No Sex Please, We're Japanese
The world's population is seven billion people and counting, and when you come to Tokyo it feels like most of them live there. But Japan is so different to any other country in the world... men and women are drifting apart. Experts are predicting that within the next 40 years the population of this country is going to shrink by a third. In Japan there are more old people than anywhere else in the world. Adult nappies outsell the baby nappies and there isn't a population boom... it's more like a population bust.
Anita came to the mountainous north of Japan in a town called Yubari. It is a part of the country that visitors don't usually see. Once more than a 100,000 people lived in Yubari and now there are fewer than 10,000 and most of them are a bit beyond school age. So what happened there? Where did all the young people go?
Yubari was once a coal mining town but the last mine closed in the early 1990's. Many people left to look for work and the town resorted to desperate measures to attract the young people back... including the multimillion-dollar Yubari theme park. But Yubari's industrial decline masks an even deeper problem that's confronting the whole of Japan.
In many parts of the world rapid population growth has caused alarm about the future with shortages of food and energy but some countries face the opposite problem - catastrophic population decline. Tokyo is the world's largest metropolis, home to more than 35 million people. Each year the city is producing around a quarter of a million babies and there's no shortage of newborns there, but even in crowded Tokyo they've noticed the change.
Older moms having fewer babies feel like a familiar story. In rich countries, increased wealth and education often lead to women having fewer children. And in some ways it should be good news especially in a densely populated country like Japan with more than a 120 million people. But for Japan the falling number of babies is becoming something of a national crisis.
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