The Decline of Japan’s Birth Rate

859 Words4 Pages
Japan needs to have more babies. The population of Japan is declining, and the birth rate is a base problem. People just aren’t having enough babies anymore. This will be problematic, as Tomm says “The consequences have had negative effects as fertility rate continues to decline and life expectancy continues to increase”. After the birth rate has been declining for the past four decades, the old far outnumber the young at a ratio of nearly 2:1(“Japan Age structure”). There aren’t enough workers to pay into social security. Social problems like traditional gender roles and stereotypes negatively impact the growth of the population. Because of their work-centric lifestyles, social problems, and child related expenses, Japan’s birth rate is severely declining.
First, the lifestyle of the Japanese is very different to that of Americans. Whereas people in America generally spend lots of time with their families, the people of Japan typically only see each other at certain times such as meals or weekends. This is due to a heavy focus on business and work life, especially since seniority at a company determines your wages and potential for promotion (Huen 2). As part of the seniority aspect of work, many women are reluctant to have children as it forces them to take time away from work in order to have a baby and to raise the child. According to Huen, “The Japanese employment system thus offers workers something close to permanent job security if they are patient about advancement, with predictable pay increases, company housing and several kinds of fringe benefits, all in return for workers’ loyalty and commitment to the company”. This system causes many women not to want children until their careers are well on the way to becoming ...

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...r people leaving the workforce. If something doesn’t change, Japan may not even be able to survive.

Works Cited
Harney, Alexandra. “Without Babies, Can Japan Survive.” New York Times. New York Times, 15 Dec. 2012. Web. 6 Feb. 2014.
Huen, Yuki W.P. “Policy Response to Declining Birth Rate in Japan: Formation of a ‘Gender-Equal’ Society.” San Francisco State University., 11 Sep. 2007. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.
“Japan Age structure” IndexMundi. IndexMundi, 6 Dec. 2013. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.
Mizuochi, Masaki. “The Effect of the work-family policy on fertility in Japan.” Princeton., n.d., Web. 1 Mar. 2014
Teitelbaum, Michael S., Jay Winter. “Low Fertility Rates - Just a Phase?” YaleGlobal Online. Yale Global, 9 Jul. 2013. Web. 1 Mar. 2014.
Tomm, Daniel. “Impact of Japan’s Declining Fertility” Econ 272., n.d.,
1 Mar. 2014.
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