On Multi-Culturalism, Japan Got There First

German Prime Minister Angela Merkel said it last fall. British Prime Minister David Cameron rendered the same verdict last month. But in can be said that on multi-culturalism, Japan got there first.  By “there” we mean: “not for us—it cannot work in Japan.”

Ask almost any bien pensant foreign (especially American) economist, businessman, bureaucrat or journalist how Japan should deal with its demographic challenge and the answer is always immigration. First among the major advanced countries (but with others in Europe to follow), Japan’s total population has begun a slow decline. It is currently about 127 million. While declining, with births failing below replacement level to deaths, the average age is increasing. Today the mid-point age of the total population from just-born infants to the oldest persons, is 44.7 years. According to U.N. estimates, by 2030 it will be 52.2 years, with over 30 percent of the population aged 65 years or older. (My next posting will go into detail on these U.N. figures.) This is a fairly horrific prospect.

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