Ouch! I was on the phone with my father in Japan and he is greatly concerned about me not being married..as usual, I said some reassuring words to make him feel better and he mentioned, “Japanese women think like you and that is why we don’t have enough babies in this country!”
Japan’s population falls for 8th straight year in 2014
According to the ministry, approximately 1,001,000 babies were born in 2014, which is approximately 29,000 babies less from the previous year. Another disturbing record is that a number of deaths was the highest in Japan since post world war II.
Currently more than 20% of the total population fall under “silver” category (65 and over)..comparing to other developed countries, Japan has one of the highest elderly rates. Though the country suffers drastic population decline, Japan is far from accepting immigrants due to its naturally conservative nature of this country.
It is expected that people who are aged 65 and above will account for nearly 40% of the total population of Japan in 2060. Japanese government is trying to provide tax benefits for couples who have children and also trying to create a work environment that is welcoming for mothers to return to work but it has a long way to go.
I have said this repeatedly but the following things need to be resolved before Japan can really get out of the stagnant economy..without doing anything about these issues, the future isn’t very promising for Japan.
1) Change rigid employment system: Japanese companies traditionally recruit new graduates straight out of college then these young people stay with the companies for life. Time is changing. Companies should be more open to hiring employees who don’t have traditional record. (for example, someone who took a little time off from work. Women who left previous jobs to care for their new born babies). They should be flexible enough to recruit competent employees.
2) Japanese government needs to give more incentives for companies to “permanently” hire women and do not let the temp employee go. Hire her or Hire Him.
3) Japanese government should try to reduce the number of temporary agencies and contracting companies. The majority of young Japanese are employed by these agencies and it does not offer stability.
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