Will Japan disappear if something doesn’t change?

Hello Everyone, I am Yasuda, the editor-in-chief.
I would like to write a little column on this subject since it has been discussed.

X(Twitter) CTO Elon Musk posted following

I think this post was made out of concern for Japan’s declining birthrate and aging population, but I am sure this is an exaggeration.

Furthermore, it is more than possible that he posted this because Tesla is developing a humanoid robot and Japan may become a sales destination for the robot.

However, he is essentially correct.
Japan’s average age is 49.5 years old, ranking third in the world and first if only major countries are ranked according to the CIA.

RankCountryyearsDate of Information
1Monaco56.22023 est.
2Saint Pierre and Miquelon50.62023 est.
3Japan49.52023 est.
4Italy48.12023 est.
5Andorra48.12023 est.
6Saint Barthelemy472023 est.
7Hong Kong46.82023 est.
8Germany46.72023 est.
9Spain46.32023 est.
10Greece46.22023 est.

The aging population will not be spared from the increasing medical costs and the increasing burden on the working-age population due to the declining birthrate.
Furthermore, while Japan’s public infrastructure may be superior to that of other countries, it is likely to deteriorate in the future due to a lack of successors.

Japan’s social structure will also prove that Japan has no future.
I once read an article that summarized a talk session between Rakuten’s Hiroshi Mikitani and Peter Thiel on January 1, 2015.
Peter Thiel beautifully verbalized what I have been wondering everyday in my life in Japan.
Here is an excerpt from the article

Heading: Japan with a gap between talent and success

This is the scene in the section where Peter Thiel answers questions from the questioners.

Questioner: I’m trying to create a cross-border messaging enterprise platform in Asia, but some people say that Korea and Japan do not have such potential. What do you think is needed for this kind of cultural paradigm shift?

Peter Thiel: Yes, it is. For me, as a third party, it’s hard for me to judge this. Because I have not spent that much time in Japan, so I am probably not the right person for this. I was born in Germany and went to the United States when I was about one year old.

I feel that Germany and California, for example, are very different. California, culturally, is very optimistic. But there is also a bit of desperation.

Germany is pessimistic. But they are very comfortable. They are very confident. Japan, of course, is different from Germany, but maybe there are some similarities.

It is crazy in the sense that 20,000 people go to Los Angeles and try to become movie stars, and only about 20 of them succeed. California is both optimistic and desperate.

Germany, I think, has a culture that is pessimistic, but at the same time very comfortable. What is true for Germany may also be true for Japan. It is said that Germany has the widest gap between human talent and its realization in the world.

Perhaps the gap is even larger in Japan. In other words, the level of education is high. And they have a lot of information to talk about. They know many things in many fields. But for some reason, they feel that Japan can do more, but they are not so sure.

Should we then create a community for that kind of optimism? I think that community is still a matter of “chicken first or egg first,” and which comes first, but I think that once there is some kind of great big success, one pattern will be broken.


Japan has stable security, no unusual disparities, good infrastructure, cheap and tasty food, an abundance of goods compared to developing countries, and Japanese people are rule-abiding and serious.
However, I always felt that I was missing something.

I think this is because of what Peter Thiel said: “It is pessimistic, yet very comfortable.
The country has matured so much that there is no room for growth, and we are left with no choice but to run on the rails that have already been set.

but two Americans completely changed my mind.
The first is Boomer, the president of a real estate business, but powerful on the high road.
The second is a whimsical, crazy businessman, but a genuine genius.

Originally, I was disgusted by American culture and the arrogance of the U.S. government.
Their strength, creativity, and decision-making changed my mind.
Not only those two, but many Americans, especially white people, have given me wisdom, courage, hope, and a challenging spirit.

Japan is like software with hundreds of bugs written in spaghetti code.
The Japanese are working hard to add functionality to it, but they do not have the resources to do so.
I think it would be faster and more efficient to throw away such software and create new software.

My personal vision is to turn some Southeast Asian country into a prosperous, safe, capitalist and socialist country with a thick middle class like Japan had in the late 80s and 90s.

This is a bit off topic, but the conclusion is that it will not disappear, but is slowly and surely heading toward death.

Thanks for reading to the end.

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