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vol.56 Population Decline
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Vol.56 Population Decline
Feb. 20,2020
 I once went to Furano during my trip to Hokkaido. After watching lavender fields, I visited "Goro's house," which was used in old TV drama "Kita No Kuni Kara" (From the Northern Country). In one episode, the protagonist Goro Kuroita, who has to live with his two children in a deserted house without electricity or water, answers the children's question, "What do we do in a house without electricity when the night comes?" He said, "We just go to bed when it gets dark." (The details may be a little different.)

 Japan is a tiny island, about 70% of which is covered by forests. Most of Japan's population - approximately 120 million - live in the remaining 30%. Japan's land is too small to support people's life, so its low food self-sufficiency rate is no surprise at all.

 I heard a story about nature that over-populated rats committed mass suicide by jumping off the cliff to water. Unlike animals, the human race has solved such an expanding population problem using advances in culture and science, so the future growth of the world's population is widely regarded as optimistic.

 In Japan, meanwhile, population decline is recently seen as a nationwide issue, and the government and most experts said that something has to be done to curb the decline. This opinion must be based on the necessity for domestic economic growth and international growth competition.

 It is true that economic growth is required to keep national power as a country of capitalism, but how much do we need to grow until we are satisfied? I am wondering if there is a bright future after we continue to grow and use up natural resources on earth.

 I do not deny capitalism, but why don't you reconsider your life and lifestyle from the viewpoint of creating a country that can survive even if the population shrinks?
End.
Masaru Sugaya

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