The situation in Japan is deserving of ongoing attention; as you will see in the following news story from Business Week (which, unsurprisingly, produces an alarmist cant in their reporting), not only is the island nation’s population gradually declining, but there are calls to raise the tax on consumption to help shore up the social-security balance sheet. In short, we seem to be witnessing what so many have called for on a world wide basis: a generally healthy, generally prosperous nation with a gradually declining population instituting policy that will discourage consumption. See: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-04-17/japan-s-population-declined-by-largest-ever-0-dot-2-percent-last-year
Japan’s Population Declines by Record in Challenge for Growth
By Andy Sharp on April 17, 2012
Japan’s population fell by a record last year, underlining the struggle to boost growth and rein in soaring welfare costs in the world’s most rapidly aging society.
The population declined by 0.2 percent to 127.8 million as of Oct. 1, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said in a report today. Fukushima prefecture, which was devastated by last year’s record earthquake and nuclear disaster, registered the biggest decline, of 1.93 percent.
Japan faces a shrinking workforce as 2012 marks the first year the nation’s baby boomers are set to retire. The world’s third-largest economy has contracted three of the past four years and policy makers including Bank of Japan (8301) Governor Masaaki Shirakawa have said low growth is mainly the result of demographic changes.
To read the full article, please click here: http://www.businessweek.com/news/2012-04-17/japan-s-population-declined-by-largest-ever-0-dot-2-percent-last-year