Japan’s population declines for the seventh consecutive year

On April 13 2018, the Japanese government published the estimated population in Japan.  The total population is 126.76 million, as of October 1 2017. It decreases 227 thousand (0.18%) from the previous year, and decreases for the seventh consecutive year. The chart shows the number of increase-decrease in population (bar chart) and the increase-decrease rate (line chart). The population aged 65 and over is 35.152 million (increase 561 thousand from the previous year) and its proportion sets new record high of 27.7%. The number of foreigners resident in Japan is on the rise, but the population shrink cannot be stopped.

The falling birth rate and the aging population is creating labor shortage already. It will undoubtedly cause problems of healthcare and pension system. Further, Japan is facing energy problems triggered by nuclear accident, natural disaster such as earthquakes, short demand and deflation etc. Many Japanese have a cooped-up feeling in the face of such many problems.

However, if you have a positive thought, where problems are, there are solutions also. These problems may be solved through new technologies, or may be solved through new business models. I hope that it is not merely a thought of giving up. Other countries may face the same problems in the future. At that time, Japan may be able to contribute to the world by providing the solutions we develop. Japan should fulfill a role as a developed country facing its own unique set of challenges.

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