In a nation with a falling birthrate and rapidly aging population, experts are saying that, should current trends continue, Japan will be left with large gaps in the workforce in the not-so-distant future. --Asian Times Online
And what does that population actually look like? That is what really got me started on this this morning, an NHK radio report on population statistics. This Japan Today article relflects the numbers pretty well.
Japan's population rose to 127,687,000 in 2004, up by 0.05% from a year earlier, according to a government preliminary report on estimated demographic shifts obtained by Kyodo News on Thursday.
There is also a good Japanese article on the subject, 男性人口、戦後初のマイナス, (Male Population, First Drop Since the End of World War Two)
It shows that a large number of able bodied men (figures for women not given) are working overseas.