Japan’s Population Decline
Japan, known for its rich culture and technological advancements, is facing significant demographic challenges. As of 2022, the country’s total population stands at 125.41 million, but it has been experiencing a decline over the past years.
The Population Decline and Demographic Trends
The population of Japanese nationals has been declining steadily, and in 2022, it witnessed a drop of 0.65%, amounting to approximately 8,00,000 people. This marks the 14th consecutive year of falling numbers, highlighting a concerning trend for the country’s future. Japan’s population peaked in 2008 before starting its downward trajectory, attributed to a declining birth rate.
The Role of Foreign Residents
Amidst the declining native population, Japan is experiencing an increase in foreign residents. As of 2022, the number of foreign residents reached almost three million, representing about 2.4% of the total population. This surge in foreign residents marks the largest year-on-year rise since statistics were first recorded in 2013. The presence of foreign residents is playing an increasingly vital role in addressing the challenges posed by the shrinking and aging population.
Government Initiatives and Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s Pledge
The Japanese government recognizes the urgency of tackling the declining population issue and is actively taking steps to address it. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has set tackling the declining birth rate as a top policy goal. In pursuit of this goal, he has committed to obtaining approximately 3.5 trillion yen (equivalent to $25.2 billion) in yearly funding for the next three years, designated towards implementing a fresh child care package. The package includes provisions for child birth and rearing allowances, as well as increased subsidies for higher education, aiming to incentivize families to have more children.
Embracing Foreign Workers
The government’s efforts to combat the population decline also involve embracing foreign workers. Last month, Mr. Kishida’s Cabinet approved a significant shift in Japan’s immigration policy. The plan entails expanding the scope of job categories allowed for foreign workers, opening the door for future permanent residency. This change aims to attract skilled foreign workers to address labor shortages and contribute to the country’s economic growth.
Month: Current Affairs - July, 2023
Category: International / World Current Affairs