Some News and Thoughts about Japan and Marriage

25 04 2008

A Japanese Government paper revealed this week that by 2050, Japan’s workforce will decrease by third of its current size. Japan has one of the lowest birth rate and the highest lifespan–a bad combination for a society which must support an unprecendented number of retirees on the smallest population of workers. It is some of the serious economic troubles in the making unless the shortage of workforce is compensated through other means. The paper encourages improved child care services and more flexibility for women to return from maternity leave. Another solution is to bring in foreigners. This is very common among other developed countries (UK, France, Canada, etc.) that face similar challenges. However, the Japanese government who is known to be very picky about granting visas, will not consider allowing massive immigration of foreigners.

Another related study found that one out of four couples in Japan did not have sex in the last year. About 37% of couples in their 50s do not have any sexual relations. These findings are alarming and confirm our belief that marriages in Japan are failing. They also explain the low birthrate. However, this is not uniquely a Japanese phenomenon. If we look at any secular, prosperous countries in Europe, their birthrate is very low, and marriage has a low place in people’s values. You hear about in Germany, UK, and Scandinavian countries where people are simply not marrying. They are cohabitating but not marrying. It makes sense for atheists to hold marriage in low regard. Why should they be “locked” into one relationship when you get taxed by the government and have to raise kids in expensive and dangerous society? Without a doubt, as less people come together in marriage covenant and raise family, the less stable the society will be.

Marriage is God’s creation to reflect the perfect relationship of His Son and His bride, namely the Church (Eph. 5). It is God’s design for not only a man and a wife but also for the greater good of the society. Thankfully, U.S. is the only developed country with high birthrate and increasing population from within and without. Despite all the divorces, people still get married and remarried, attesting to the high value of marriage among Americans, with the exception of the Hollywood crowd.




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