Re: Spreading Transhumanism & Japan article

Mike Linksvayer (
Tue, 07 Sep 1999 14:48:07 -0700

Looking again, I found that the article I mentioned is still available at

Anders Sandberg wrote:
> Significant population decrease isn't that likely, even if Japan due
> its currently stringent immigration laws is causing a certain
> population decrease (in most western countries it is just immigration
> that keeps the population from decreasing). The big problem is a
> greying population: 25% over 65 will put a significant strain to any
> current pension system.

According to Japanese government projections cited in the article, Japan's population will fall to 92 or* 100 million by 2050 and 50 or 67 million by 2100, and they're assuming some recovery in fertility (currently at 1.4 children per woman). Another government projection cited claims that the Japanese workforce will decline by 650,000 a year over the next 50 years. wrote:
> Look. This is a really interesting article you have presented. However, Japan
> being depicted as being filled with nothing but oldsters can't be right-or at
> least the focus isn't. Perhaps the Japan of the 2010 -2050 era may be
> depicted as a place which has lossed a huge amount fo population compared to
> the 1980's. But conversely, is a much richer place because of computerized
> robotic technology and a smaller population to support. Lets say that a
> population of 75-80 million(versus 120 million today) isn't exactly, a dearth
> of people for a total land area the size of Oregon.

This may be (except that Japan is about the size of California). However, some people are obviously more concerned about Japan's potential loss in international stature than the possibility that a smaller population could conceivably be more comfortable. I mentioned the article here because it struck me that investment in longevity research could help mitigate both of the "problems" faced by Japan according to the article -- too few workers to support retirees and a loss of international importance.

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