Demography is Destiny and Japan is going to pretty much disappear if trends don’t change:
The number of children has declined for 27 consecutive years, a government report said over the weekend. Japan now has fewer children who are 14 or younger than at any time since 1908.
The proportion of children in the population fell to an all-time low of 13.5 percent. That number has been falling for 34 straight years and is the lowest among 31 major countries, according to the report. In the United States, children account for about 20 percent of the population.
Which pretty much means that Japan has decided no longer to exist:
Population shrinkage began three years ago and is gathering pace. Within 50 years, the population, now 127 million, will fall by a third, the government projects. Within a century, two-thirds of the population will be gone.
Remember when the country we feared taking over everything was Japan? It wasn’t that long ago. Everybody figured that we would all end up working for the Japanese, drive only Japanese cars, and they would own all the real estate in the US. If you haven’t read the novel Neuromancer by William Gibson (1984) I’d highly recommend it, but the whole premise of the novel is that Japan won the corporate wars. (Just as an aside, this is a wonderful science fiction novel credited with creating the whole cyberpunk genre so its definitely worth the time to read).
Instead Japan has pretty much decided that it won’t exist any more. Do you think China is going to sit around and let all that nice Island real-estate just sit idle?