Japanese Bishop Laments Country's Population Dropping to Dramatic Lows

Says Decline of Young Population, Aging Society Signify Disappearance of Local Communities

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A Japanese Bishop is decrying how his nation’s population is dropping to historic lows.

According to AsiaNews, Bishop Isao Kikuchi of Niigata has released a statement in which he explains how the aging population is currently the most urgent problem for the country, which threatens to collapse the pension system and welfare.

This drama, he wrote, also brings another negative aspect: «An aging society and the dramatic decline of the young population, which moves to big cities like Tokyo, means the disappearance of local communities.»

The Church in Japan has sought to raise awareness among Japanese residents. The Bishops’ Conference declared 2010 «Year for Life» and launched a series of medical and social initiatives in favor of pregnancies.

The results, however, are still unsatisfactory. Focusing on their careers, many couples prefer to wait beyond the maximum age to have a child. In addition, a very high rate of suicide among juveniles and a overly consumerist social policy make matters worse.

The Japanese population dropped for the sixth year in a row in 2014 and reached historic lows according to data from the national census. According to official data, the Japanese are now 12,616,0000: in 2014, the total number dropped by 271,058. This figure represents the sharpest decline ever recorded in modern times.

The statistics also show that 25.9% of the population are over 65. Government officials state it is the first time since 1968 that this sector of society has been more than a quarter of the total. (D.C.L.)


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