Fixing Japan’s Demographic Disaster

Japan - Kyoto

Recently I’ve been trying to catch-up on the backlog of The Economist magazines that have been accumulating on my bedside table. As I perused the magazines, I came across this article titled “Land of Wasted Talent.” The article starts off simple enough:

Unlike an earthquake, a demographic disaster does not strike without warning. Japan’s population of 127m is predicted to fall to 90m by 2050. As recently as 1990, working-age Japanese outnumbered children and the elderly by seven to three. By 2050 the ratio will be one to one. As Japan grows old and feeble, where will its companies find dynamic, energetic workers?

But then things get weird. The obvious answer to me was — have more children . . . right? Well, no.  The answer, according to The Economist, is to throw more women into the workforce. Huh, say what?

I’m sorry, but where is the connection between having more women working and fixing Japan’s demographic disaster? The lack of internal logic like this article is one reason why I have a backlog of Economist magazines.

Frankly, the magazine’s quality of writing seems to be going downhill in pursuit of ideological purity (of a general leftist slant, it is a British magazine afterall). As such, I feel less compelled to read it on a regular basis. And if I see more anti-family articles like this one, maybe I’ll save myself a few bucks and cancel it altogether.

photo by: Marc Veraart