax, but they get you every other way. Plus the quality of life here s-cks compared to NYC, which is only more expensive in terms of income taxes and housing (and not by much for the latter).


43 posted on 12/04/2004 4:27:35 PM PST by Clemenza (Gabba Gabba Hey!)
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To: traumer

Problems in the hive....... workers are overlooking the most important part of living.


44 posted on 12/04/2004 4:27:48 PM PST by bert (Don't Panic.....)
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To: cyborg
JMO but the best schools are at home:') I hear what you are saying though. We have been told over and over in this country that 2 income is best. You may not have the "luxuries" but raising the future generations of this country a very important job. Sometimes you don't have a choice but if you do, can you give your best by picking them up at daycare and stopping and getting pizza because you are dead tired from working all day? I'm not judging, just throwing out think questions since I have been there. Once you have the expensive house, the two new cars, credit card bills to furnish etc it's hard to reverse course. I'll shut up now. Just a little speech I save for my DIL's. So far , probably to my son's aggravation they are listening:')
45 posted on 12/04/2004 4:27:57 PM PST by CindyDawg
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To: CindyDawg

I've watched women dropping off newborn babies at a daycare center :( BTW, I agree about home schooling.


46 posted on 12/04/2004 4:30:39 PM PST by cyborg ( Hy verkwik my siel; Hy lei my in die spore van geregtigheid, om sy Naam ontwil.)
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To: Dan Evans
I once read that Japanese consider a murder-suicide within a family to be two suicides.

Yes, this is true, although it could well be more than two. It is called a "family suicide". However, it doesn't affect the rates very much, because the total number of "family suicides" is relatively low compared to the total number of suicides.

47 posted on 12/04/2004 4:35:15 PM PST by marktwain
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To: cyborg

LOL!


48 posted on 12/04/2004 4:36:14 PM PST by MisterRepublican ("I must go. I must be elusive.")
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To: Tax-chick
Aside from the language that's probably the best thing she ever taught!

Wasureruna!

49 posted on 12/04/2004 4:36:41 PM PST by DTogo (U.S. out of the U.N. & U.N out of the U.S.)
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To: CindyDawg
It is also possible to juggle jobs with one's spouse so that you can have two jobs, if you need them, and yet only have the children part time in day care. You can juggle hours and shifts.

But if more people became teachers (and, believe me, a flood of new, fresh-minded teachers would be awesome), the working hours parallel those of school-age children very well. So there can be two incomes (especially after the youngest is in kindergarten), and yet there can be a parent at home after school. Perhaps having only one income when the children are very small can be managed if one goes back to work when the kids go to school; then you can save for college or whatever.

Maybe this is a proposal that will enhance education and family life. Wow.

50 posted on 12/04/2004 4:37:48 PM PST by Republicanprofessor
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