close
close
Skip to content

Bangkok Post – Hundreds of Japanese cities are at risk of disappearing

A woman stands in a classroom of scarecrows at a closed school in the village of Nagoro on the island of Shikoku in southern Japan.  (File photo: Reuters)

A woman stands in a classroom of scarecrows at a closed school in the village of Nagoro on the island of Shikoku in southern Japan. (File photo: Reuters)

TOKYO – More than 40% of Japan’s municipalities are likely to see the number of young female residents fall by more than half in the 30 years to 2050 as the country’s population rapidly declines, a study by a panel of experts has found from the private sector Wednesday.

The population strategy panel warned that 744 municipalities were at risk of disappearing due to the likely sharp decline in the number of women aged between 20 and 30, considered the core generation responsible for having children.

The places considered threatened are those where local governments would struggle to operate due to population decline.

The latest projection marks an improvement over a similar study published in 2014 by the Japan Policy Council, which estimated that 896 municipalities, or 49.8% of the total, will increase their young female population by more than half would see a decline compared to 2010 levels. .

However, the panel pointed out that an increase in the number of foreign residents led to this improvement and warned: β€œThe trend of a declining birth rate has not changed at all.”

It called on local authorities in the 744 municipalities in question and the central government to take measures to increase the birth rate and prevent the outflow of people.

The latest projection was based on a population estimate by region released in December by the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research.

The number of babies born in Japan has fallen for the eighth year in a row, reaching a record low in 2023, according to government data released in February this year.