Japan’s Slow Demographic Apocalypse – 90,000 per year are dying and rotting alone in Japan

Experts estimate about 30,000 people per year are dying alone in Japan and many have bodies discovered weeks later. Yoshinori Ishimi, who runs the Anshin Net service that cleans up afterwards, believes the true figure is “twice or three times that” (60,000 to 90,000)

A combination of uniquely Japanese cultural, social and demographic factors have compounded the problem.

Japan’s social safety net has failed to keep pace – with the burden still on the family to look after the elderly.

There is a rising of single people and the size of the family becoming smaller.

In the past three decades, Japan has seen the share of single-occupant households more than double to 14.5 per cent of the total population, the rise driven mainly by men in their 50s and women in their 80s and older.

In a bid to be polite, elderly Japanese people fear to disturb their neighbors even to ask for help in the most trifling matters, resulting in a lack of interaction and isolation, expert Fujimori said.

Some 15 per cent of elderly Japanese people living alone report having only one conversation a week, compared to five per cent of their peers in Sweden, 6 per cent in the US and 8 per cent in Germany, according to a Japanese government study.

In 2016, there were an estimated 1,296,000 deaths in Japan. There were 981,000 births in 2016. The population fell by 315,000.

2 thoughts on “Japan’s Slow Demographic Apocalypse – 90,000 per year are dying and rotting alone in Japan”

  1. Goat, interesting comments – as usual. Any country or society faced whit with a population decline will see the value of most everything drop.

  2. New comment system? WooHoo! Can’t wait.

    We’re talking about the [b]demographic collapse of Japan[/b] though. I feel that the problem is very real: that the [i]integration of past births[/i] compounded by time, actuarial statistics and a further downward trendline in births is quite a problem.

    However, before going rad, let’s just look at what happens in the next 20–30 years.

    Japan’s population significantly decreases.
    They are the masters of Robotics.

    Perhaps (although no one could have predicted it 20+ years back) their dalliance with negative-growth isn’t the worst thing to hit them. Seriously: since there are going to be [u]fewer jobs[/u] in the future, almost necessarily – then having a smaller future workforce isn’t a bad thing.

    The declining population base further goes to maximizing the use of existing structures. There doesn’t need to be an endless new building-boom. The existing metropolises don’t have to keep expanding, taking up more valuable agricultural space. The subways don’t need continual upsizing. The markets – if they’re presently adequate – will remain adequate. Congestion on roads might decline with the auto-driving boom soon to hit.

    Indeed: I think “the problem” of a declining population is “all in the head”. Stabile civilizations do [u]not[/u] necessarily need to keep growing. They actually demonstrate [u]additional personal prosperity[/u] when net income remains steady and the number of people depending on it declines.

    What I envision happening is all very Human at the core: whilst the mind-set of the young is guided into deep recycling, concern for environment, the unnecessary-ness of having kids, and the financial burden kids impose, well … the population will decline. Every child will be a princess or prince. Cherished, spoiled, self-certain. Lousy “playing well with others”.

    And further of the opinion that their comfy lives need little-to-no upset with raising kids. Much more fun to sip from the urn of Civilization’s endless buffet of pleasures. One bedroom living.

    And that’s OK!

    But [b]perhaps at some point[/b] there will come a point where more workers ARE needed than the base of new working blokes and lasses can afford. Will Japan then turn against their age-old nature eschewing the need for immigrants? Nah… if there’s one thing we can count on, The Japanese will largely stick to their old ways, sociologically.

    But what WILL change will be the position of the civic message. Kids will be encouraged to think of their future beautiful, fun, silly, happy-and-sad children as one of the great Meanings of Life. The Shintos will get into the Kids-are-Good business. The pre-marriage counsellors will do the same. Advertisements on TV. Tax advantages. Income stipends. Government provided robotic Momma assistants. FREE larger living upgrades. The negative trend can definitely be economically driven to whatever comfortable level the planners have in mind.

    Then just as gradually, new opportunites will be filled. New short-term foreign worker permits issued. New push for additional robotics.

    And the Japanese will attain whatever ‘comfortable population’ needed.
    To keep their economy running at a “high state of tune”.

    Just saying.

Comments are closed.