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Japan's Population Decreasing

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I think there's two main causes of this trend. First is the Japanese economy, which seems to be stuck in a funk since the 1990s and makes it financially straining to have children. Another big one is immigration; Japan is a notorious pain in the ass to immigrate to (I think they don't do dual citizenship, and it seems pretty difficult to assimilate). IIRC, Germany was looking at a declining population until immigration went up (it's now growing), so if Japan can fix that it should help slow the population decline. Not sure how to, though.

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I think there's two main causes of this trend. First is the Japanese economy, which seems to be stuck in a funk since the 1990s and makes it financially straining to have children. Another big one is immigration; Japan is a notorious pain in the ass to immigrate to (I think they don't do dual citizenship, and it seems pretty difficult to assimilate). IIRC, Germany was looking at a declining population until immigration went up (it's now growing), so if Japan can fix that it should help slow the population decline. Not sure how to, though.

Most of Japan's social problems result from their toxic work environment which regularly has 12+ hour work days. They have a large shut-in population due to the work environment. Plus, the extra work environment is interfering with their social lives so the average Japanese person doesn't actually have time to go out and meet other people to have kids with.

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Most of Japan's social problems result from their toxic work environment which regularly has 12+ hour work days. They have a large shut-in population due to the work environment. Plus, the extra work environment is interfering with their social lives so the average Japanese person doesn't actually have time to go out and meet other people to have kids with.

Plus it is literally too expensive to have a child in any large Japanese city unless both parents are full-time proffessionals. Also, there is no way anyone who is not a billionaire can afford a maid, au pair, nanny, nurse or whatever.


So your would-be parents are left with the unappealing option of concieving their child via vigorous exchange of sticky notes, followed by said child raising itself until social workers shame everyone into committing suicide.

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Most of Japan's social problems result from their toxic work environment which regularly has 12+ hour work days. They have a large shut-in population due to the work environment. Plus, the extra work environment is interfering with their social lives so the average Japanese person doesn't actually have time to go out and meet other people to have kids with.


Japan also has, as I understand it, a low level of gender equality in work. This sounds a bit odd on the face of it, since traditionally the impression is that countries with more gender inequality would have higher birth rates; wife stays home and has nothing else to do but raise the kids. Before the 1970s, this was true; countries which had a higher level of female involvement in the work force tended to correlate with lower levels of fertility. However, since the 1970s this has flipped. Now, countries which have a higher level of female involvement in the work force also correlate with higher levels of fertility. A lot of countries previously noted for high birth rates - such as the Southern European countries, Italy, Spain, and Portugal - have now flipped, and have catastrophically low birth rates. Italy's TFR is 1.37, Spain's 1.32, Portugal's 1.23. These can't be easily explained by poor economic performance in recent years either, since their pre-crisis TFRs were, while somewhat better, still low. Portugal was 1.39 in 2008, Spain 1.45, and Italy 1.55.




In general in Europe the North has a reasonably high TFR, while the South and the East has a low TFR. Germany is the exception with having a TFR much more akin to Southern Europe, which has been hypothesized for a number of different reasons, but generally difficulties for working mothers and a lack of supportable alternate family structures than traditional marriage are commonly cited reasons. In France as the example of a high TFR, there is the traditional family model with children, and the cohabitation model with children, while in Germany there is the traditional family model with children, and the cohabitation family model without children. France also has the mentioned better ability to integrate working mothers while still enabling them to have children, something the Germans have been less successful at. East Germany had a higher TFR for a while than West Germany from the 1970s on, with high levels of work participating for married women and child care facilities, and iirc East Germany recently surpassed West Germany in TFR. 


Note: The East Asian countries mostly correlate to the Southern European countries for similar fertility situations, which is why they're a relevant comparison.


Japan also does have falling rates of sexual activity and a growing population not interested in a romantic relationship too, which I can't imagine is a good thing. Otoh, the same trends do exist elsewhere, even if they may be famously associated with Japan. 


Most of the world is breeding below replacement, I'm pretty sure the US is the only country in the developed world actually breeding above replacement rather than riding a population increase via demography.


It's just that as usual Japan's invented a smaller form of birth rates.


The US slipped below 2.1 TFR, according to google we're at 1.88. Probably mostly due to the continuing economic crisis. France and Ireland are generally in the 2.0 range, sometimes they're above, sometimes they're below. Generally a bit below but its close enough so that when one takes into account immigration, and continued population increase as a result of youth cohort sizes they continue to grow. 


If one counts Turkey and Mexico as being part of the "developed world" because they're in the OECD, then they have a high fertility rate, as does South Africa. But all of those nations, despite being sometimes pegged into the industrialized world and/or with OECD membership, don't really have the level of developed countries in my opinion. There are also the oil-rich states of the middle east that can only be counted as "developed" for artificial means, so therefor I can't be bothered to look up their TFR. 


Israel has a high TFR as well, but that is due to special characteristics from various minorities, both Jewish (the Orthodox Jews) and Muslim, who have a high birth rate. Sometimes the argument gets brought up as France's high TFR being due to the Muslims, but from the papers on the matter that I've read, their impact is marginal. 





I think there's two main causes of this trend. First is the Japanese economy, which seems to be stuck in a funk since the 1990s and makes it financially straining to have children. Another big one is immigration; Japan is a notorious pain in the ass to immigrate to (I think they don't do dual citizenship, and it seems pretty difficult to assimilate). IIRC, Germany was looking at a declining population until immigration went up (it's now growing), so if Japan can fix that it should help slow the population decline. Not sure how to, though.

While economic matters do play a major part, concerning immigration it can only partially solve a population decline. Newcomers naturally age themselves, and so countries wanting to deal with aging problems require large numbers of immigrants. According to a UN report on the matter, the number of immigrants required would cause their population to reach to 50-99% of the country's population, something which is both politically impossible but also infeasible. To quote said UN report (an older report from 2001, but the fundamentals still apply) on the matter, concerning South Korea;


In order to keep the ratio of the working-age population to the population aged 65 years or older at its 1995 level of 12.6, it would be necessary to have a total of 5.1 billion immigrants from 1995 through 2050, or an average of 94 million per year. This number is enormous because the initial level of the potential support ratio, 12.6, is relatively high. Under this scenario, the total population of the country is projected to be 6.2 billion in 2050, of which over 99 per cent would be post-1995 immigrants and their descendants. 


Of course, for the purposes of maintaining population levels, that is different, but under a successful assimilation model immigrants will eventually reach the same birth rate as the rest of the population, which from my recollection, is generally the case even with Europe and continual fears about immigrant populations there. The paper covering that is probably somewhere on my computer. But in general, while immigrant can blunt population declines, in the event of very low TFR, immigration can only have a limited effect concerning population decline unless if we're talking about huge population waves. Taking into account political issues, its infeasible to have immigration levels of the amount required for maintaining current population levels for many nations. I doubt Japan will allow in large waves of immigrants into their island any time soon.


Germany has also seen a gradual rise in their TFR, although it is still far below replace rates. 

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If it weren't for their shitastic gun control laws, I'd probably be living there.

Had a chance to work for ANA as a mechanic back in the 90's.


I still have some relatives living in the Aomori region. It's pretty nice, a lot like Michigan but with fewer mosquitos and wood-ticks.

The fishing there was fantastic, and as long as you were not some kind of dickhead, the locals were cool with you drowning bait.

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Welcome to SH. Interesting post. Also, I'm guessing you are a David Weber fan from the user name?


Thanks. Yes, I had liked the Honorverse and David Weber's works, there are some flaws with Mary Sues and the :not: British Empire in space winning eternally, but overall I enjoy Weber's works. The name I adopted a while ago for another site, and I recycle it intermittently for various uses.

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Thanks. Yes, I had liked the Honorverse and David Weber's works, there are some flaws with Mary Sues and the :not: British Empire in space winning eternally, but overall I enjoy Weber's works. The name I adopted a while ago for another site, and I recycle it intermittently for various uses.

I got my user name from another Baen author, Eric Flint. :)  David's good people.  A lot of the Baen folks are.

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    • By Jagdika
      All photos were taken by myself in year 2016 during my visit to Beijing. Tanks are from the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution and the Tank Museum(currently closed). Enjoy.
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      This is the early version of the Type 94 Tankette. It was found in a river in 1970s. It is the best preserved Type 94 Tankette in the world.
      No.2: Type 97 Medium Tank in the Tank Museum


      This is a late version Type 97 medium tank. It carries the old small 57mm gun turret but has the revised engine ventilation port. This tank was donated by the Soviet 7th mechanized division  before they withdrew from China in 1955.
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        This Type 97 Medium Tank Kai's combat serial number is 102. It belonged to the former China North-East tank regiment. It took part in the attack of Jinzhou against KMT army on 1948-9-14, and did great contribution for knocking out their bunkers and MG nests by shooting and ramming. Thus after the battle this tank was awarded with an honored name:"The Hero(功臣号)“ About the tank itself, it was assembled by the Chinese army themselves by using destroyed or damaged Chi-Ha parts after the surrender of Japan. This particular tank was built up with a normal Type 97's chassis(57mm gun version) early model, and a Type 97 Kai's Shinhoto(New turret for the 47mm gun). However there are other saying claim that this tank was modified by the Japanese. It was the first tank that roared over the Tiananmen Square during the Founding Ceremony of China on 1949-10-1.

      The same tank on 1949-10-1. China's tank army origins from old IJA tanks.
      No.4: Type 97 Medium Tank in the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution

      Sorry, only one photo was taken. This Type 97 Medium Tank has a chassis from Type 97 Medium Tank Kai and a turret from a normal Type 97 Medium Tank. It was merged together by the Chinese army.
      No.5: Type 95 Armored Track(Train track) Vehicle in the Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution

      Only two samples survived. One is in China here and one is in Kubinka, Russia (Maybe now it is transfered to the Patriot Park? I don't know).
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    • By Jagdika
      This is an article simply to show you guys here how Waffentrager is a faker. The original article  ( https://www.weibo.com/ttarticle/p/show?id=2309404213101531682050) was written in Chinese and Japanese. For better understanding I will translate and edit the article and post it here. 
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      Fig.1: I will skip his original article.
        Now, I had raised my first question here: Please take a look at the screenshot:

      Fig.2: My first question
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      Fig.3: Waffentrager’s original article.
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      Important Fig.4: Archive code C14011075200, Item 4
        Notice the part with the red, this is the research and develop plan for the Japanese Tech Research center in 1943, and had been edited in 1944. ◎砲100(Gun-100) is the project name for the 105mm gun used by Type 5 gun tank. The column under it says: “Research a tank gun with 105mm caliber and a muzzle velocity of 900m/s”. This means that the gun had just begun to be developed and from the bottom column we can know that it was PLANNED to be finished in 1945-3[完成豫定 means ”plan to be finished” and 昭20、3 means ”Shouwa 20-3”. Shouwa 20 is 1945 in Japan (you can wiki the way for Japanese to count years I’m not going to explain it here)]
        Next let’s move on to the Type 5 gun tank itself, here is the Japanese archive:

      Important Fig.5: Archive code C14011075200, Item 7
        “新砲戦車(甲)ホリ車” is the very very first name of Type 5 gun tank, it should be translated into:”New gun tank(A), Ho-Ri vehicle”. “ホリ” is the secret name of it. Still from the column we can easily know that Ho-Ri was also planned to be finished in 1945-3. But under that column there is another one called:”摘要(Summary or outline)”, in this it says:”砲100、第一次試作完了昭和19、8”, In English it is: “Gun-100, First experimental construction(prototype construction) finished in Shouwa 19-8(1944-8)” What does it mean? It means that in 1944-8, Only the 105mm gun used by the Type 5 gun tank was finished! If the Ho-Ri tank itself was finished why it was not in the 摘要 column? So how could an unfinished tank mounted the prototype gun? Waffentrager is talking bullshit.
      Also from Mr.Kunimoto’s book, he gave the complete schedule of the 105mm gun, here it is:

      Important Fig.6: Kunimoto’s schedule
        “修正機能試験” means ”Mechanical correctional test”, it took place in 1944-8, this matches the original Japanese archive(though this chart was also made from original archives). At that time the gun had just finished, not the tank.
        Next is this paragraph from Waffentrager’s article:

      Fig.7: Weighing 35 tons
        From the archive above(important Fig.5) we can learn from the second large column”研究要項(Research items)” that Ho-Ri was only PLANNED to be 35 tons, and maximum armour thickness was PLANNED to be 120mm, not was. Waffentrager is lying, he used the PLANNED data as the BUILT data. I will post out the correct data below later to see what Ho-Ri is really like when its design was finished.

      Fig.8: 全備重量-約三五屯(Combat weight-app.35t), 装甲(最厚部)-約一二〇粍(Armour, thickest part-app.120mm)
        At this time, some of the people might inquire me that:”Maybe the Type 5 gun tanks were really finished! You just don’t know!” Well, I will use the archives and books to tell these guys that they are totally wrong. None of the Type 5 gun tank was finished.
        Always let’s look at Waffentrager’s article first. He said that a total of 5 Ho-Ri were completed.

      Fig.9: Waffentrager said 5 Ho-Ri were completed.
       He also put an original Japanese archive(C13120839500) to “enhance” his “facts”.

      Fig.10: Waffentrager’s archive
        Everyone can see the”ホリ車,1-3-1” in the document, and someone might actually believe that 5 Ho-Ri were actually built. But they are wrong! Waffentrager is cheating you with “only a part of the original document”! Here is what the original archive really looks like:

      Important Fig.11: Archive code C13120839500, Item 7
        “整備計画” is “Maintenance plan” in English, again it was PLAN! The whole plan was made in 1944-12-26. I don’t actually know how Waffentrager can misunderstand this, maybe he doesn’t even know Japanese or Chinese!

      Important Fig.12: The cover of the same archive, “昭和十九年十二月二十六日” is 1944-12-26” in English.
      I have other archives to prove that Ho-Ri were not finished as well:

      Important Fig. 13 and 14: Mitsubishi’s tank production chart made by the American survey team after the war ends.
        From the chart you can only find out Type 4 and Type 5 medium tanks’ record. There is no existence of Type 5 gun tank Ho-Ri, or the”M-5 Gun Tank” in the chart’s way.
        Except for the archives, many books written by Japanese also mentioned that Type 5 gun tank were not finished:

      Fig.15: Kunimoto’s record.
        “二〇年五月完成予定の五両の終戦時の工程進捗度は、やっと五〇パーセントであり、完成車両出せずに終戦となった。” In English it’s: “When the war ended, the five Ho-Ri planned to be finished in 1945-5 had finally reached 50% completion. No completed vehicle were made when the war ended.”
        Here is another book written by Japanese with the help of former IJA tank designer, Tomio Hara:

      Important Fig.16: Tomio Hara’s book
      “完成をみるには至らなかった” Again he emphasized that the tank was not finished. Also when Ho-Ri’s design was finished its combat weight was raised to 40 tons, not the planned 35 tons. It was only powered by one “Modified BMW watercooled V12 gasoline engine”, rated 550hp/1500rpm. In Waffentrager’s article he said later a Kawasaki 1100hp engine were installed, but obviously that’s none sense. There was really existed a Kawasaki 1100hp engine but that is the two BMW V12 engine(Same engine on Type 5 gun tank or Type 5 medium tank) combined together for Japanese super-heavy tank O-I use. It will take much more room which Ho-Ri do not have.

      Fig.17: O-I’s engine compartment arrangement. There’s no such room in Ho-Ri for this engine set.
        And last here are the other questions I asked

      Fig.18: Other questions I asked
        I have already talked about the questions regarding C13120839500 and the engine. As for the gun with 1005m/s muzzle velocity, the Japanese never planned to make the 105mm gun achieve such a high velocity because they don’t have the enough tech back then. Also from the archive C14011075200(important fig.4) the 105mm gun was designed only to reach about 900m/s.
        So, after all these, how did Waffentrager replied? I will post out the replies from my E-mail(because he deleted my replies on his blog).

      Fig.19: Waffentrager’s first reply
      He kept saying that my archive is not the same as his and he is using his own documents. I didn’t believe in these shit and I replied:

      Fig.20: My reply
        Last sentence, the Ho-Ri III he was talking about is fake. There are only Ho-Ri I(The one resembles the Ferdinand tank destroyer) and Ho-Ri II(The another one resembles the Jagdtiger tank destroyer). He even photoshoped a picture:

      Fig.21: Waffentrager’s fake Ho-Ri III

      Fig.22: The real Ho-Ri I and the base picture of Waffentrager’s photoshoped Ho-Ri III in Tomio Hara’s book. Many same details can be seen in Waffentrager's fake Ho-Ri III
        The 4 variants of up-armoured Type 3 Chi-Nu medium tank is also fake, I will post his original article and the confirmed facts I got from Mr.Taki by E-mail.

      Fig.23: 4 models of up-armoured Chi-Nu by Waffentrager

      Fig.24: Mr.Taki’s reply
        Waffentrager used every excuses he could get to refuse giving out the references, and finally he deleted my comments. What an asshole!

      Fig.25: Our last “conversation”

      Fig.26 He deleted my comment.
        So, as you can see, Waffentrager is really a dick. He is cheating everybody because he think that we can’t read Japanese. Anyway I still hope he could release his reference and documents to prove me wrong. After all, I’m not here to scold or argue with somebody, but to learn new things. Also if you guys have any questions about WWII(IJA) Japanese tanks, feel free to ask me, I’m happy to help.
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