Friday, June 08, 2018
"Japan's Baby Drain": demographic winter
SBS (Australian) presents “Japan’s Baby Drain” (16 min, 2013), now five years old, presents rather bluntly Japan’s “demographic winter” of low birth rates.
The film starts in a mountain village of 2000 people, Nanmoku, which has a big school that used to have 2000 students and now has just 37. A first grader is taught by a male teacher all by himself.
The young adults move to the cities, where the problem is less obvious.
As in western countries, women have their own careers and approach men in earnings. They postpone marriage and having babies. Long hours in the Japanese workplace are said to be part of the problem.
A young woman, who plays the harp in an orchestra, is interviewed, and says at 32 she is still “picky” about men.
The film also looks at the eldercare problem. Japanese assisted living or nursing homes depend on foreign labor, but immigration laws make that very difficult (to pass the language exams).
The Japanese government has implemented policies to encourage marriage and procreation.
The film doesn’t mention LGBT issues, which would obviously be pertinent to the birth rate.
Wikipedia attribution link for baseball stadium in Japan picture, by DX Broadrec, CCSA 3.0