Longevity a mixed blessing for Japanese

Japan Today reports:

Japan on Friday welcomed the news it had topped the world longevity ratings, but with its citizens living increasingly longer lives it may soon become hard for the government to find enough young taxpayers to support them.

The statistics for 2007 published on Thursday by the World Health Organization put Japan on top of the longevity list, reporting that the average life expectancy was almost 83 years—86 years for women and 79 years for men—up from 81 years in 2000.

“A steady increase of Japan’s longevity reflects good medical care, nutrition and successful economic development, and that alone is a good thing,” Norie Handa, a Cabinet Office official in charge of aging issues, said Friday. “What we really have to look at is whether we can live long in good health, and peacefully.”

However, in a country where the birth rate has been declining for decades—the population fell by 51,000 last year, the sharpest decline ever—a longer life expectancy means a disproportionately large elderly population.

The number of people over the age of 65 has reached 22.5% of the population and in a dozen years will likely to surge to nearly 30%, according to government estimates.

By contrast, the percentage of children in Japan is expected to fall to below 11% in the next decade or so from the current 13%. The country already has the smallest percentage of children among 31 countries, trailing Germany and Italy, according to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications report.

According to the last statistics I read, however, 3 out of every 4 babies in Japan are aborted. That means Japan is aborting itself into extinction. The solution to their aging population is quite simple, actually: start encouraging women to carry their babies to term. It’s certainly a politically incorrect thing to suggest (I noticed that a comment suggesting just that has mysteriously disappeared from the above site), but it’s fairly obvious all the same.

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4 Responses to “Longevity a mixed blessing for Japanese”

  1. Kansas Bob says:

    Gotta wonder what the USA will look like in 10 years when most of the boomers will be on social security and medicare.. universal care is closer than we think.

  2. NCSue says:

    Unfortunately, this is one of the repercussions of limiting family size. Unless we start euthanizing our elderly – and we haven’t gon that far yet.

  3. Montana says:

    That’s a problem in most civilised nations, and our generation is going to carry it on our shoulders. Not very nice :)

  4. Wow, Japan really does have the oldest citizens. It reflects their success as a whole because quality of life reflects longevity. It’s also sad because it seems like they are growing into a nation populated by older citizens. Its really alarming that 3 out of every 4 babies are aborted. I find this very depressing, its doesn’t even seem logical. Why is there even a need to abort all of these unborn fetuses? If couples don’t want children then just use contraception beforehand…