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Japan 2016 Birthrate Falls to 1.44; Newborns Fall below 1 Million (News)

Tokyo, June 2 (Jiji Press)—The total fertility rate in Japan in 2016 fell 0.01 point from the previous year to 1.44, while the number of babies born last year slipped below 1 million for the first time, the Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry said in an annual demographic survey on Friday. The rate represents the average number of children a woman is expected to give birth in her lifetime, cove…

Japan’s Population Projected to Slip Below 100 Million in 2053 (News)

Tokyo, April 10 (Jiji Press)—Japan's population is predicted to fall below 100 million in 2053, the welfare ministry's National Institute of Population and Social Security Research said Monday. In 2065, the final year covered by the latest estimates, the population is expected to slip further to 88.08 million, against 127.09 million in 2015, the institute said. The share of the elderly, or p…

Japan’s Birthrate Drops Below 1 Million

The Japanese population shrank again in 2016, as the number of births fell below one million for the first time since statistics were first compiled. This article examines the year's demographic data from the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare.

Timeline for May 2016

US President Barack Obama visits Hiroshima, the Group of Seven summit is held in Mie Prefecture, and Nissan and Mitsubishi Motors enter a capital alliance. Look back on the major Japan news stories of May 2016.

Major Makeover for the University Entrance SystemIsoda Fumio

Japan’s university entrance exam system and high school education are on the verge of undergoing a large-scale reform. Factors driving the reform include changes in the university student selection process, wrought by the declining birthrate, and awareness that the current system is not doing enough to prepare students for a global world.

Can Japan Boost Its Low Birthrate?

Japan, like many other countries, has a declining birthrate that is likely to result in a host of socioeconomic problems. The Japanese government hopes to create a social environment that will raise the country’s total fertility rate.

Raising Pregnancy Awareness in Japanese SocietyJames Singleton

Walk down the street or ride a train in Japan, and you will often see a heart-shaped keychain bearing the image of a mother and baby dangling from a woman’s bag. Known as a maternity mark, this simple illustration informs others that the bearer is pregnant. Introduced by the Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare in 2006 as part of a broader program promoting maternal health, the mark has become a…

Fighting Population Decline, Japan Aims to Stay at 100 Million

Depopulation continues to be a dire problem facing Japan. In an effort to address the issue, the government in June announced the goal of maintaining the population at 100 million over the next 50 years, as part of broader economic policies. The plan, based on a report presented in May by a government-appointed panel, looks to offset the decline in population by boosting the country’s fertility rate and implementing other measures to stave off Japan’s graying.

The Japanese Family on the Brink of Change?Senda Yuki

The Japanese institution of marriage, at first glance, may seem impervious to the winds of change buffeting other economically developed countries. At present same-sex marriage is not allowed under Japanese law, nor can a husband and wife use different surnames. But Senda Yuki, a professor at Musashi University, thinks there are signs that major change is on the horizon.

Declining Birthrate Changing Japan’s SchoolsHayakawa Nobuo

Schools in Japan, from elementary to high school level, are being closed at a rate of 400–500 schools per year. The major cause of this is the declining birthrate. Schools overflowing with children are a thing of the past and empty classrooms are increasingly conspicuous. Japan’s declining population is bringing deep change to its schools. The number of children in public elementary schools has…

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