For years, Catholic pro-lifers have been warning that abortion, sterilization and contraception cause the collapse of an individual's morality and the destruction of families. Now, demographers are indirectly telling us that these evils are destroying entire nations and continents. Unfortunately, governments do not even acknowledge the root cause of the problem of the "demographic death spiral."
An impending white paper by the Japanese government tells us that the "foundations of communities" — police, fire and other basic services — will be threatened by the country's declining birthrate and aging population. This paper correctly identifies the source of the problem — that Japanese are simply not having enough children. For a nation to replace its population, each woman must have an average of 2.1 children per family. Japanese women average a disastrously low one child.
Japan's population peaked in 2005, and will plunge from its current 127 million to just 89 million in 2050 — a decline of thirty percent. Japan is currently the oldest nation on Earth (median age 43, twice the age of many African nations). Japan will continue to hold this dubious title through the year 2050, when the average Japanese will be 61 years old. Inevitably, more and more Japanese leaders are looking for the easy way out of the dilemma of "over-aging." On October 18 of this year, the Japanese Association of Acute Medicine became the first organization to recommend euthanasia for the terminally ill.
Melancholy signs of a declining population are everywhere in Japan. During Japan's 2007 Children's Day, the government soberly noted that the number of children in Japan has declined for the 26th consecutive year. Over the past decade, more than 2,000 junior and senior high schools have closed due to lack of children, but many are enjoying new life as elderly care centers. More than 60,000 teachers have lost their jobs because they have no children to teach. Elders of villages who traditionally call out the names of newborns at autumn festivals often have no names to call. More than 90 Japanese theme parks catering to children have closed. More and more pediatricians are switching specialties and becoming geriatricians.
Saddest of all is the sight of elderly Japanese women cuddling Takara-Tomy's talking Yumel robotic dolls. These women buy these expensive dolls because they have no children or grandchildren to lavish their attentions on. The dolls, which are selling very well, tell their owner how much they love her and welcome her when she walks back into the room. Yuko Hirakawa of Takara-Tomy says that "many elderly people think the dolls are actual grandsons and granddaughters."
Some prefectures and cities have tried just about everything to entice young couples to have children. They have offered substantial cash bonuses to couples who have more than one child, and have even sponsored dances and "speed dating" parties to get young singles together. In 2006, the Year of the Dog, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi urged women to "do as dogs do" and have large litters!
Unfortunately — and predictably — none of this has worked.
After all, if a government promotes "family planning" for decades, if it drills into the people's heads the idea that children are messy, noisy, expensive, and bad for the environment, once it has promoted and funded millions and millions of abortions, there is really no way back. As proof, an amazing 70 percent of young Japanese single women say they have no intention of getting married.
Babies are just too much trouble.
What is the solution to the vexing and lethal trend of "country-cide"? Some suggest massive immigration, but Japanese society is 99 percent ethnically homogenous and very xenophobic. It is not an exaggeration to say that many Japanese leaders would rather allow their culture to die than to be diluted or assimilated.
The only solution to the plague of depopulation is to rekindle the love of God and children in the people's hearts. The Japanese must undo three decades of anti-natalist propaganda with an intensive program of teaching the people the value of family, the beauty and joy that children provide, and the satisfaction of fidelity to a husband or a wife until death.
These are not religious values, these are human values, and they are the only answer to the death of a nation. Japan must learn this lesson if it does not wish the Rising Sun to set — forever.