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Topic Reading-Vol.2224-5/14/2018

Dear MEL Topic Readers,
Number of children in Japan shrinks to new record low
It has been that way for the last 37 years. The central government, ministries, local governments, companies, and people in Japan all have known this problem of having fewer children, but it has never been solved or eased. In fact, there are 15.53 million children aged 14 or under, representing only 12.3% of the total population of 126million, compared to 18.9% for the US, 16.8% for China, and 30.8% for India. As the country is rapidly aging, the costs for healthcare and social services are rising while the population that supports the economy is declining. The main reason is the low fertility rate, only 1.4, among the lowest in the world like Korea and Singapore. Why don’t young Japanese people make children? Is it the economy, job market, social welfare, gender roles, education cost, or future prospect that deters or discourages young people to get married and have children, or the combination of all these factors?
To make the situation even worse, the country has been reluctant to accept immigrants to fill the generation gap, either. Will robots and auto-something do all the tasks that are done by humans?
Enjoy reading and think what will help the country to maintain its economy, health care and welfare, and social balance.

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