Survival was the topic of Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s summit last week with President Barack Obama. It was not stated as such, but talks were about long-term economic and military survival for a Japan operating in a world of growing threats and rising powers. But in an odd twist, Japan’s survival has less to do with corporate boardrooms or defense operations centers and more to do with that surreptitious situation room: The bedroom.
Japan is facing one of the greatest post-war crises in history. The Land of the Rising Sun is aging its way to extinction. For the past decade, Japan has seen its population dropping steadily. This is a result not only of a drop in birth rate, but also a lack of fresh blood in the form of immigrants. In 2013, Japan’s government reported a record reduction of 244,000 people – roughly the number of residents in Madison, Wis.
By contrast, the United States is a young and dynamic country. The U.S. population has more than doubled since 1950 and may have recently added another 5 million immigrants to census reports with the stroke of Obama’s executive-order pen. But the riches of youth and vigor are not a given for most post-industrialized nations in the world. In fact, the United States is both an exception and an aberration. Read more here