Japan had fewer youngsters celebrating Children’s Day for the 29th straight year Wednesday, highlighting concerns that the country may face difficulty finding enough workers and taxpayers to support a rapidly aging population.
The number of children under age 15 as of April has fallen to 16.9 million, down 190,000 from a year earlier, according to an annual report published by the Ministry of Internal Affairs to mark the national holiday. The proportion of children in Japan has also kept declining for 36 straight years to about 13 percent of the country’s population of 127 million.
The elderly population is rapidly swelling. The number of those aged 65 or older has grown to 23 percent of Japan’s population from about 5 percent 60 years ago and is still on the rise. Children accounted for more than one-third of the national population in 1950.
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