Tags: japan | population | decline

Japan Sees Record Population Drop

Image: Japan Sees Record Population Drop
Commuters heading for their offices come out from Tokyo Station in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo on Jan. 31, 2017.( The Yomiuri Shimbun via AP Images )

By    |   Thursday, 06 Jul 2017 09:38 AM

The population of Japan dropped by 308,084 to 125.6 million in 2016, according to Japan's Internal Affairs Ministry figures reported by the Financial Times.

Since the Internal Affairs Ministry survey began in 1979, this is the first time annual births have fallen below 1 million, with 981,202 babies born in Japan in 2016 and 1.3 million deaths in the country.

The number is a result of decades of low birth rates and an aging population, the Financial Times reported.

The population of foreign residents in Japan grew by 148,959 people, as students and guest workers arrived to take advantage of labor shortages, according to the report, and the foreign resident number is a 7 percent increase, bringing the foreign resident population to 2.3 million.

Forecasts from the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research said the rate of population decline would continue increasing until 2045, at which point Japan will lose around 900,000 residents each year, the Financial Times reports. 

The population in Japan is shifting toward large cities, particularly Tokyo. According to Financial Times, the population in the capital city hit 13.5 million, rising by 115,000 in the 2016 report, and immigration is a problematic issue in Japan, and politicians are reluctant to mention it.

Business lobbies have brought in guest worker programs such as a "foreign trainee" program that allows workers to train in Japan for up to three years then return home.

However, the program has been marked by poor oversight, according to The Japan Times. 

Reports include harsh conditions and low wages, with some workers in the programs dying from "brain and heart ailments" and suicide, Japan Times reports, and according to the Japan International Training Cooperation Organization, 304 trainees in the program have died since 1992, with 29 suicides.

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The population of Japan dropped by 308,084 to 125.6 million in 2016, according to Japan's Internal Affairs Ministry figures reported by the Financial Times.
japan, population, decline
295
2017-38-06
Thursday, 06 Jul 2017 09:38 AM
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