TOKYO (majirox news) — It’s no secret that Japan’s population is falling because of a lack of births, a point reinforced Sept. 1 when the Ministry of Health and Welfare released its usual statistics on births and deaths.
But no one seems to grasp how massive this impact is on Japan.
This year, Japan’s population decreased due to natural causes was nearly eight times greater than the more than 20,000 killed or missing due to the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. It’s like the entire city of Oyama in Tochigi prefecture suddenly vanished off the face of the earth.
Deaths outpaced births by 125,708 according to the Ministry. This is an increase of 50,000 deaths over births compared to last year. Oyama in Tochigi prefecture has a population of around 140,000.
Deaths outpacing births at this rate is the equivalent to Japan losing the entire city of Oyama.
As Japan’s population rapidly ages, the number of people dying continues to grow rapidly. Soon, Japan will be losing a population every year equivalent to the entire city of Takasaki, the prefectural capital of Gunma.
There is no question that in the coming 10 to 20 years, population loss will be the most powerful economic, social and political force shaping Japanese society.