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Japan faces the multiple challenges of a rapidly aging society, falling birth rate and a decrease in population. Many Japanese feel they have to take their own steps to avoid a heavy financial burden in the future. Our reporter Terrence Terashima files this report from Tokyo.
Hustle and bustle of a populous city center, like many other cities in the world, Tokyo bares a high population density.
However, unlike the growing world population, Japan is not only seeing a fast aging society, but actual decrease in its population.
Already, almost 30 percent of the population is over 60 years old, and seeing an increase at an exceptional speed.
With the raid aging society, come the questions of healthcare, pensions and nursing homes.
Can the ever decreasing young generation provide and support the growing need.
The outlook is very grim...
Father of a 2-year-old girl said, "I think it would be a huge problem, if we are to ask our children to take the burden in a reversed pyramid society where there are more elderly to take care of."
Generations of governments have attempted to tackle the issue but with little success.
Financial insecurity among young people and lack of public support is part of the reason that many couples are choosing not to have children that Japan so desperately needs.
A Japanese mother said, "There seem to be increase in financial aid but I think it is still inadequate for women who want to continue working, no nurseries or support available.”
Most Japanese now feels that there are very little prospects in relying on government pensions and support like this father of a 6 year old boy.
"I do not think we can rely on the government to support the future aging society. We have to protect ourselves and our children by saving up for our future". Said father of a 6-year-old boy.
However, this complex problem with its aging society is not unique to Japan.
Many of the industrialized nations are faced with similar issue, and potentially a world wide concern