Taeuber, Irene B.
July 1962
Foreign Affairs;Jul62, Vol. 40 Issue 4, p595
Academic Journal
This article discusses the decline in Japan's population growth. The spectacular story of the decline in Japan's population growth continues with that regularity in the extraordinary which has characterized the country over the past hundred years. Death rates are low, but so are the birth rates. Present economic targets involve a doubling of national income within a decade, together with a shift of two million people away from agricultural occupations. Already the limited land provides most of the rice needed for 95 million people, and hybrid varieties, improved fertilizers and mechanization threaten to add food surpluses to Japan's many problems of foreign markets. The rate of the population increase was low: from 1872 to 1940 it never exceeded 1.5 percent a year. Yet over the decades this slow growth produced a massive total increase. Population became a national concern. In 1872 the total was 35 million; by 1940 it had more than doubled to 71 million. It seemed probable that the population would continue to increase throughout the twentieth century, and that population problems would become more rather than less serious.


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