Prime Minister’s Adjutant Warns Japan Could Disappear
People walk at a crossroads in the Shibuya shopping area, Tokyo, Japan, August 7, 2021. Photo/REUTERS/Androniki Christodoulou
TOKYO – Japan faces an existential problem if the problem of its extremely low birth rate is left unaddressed.
The warning was made by Masako Mori, aide to Japanese Prime Minister (PM) Fumio Kishida.
Mori, an upper house lawmaker and former minister, is advising the PM on issues surrounding national fertility rates as well as LGBTQ issues.
The official made the remarks in the interview shortly after the country’s Ministry of Health released annual statistics on death and birth rates, painting a somewhat grim picture.
Twice as many people die than are born in the country, with 799,728 registered births compared to 1.58 million deaths.
“If we continue like this, the country will be lost. It is the people who have to go through the process of disappearing who will face huge losses. A terrible disease will befall those children,” said Mori.
The figures continue a decade-long trend of declining Japan’s population, although the birth rate will fall below 800,000 for the first time in 2022.
Japan’s population is also steadily aging, with the average age reported at 49 years. The share of people over 65 years of age stands at over 29%, making Japan the second country in the world with the oldest population, surpassed only by the European microstate Monaco.
“If the negative trend continues, Japan risks a complete breakdown of its people,” said Mori, adding that the birth rate situation is getting more worrying every year.