Sogyo, Japan’s city with no newborns in 25 years

TOKYO, 18 March. The city of Sogyo in the city of Kawakami in Japan has been without newborns for a quarter of a century, which is a rather alarming fact for a country where, according to the Japanese press, the demographics seem to be declining. .

In 25 years without a newborn, the village’s population has more than halved from 6,000 to 1,150 40 years ago as the young residents leave and the elderly pass away.

Many houses were abandoned, some were taken over by wildlife, and most of the settlers became elderly, including some who could barely walk.

Kawakami is just one of countless small towns that are forgotten when young people leave for the big cities. About 85 percent of Japanese now live in the Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto areas, according to a CNN survey. This social phenomenon has left rural areas and industries such as agriculture, forestry, and livestock facing severe labor shortages that are likely to worsen in the coming years.

Japan’s problem is that the cities don’t give birth to children either. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida warned at a press conference that breeding time is running out. But so far, the warning does not seem to have inspired the general Japanese public.

Amid a flood of cryptic demographics, Kishida warned that the country was on the verge of being unable to support social functions. Japan recorded 799,728 births in 2022, the lowest on record and just over half of the 1.5 million births registered in 1982.

The fertility rate – the average number of children born to women of reproductive age – has fallen to 1.3, well below the 2.1 needed to maintain a stable population. The death rate has outstripped the birth rate for more than a decade.

Some fear that the Asian country is rapidly approaching the point of no return, when the number of women of childbearing age reaches a critical minimum, beyond which it is no longer possible to reverse the trend.

Source: Juventud Rebelde


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