Without Babies, Can Japan Survive?

Alexandra Harney, New York Times, December 15, 2012

The first grade class at the elementary school in Nanmoku, about 85 miles from Tokyo, has just a single student this year. The local school system that five decades ago taught 1,250 elementary school children is now educating just 37. Many of the town’s elegant wooden homes are abandoned. Where generations of cedar loggers, sweet potato farmers and factory workers once made their lives, monkeys now reside. {snip}

Nanmoku’s plight is Japan’s fate. Faced with an aging society, a depopulating countryside and economic stagnation, the country has struggled for decades to address its challenges. As Japan goes to the polls on Dec. 16 for parliamentary elections that will most likely mean the seventh prime minister in six years, voters need to demand that politicians address the most important issue of all: the country’s low birthrate.

Sadly, this issue is hardly being discussed on the campaign trail. {snip}

Nowhere is the rapid aging of Japan more visible than in rural towns like Nanmoku, where 56 percent of local residents are over 65. Over the next 25 years, the proportion of Japan’s population that is elderly will rise from almost one in four to one in three. Sales of adult diapers will soon surpass those of baby diapers.


Just as America has its military-industrial complex, Japan—whose constitution forbids a formal army—has its “construction state.” Public largess went to pouring concrete across the country. It’s clear now that Japan should have been less focused on building bridges to nowhere and more focused on making babies.

Although Japanese couples consistently say in surveys that they would like to have more than two children, they don’t. Part of the problem is Japan’s prolonged economic malaise. Years of stagnant (or declining) incomes have made Japanese men less attractive as potential partners. And economic uncertainty has led couples to delay getting married and having children. The shortage of public day care centers, especially in cities, has made the cost and burden of parenthood so high that today’s couples either have fewer babies or none at all. (Japan’s birthrate is just 1.39 children per woman.)

The government provides subsidized day care, but there is a long waiting list in big cities. Working parents often end up paying more to send their kids to private centers. While there is no exact international comparison, a 2009 survey by the Japanese government found that the first five years of child rearing, including savings, cost around $73,000, more than 2.5 times as much as in the United States.


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  • It’s not that there are no Japanese babies, it’s that there are relatively few.

    And yes, Japan can survive as long as Japan stays Japanese.

    • Fredrik_H

      Exactly. Even with low nativity, Japan will endure and survive as long as their politicians don’t get any funny ideas about importing thirld-world wombs.

    • NYB

      Ireland used to have a much higher population, before the famine one hundred yeasrs ago.

      Last time I checked, they were still there, self-governing and still maintaining relations with neighboring states.

      With half the population it has now, Japan would still be an important country.

    • John

      The most intelligent Asians and Whites naturally sense (and logically deduce) that our offspring would be born into a life of slavery to men who own central banks, print fiat currencies, and control our lives via taxation at gunpoint. We are naturally and very strongly motivated not to reproduce, because doing so would only sentence our children to a life of slavery. For that reason, my wife and I abstained from having children. It’s not because we’re selfish or are not loyal to our race, but we knew long ago that we are all controlled in a system by powerful men whom we have never met and could never defeat. We refuse to sentence our children to the same fate or give them more “warm bodies” to control and use as slaves. I know many Whites and Asians believe the same.
      I feel terrible for my nieces and nephews and the children of conservative Whites. Their misery is just beginning.
      Incidentally, I am not writing this a man who is destitute. I have ample means and do not want for material things. If my wife survives me, she will receive it all. If I survive her, before I die, I will convert it all to gold and throw it into the sea. To hell with the owners of the world’s central banks!

      • Nicholai Hel

        Why not adopt a poor white kid?

        • John

          You missed the point, my friend. Unless I decide to rear and educate the child in a hidden, remote cave, men with guns, whom we have never even met, will always dictate our lives and tell us what we can and cannot do. My only options are to resist and go to prison or obey like a slave! I want no part of that! I want no part of helping the government to control me through using those whom I love and care about to hurt me.

          The “freedom” we think we live under is a fallacy. Try not paying your taxes and see how fast heavily-armed men with guns will come to your home, take what they want, imprison you, and fine you for life.
          Bottom line: We’re slaves! I refuse to give the bastards more “warm bodies” to hurt me with, such as a child that I love. They can come and take my home, my possessions, and my wealth. They can even kill me or imprison me, but they will never be able to use a child that I love as a weapon against me. No way! The enslavement of my family stops with me! I’m completely serious.

          • You sound crazy John, but even more disturbingly you sound correct.
            Crazy times we live in.
            I too am sick of feeling tracked and corralled, with no real freedom of choice.
            I’m trying to live ‘off the grid’ but I have the feeling that unless I move to a third world country, that it’s not really going to happen.

      • Mike Lane

        Well, all I can tell you is there truly will be a hellish future when good men do nothing, and do not pass on not only their phenotype, but their ideals. We keep thinking we have lost, but we have not. In the Battle of Ascalon the crusaders were greatly outnumber by the Turks, yet they slaughtered them. In 480 BC the Spartans were outnumbered 20,000 to 2,000,000, yet they won. If either hadn’t won the West (and Christiandom) would no longer be, yet here we are. They won because they didn’t accept the odds. If God willed their success, then why shouldn’t He will our’s.

      • josh

        You can give it to me…believe me those bankers will not get a penny-promise!!

      • bluffcreek1967

        With all due respect Sir, why don’t you donate that gold or whatever funds you have to AmRen and other groups that promote White racial consciousness? They could truly use it.

      • Iron Lady

        Your so called ( White Man Bank) is Owned by the Middle East! Stop being such a Racist! Acept The Facts.
        We need Real Answers and Solutions! Not you being a bully and spreeding your ignorance. That only continues the disservice to both populations. Stop the Hate!

  • fakeemail

    Ah, the NYT trying to solve a provide a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist.

    They’re trying to foment hysteria about the extinction of the Japanese people when their population declines by a few percentage points–after doubling in the past 100 years.

    The real threat of genocide arises from overpopulation, which increases the odds of mass starvation, epidemics, and mass murder as people compete for scarce resources.

    • The__Bobster

      It’s the usual suspects trying to pollute the overpopulated islands with turd worlders. Why should only White countries experience the joys of diversity?

      • Queenofthenile

        White Countries? Which ones are those that ”only experience the joys of diversity?” You are a bit of a Racist! Why Do you Hate White Folks, Why Hate someone because of the color of their skin? When YOU make these statement, you now show your true colors of HATE! YOU ARE A RACIST!

        • I am wolf

          Go preach that to Zimbabwe.

          Do you think it’s OK that Zimbabwe gets rid of white farmers?

          A white refugee claimant from South Africa got refused because it’s politically incorrect to admit that blacks can commit racist hate crimes against whites …. though Somalis like to engage in it when they come to western countries; it’s called “polar bear hunting”.

          Why aren’t you bugging Japan to let in third worlders, btw? Why aren’t you bugging African countries to let in floods of white refugees from Europe (and give them free houses, just like Africans get in Europe?)

    • Greg Thomas

      They are trying to put the pressure on Japan to open their borders to third world hordes, under the guise, “it will help them survive.” Multiculturalism and third world squalor are their answer for all first world countries.

  • Michael_C_Scott

    I think that a reduction in the population there will be a good thing, as it will allow more space for individuals and more land to be returned to nature. The Japanese countryside is quite beautiful, especially when the trees flower, though as mountainous as the nation is, it takes a good set of legs to really enjoy it.

    Part of the problem is Japanese men, who stay late after work to show they’re “part of the team” and who frequently work half-days on Saturday. This leaves women doing virtually all the housework and childcare. My own wife, Sayaka said she would never have even considered marrying a Japanese, except perhaps for a completely assimilated American-born.

    If they want a higher birthrate, the men there have to be home more and do more of the work when they’re there.

    Elder – or only – sons are considered a particularly bad catch in Japan, as they are expected to take care of their widowed mothers, who by tradition treat their daughter-in laws as domestic serfs. This is particularly the case in rural farm families.

    • WhiteGuyInJapan

      I have heard the term “womb strike”, a reference to Japanese women who chose not have children as a form of protest against the inequality of Japanese society.

      • Magician

        I heard some Japanese women love male celebrities in South Korea because of how the gender equality is much more prevalent in South Korea and the way South Korean women are respected and romanced by their men, especially among younger generations in their 30s or younger

  • Ilovemyrace

    This decline is birth rate is temporary and is a good thing. Japan is grossly overpopulated; a few decaded of lowered birth rate will eliminate that problem.

    Reduced population has multiple benefits — cheaper housing and land, less crowded cities, a more peaceful life. Most important is that lower population relieves environmental stress. With fewer people, forests, agricultural land, and fisheries will replenish. Future citizens will make a better living harvesting the abundant resources.

    Is having a lot of old people a problem? Not for the innovative Japanese. They will transfer workforce from K-12 education to elder care. They will produce robots and other innovations to manage their eldery with effeciency and respect.

    The future looks bright for the Japanese. Only one thing can bring them down: if they import millions of foreigners to replace them during this temporary pull-back in overpopulation.

    • Strider73

      According to Wikipedia, Japan — a nation about the size of Montana — has a population of ~126.7 million. Any sane person would consider Montana grossly overpopulated with just 1/3 that many people.

      Even in its feudal period Japan was a crowded place, as anyone who has read Shogun will attest. In fact, author James Clavell theorized that the intricate rituals, ceremonies, and emphasis on manners in Japanese culture was a direct result of people jammed together with no personal space. Perhaps future generations will have some elbow room to call their own.

      • I am wolf

        Overpopulation is humanity’s – and the planet’s – biggest problems.

        This used to be one of the cries of the old-school environmental movement, but they sold out, and took a “donation” (big fat bribe) from rich businessfolk. It started with the Sierra Club.

        Big Business works under the idea of “endless growth”, which any sane, logical, scientifically-minded person recognizes as a very dangerous, ugly _myth_. Nothing can sustain constant growth, not even the universe.

        Space travel/exploitation is still decades, if not centuries, away; and iron mined from asteroids by _robot_ space-miners will likely cost through the roof. Asteroid mining is not going to open up jobs to the blue-collar labourer.

        If a species wants to go high-tech, the smartest, most logical thing to do is to practice birth control to keep a steady, ideal population (just enough to keep things running, without having a lot of out-of-work excess population; or, if those are seen as needed for to slough off taxes from the rich for the welfare class to spread around, at least you can expect only so many every generation, and not an ever-increasing pool that feeds a nasty cycle of more bureaucracy, needing) more babies to train up in social services to help the future ever-growing pool of welfare recipients)

        But humans are far from logical, and stick rabidly to old-fashioned, religious/tribal beliefs that measures man or woman-hood by how many babies are born. Not by how many survive, just how many are born. If Western charity suckers want to raise those babies, well, that’s their silliness.

  • WmarkW

    >Where generations of cedar loggers, sweet potato farmers and factory workers once made their lives, monkeys now reside.<

    Of course Japan will survive. Logging cedar and growing sweet potatoes won't.
    America would survive. But an economy of day laborers and domestic help won't.

    The USA is the only industrial country whose young workers entering the full-time labor force, are less educated than the retirees leaving it.

  • Germanacus

    Do not. I repeat. Do not start a massive importation of “immigrants” (racial aliens). Populations rise and fall in cycles. The Black Plague wiped out millions in Europe. They rebounded. The Japanese can weather the economic adjustment just as we could here. The idea that you have to open the flood gates for cheap labor or your doomed is horse crap!

    • Triarius

      I kind of hope they do. Nothing against the Japanese, but they are very ethnocentric and will toss out all the blacks. Stats will show how bad it was with blacks and how good without. After that whites will adopt the same strategy with a “Japan did it, too” attitude. White countries know this and want to do it now, but no one wants to be the first.

      It’s a safety thing, like how HR has a black fire another black or only women can search other women at airports.

      • I am wolf

        I hope Japan wins.

        So what if whites use that tactic?

        Blacks are racist, too, and folks like you turn a blind eye to it.

        Let Africa be for the blacks, and Japan be for Japanese, but leave white countries alone (ah, but you are convinced that there can be no such thing!)

        Birds of a feather prefer to flock together. Nothing wrong with it, unless you’ve got a really twisted, hard-set Marxist world-view.

  • David Ashton

    The great libertarian Herbert Spencer warned the Japanese (and by implication us) against miscegenation. Let us follow his example.

  • John L.

    The article is hinting at the Globalist “solution” which is for Japan to follow Us, and open its Borders to foreigners. However, I notice the the Japanese, being Asian and non White, aren’t being decried as Racist Xenophobes by our Western Elite for electing a Nationalist flavored P.M.

  • NYB

    The solution is to hang on until a new native baby boom arrives.

    In order for this to happen, artificially-inflated global currency values must collapse, and mass immigration must end. Prices of real estate must fall – too bad for the profiteers who were backing their borrowing with property wealth.

    It’s tough medicine, but it’s inevitable: nature abhors a vacuum. The countries living hand to mouth are the most fecund. Families will have more children when the economic deadwood is gone, and the external environment is ready for renewal.

  • Luca

    If society had not emphasized so much materialism then perhaps fewer women would have entered the workplace thereby offsetting a family’s high cost for childcare. As a bonus, women would get to raise their own children and everyone would be better off. A little belt tightening is a small price to pay. And yes, these population booms go in cycles and will reach a point where it stabilizes and rebounds. Reducing population is actually a good thing for a society that lives on an island with limited resources. It is the liberal press that does not like this concept.

    • WhiteGuyInJapan

      I think the Japanese will have to drop much of their recent crass consumerism that appeared in the 80s. Gucci handbags, golf clubs and so on. The lower birth rate is going to put financial pressure on the next generation as they will have to support a large number of older people. Granted, the longevity of the Japanese is generally a good thing.

      The Japanese will probably go back to being Japanese; the lifestyle they had in the 60s: small houses, short vacations, eating locally grown food and so on. The country still has a powerful manufacturing base and a large number of bright, educated people. Certainly they can manage without millions of Muslims or Mexicans.

  • user

    Another reason for the baby shortage is the physical unattractiveness of Japanese males and females who repel each other while in bed.

    –from a goodlooking, non Japanese Asian male who finds Japanese girls…no comment

    • JH

      Japanese women are very attractive from my pov – and I do business there. The problem is work – the men work too hard and it is expensive. But a population decline will make raising a child less expensive and the cycle will reverse. The Japanese do not want immigration – unless they are Japanese. In 100 years, there will still be Japan – the US? Not so sure.

      • user


        Are you white or black? Understandable that you would find Japanese women attractive…your own women aren’t particularly beautiful to look at likewise….

    • IstvanIN

      Certainly, as a group, the Japanese are the best looking of the East Asians/Pacific Islanders. They, like us, have too many options, especially the women, other than having children.

      • user

        “the Japanese are the best looking of the East Asians/Pacific Islanders.”

        LOL. only if that were true. Look, got nothing against Japanese, but Japanese women…no comment. LOLs

      • Michael_C_Scott

        To my eyes some Chinese women are a bit prettier, but I was loaned to a Japanese chemical company in 1994. The girl who later became my wife explained what her great-grandfather did, and I shrugged my shoulders and said “I don’t have an emperor, but I would do that for my family.”

        • user

          the ancestors of white people did funny things to native american females (yeah, they aint pretty same like the japanese, whites, blacks) and now you got MANY natives with white genetics and yet call themselves natives, funny….

      • FourFooted_Messiah

        Options are good. And it is options, in the long run, that could save us from extinction from sheer overpopulation. Those options should have been in place world-wide centuries ago.

        7 billion large, technological mammals is just insane. And humans thought 80 million bison on the North American plains were a problem. HA!

    • Magician

      Many Northern and Western European countries also are experiencing issues with low birthrates as well. Yes I have been to Japan and noticed their girls could go head-to-head with girls from most parts of the world, but Japanese men appeared to tend to be….

      – a bit shorter than other East Asian males or males from outside East Asia

      – somewhat darker than South Korean males or Chinese males. South Korean males appear to have the lightest skin among all types of Asian boys

      – there was something rather messed up with their facial bone structure among many Japanese males.

      And many African countries are experiencing issues with overly high birthrates.

      Having sex and giving births isn’t all about how attractive they are in each other’s eyes

      • Michael_C_Scott

        Most white and Oriental men have darker complexions than their sisters. Women don’t have hands like ours. Women are also a bit fragile when it comes to battle damage, but seem to tolerate more pain than men. They were made for a different purpose.

        • Magician

          I read a very famous Japanese novel once in the past. There was a part where a very wealthy mother was teaching her young daughter to be strong and withstand physical pain and the mother said to her chauffeur, “Women are biologically able to tolerate more pain than men because they must be giving births at some points in their lives.”

          • Michael_C_Scott

            My mother always refuses novocain for dental work.

    • Magician

      Famous girl band in Japan – http://goo.gl/6Yh39

      Famous girl band in South Korea – http://goo.gl/l2GDv

      It is not like one group of girls is noticeably better looking than the other. We could say one group is a bit better looking than the other, but it won’t be big enough to be a factor to influence the birthrate of the entire country.

      • user

        These girls certainly aren’t ugly but they are not what I consider as beauties. Japan and to a lesser extent, Korea, seem to a have difficult time producing top notch physical specimens either in face or form. And, yes, I do believe physical beauty is more objective than subjective.

        With that said, all countries/ethnic groups have their fair share of ugliness. But it is the level of beauty that varies, and it varies considerably from one country to the next…

    • Magician

      Famous Chinese girl band – http://goo.gl/kFlMv

      • user

        Famous BURMESE/MYANMAR girl band….

        correction there for ya

    • Magician

      Actually, I am starting to think, it is quite stupid to think that a country’s birthrate can possibly be determined by how good looking or ugly their men and women are

      • user

        ‘ it is quite stupid to think that a country’s birthrate can possibly be
        determined by how good looking or ugly their men and women are”

        WOWWWW, deciphering sarcasm isn’t your strong point I see. And, birthrate and looks don’t correlate how right you are! But still, Japanese girls…paper or plastic?

        • Magician

          I can detect sarcasm when one says something that is blatantly false and funny.

          “Another reason for the baby shortage is the physical unattractiveness of Japanese males and females who repel each other while in bed.

          –from a goodlooking, non Japanese Asian male who finds Japanese girls…no comment”

          I fail to see anything funny at all, or anything obviously false in your words, because I think Japanese men and women are neither clearly better looking nor clearly less attractive compared to other groups of East Asians.

          And I have been posting here on AmRen for a while by now but, I rarely see any sarcasm on here.

          –from a goodlooking….. <— Was this part sarcasm as well, my friend? haha

          and later on you once again stated that

          "Japan and to a lesser extent, Korea, seem to a have difficult time producing top notch physical specimens"…… to indicate that you do consider Japanese people are unattractive. Therefore, once again I fail to see how it was a sarcasm when you initially said " the physical unattractiveness of Japanese males and females"

          You know what, let's stop talking to each other. Please don't respond. I will not say anything to you any further either. Don't get worked up over anything you read on here. I never do.

          Merry Christmas!!

          (I will be saying Merry Christmas at the end of all my posts for the next week or so)

  • Puleeeze! Japan can lose 50% of its entire population, and it will STILL be too crowded.

  • We must develop an economic model not dependent on population growth, otherwise you better get used to competing with mexicans and blacks for food, housing and jobs, and be prepared to lose.

    • FourFooted_Messiah

      I’ve been saying that forever. Constant growth is a myth, and the most destructive myth of the modern age.

      We’re so keen to control the populations of other species – it’s time to take a cold, hard look at our own numbers.

  • ViktorNN

    The not so subtle subtext here from the _ew York Times is Japan had better get with the neoliberal economic program and start importing and mixing with third world orcs ASAP!

  • KenelmDigby

    I’ve written this here many, many times before.
    Compare Japan to the UK.
    The UK has deliberately pursues a policy of massive, uncontrolled immigration in recent years, to the extent of abolishing all border controls whatsoever and having an ‘all-in’ immigration ‘policy’. The result has been that the UK population has sky-rocketed with its biggest increase in recorded history. And yet the UK econmy has never performed worse since statistics have been gathered. ALL economic indicators for the UK are sick beyond belief.
    – Granted, Japan has its difficulties (not least a terrible natural disaster last year), but by any objective measure Japan is a sight healthier,economically speaking than the UK, and Japan has been wise enough never to go in for the mass immigration of aliens.

    • David Ashton

      The Royal Commission on Population soon after the last war advised the British government not to support the immigration of people of different race or religion, but this was ignored. Immigration to solve ageing is a futile Ponzi scheme. There is a strong case for a world-wide reduction in population growth, but let it start in Africa and India, not among the white families of Europe and northern America.

  • LHathaway

    “With half the population it has now, Japan would still be an important country”

    There would be less pollution and less ‘global-warming’ emissions.

  • LHathaway

    “Japan had better get with the neoliberal economic program and start importing and mixing with third world orcs ASAP!”

    Leftists could care less about importing diversity, in the form of other non-whites, into Japan. They’re not working to do this at all. The Japanese aren’t racist and therefore don’t need to be cured of their ‘racism’.

    • FourFooted_Messiah

      Though the reality is that they are (and I don’t blame them). The CBC (so pro-multiculti it is) even had a spot on Japanese robotics, where the journalist was dumb enough to ask a Japanese girl why Japan wants to make robots to make up for its labour shortage, rather than to import tons of third worlders. The Japanese girl gave him the hairy eyeball, and flat out said “We’d rather have robots”.

      So would I.

  • bigone4u

    Japanese sexual mores seem to me to be weird. There is the legal form of child porn called the Japanese Junior Idol, which shows a country worshipping pubescent girls and then there is the weird regular porn and the large number of high school girls engaged in prostitution with older businessmen (sugar daddy style). This may have something to do with the low birth rate and for that matter the low marriage rate.

  • FourFooted_Messiah

    Japan has too dense a population anyway. If they were deer, people would be calling for a cull for “their own good”.

    Let their population decline. Let the entire WORLD’s population decline into something more reasonable for our high-tech capabilities.

  • Greg Thomas

    Looks like the open borders, illegal alien loving NYT is attempting to make its case that Japan needs to open its borders to third world hordes in order to survive. Where have we heard that before. Japan will survive and it will remain a country for Japanese.

  • JohnEngelman

    The only argument I can think of to regret a declining birth rate and population is that it may reduce the number of employed people to support retirees. There is no mention in this article that that is a problem for Japan.

    Otherwise, a declining population is a good thing. Fewer people mean more of everything good to go around.

    China, which suffers from over population and more young men than young women because of a coercive one child only policy, should figure out how with no such policy Japan reduces the birth rate.

    • David Ashton

      What are the million wifeless young men of the PLA going to do if white codgers like you snap up all the Chinese chicks?

      • Magician

        Young African American women in USA suffer from the lack of eligible bachelors (roughly a third of their dudes are currently serving time behind bars)

        I do feel it will be wonderful if young unmarried African American women and the surplus of young men in China and India come to the rescue of one another, but how likely is that going to happen

        Highly likely, neither group will like each other….. except for the very small minority among them who look model-worthy or have money coming out of their butts

    • Magician

      India (also suffering overpopulation and imbalance in the male female ratio) started to see a decrease in its population in rural areas because of lack of women (hence lack of reproduction)

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    The Japanese will be fine. They are intelligent and know better than to repeat our mistakes. Mechanization is progressing quickly in their country, and as soon as the large wave of elderly die off, the population will likely be at a smaller, stable number. Land will become cheaper, mechanization will be ready-made to help the new elderly, and perhaps with less crowding women will begin reproducing at replacement rate again.

    • Age Credit vs Carbon Credit

      Fantastic! As soon as all those ”old Humans die off”, then all the land will be SAFE from the humans! Thank goodness! So WHO decides to Throw Granny over the cliff? (Oops sorry that would pollute the grounds below!) Really your Talking about Death Panels, one question is it the ”grandmother at 55 that’s too old”, or anyone with a disability and or sickness. Just curious?

      • GeneticsareDestiny

        I didn’t say anything about killing the elderly. You do realize that old people tend to die on their own, right? It’s a part of being old. No one’s throwing granny off a cliff. The wave of elderly will die on their own of natural causes, enabling the Japanese population to stabilize at a smaller, consistent number.

  • Leftist trash. Without 3rd worlders, Japan will survive (and prosper). End of story. Typical NYT nonsense.

  • ageofknowledge

    Obviously, Japan has to change what it’s doing to get better results.