Economists are now calling the situation a “demographic time bomb,” and some Japanese researchers have even created a doomsday clock that ticks off the seconds until Japan’s population extinction.
Japan’s government, led by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, has taken some small, creative approaches to encourage young people to start families.
He said: "The diary provides an overall script, but all the dialogue and important details are filled in by the couple.
The pointers just help people overcome inhibitions and show a different side of themselves."For the tongue-tied, signposts suggest suitable topics for conversation.
▼ Even when you’re both willing to compromise, meeting in the middle is a complicated process when you’ve got the Pacific Ocean between you.
And things only get tougher if you and your spouse metamorphose into your stubborn, grumpy grandparents.
I’m going to start out with a disclaimer: Every person- and consequently every situation- is different. I am going off of my experience and some discussions with my Japanese friends and friends who have lengthy experience with the culture.
It’s hosted speed-dating events, held fatherhood seminars where bachelors play with dolls, and pushed large companies to give people more time off at work.
Those measures may be helpful in the short-term, says Yale University political scientist Frances Rosenbluth, but to really address the demographic time bomb, more profound changes are in order.
In particular, the government has an obligation to recognize the value women bring into the labor force, according to Rosenbluth.
Whether it’s through tax breaks for hiring female managers or increasing parental leave for fathers, companies need a greater financial incentive to improve people’s work-life balance.