In the Land of the Setting Sun

I’m intrigued by some of the long-term global implications of current demographic trends, and will probably blog about these once or twice over the next few months.  In the meantime:

I just heard a television news report about a study indicating that, if Japanese birth rates remain constant, the world’s supply of Japanese people will be roughly a third lower within fifty years than it is now, and that there will be absolutely no Japanese at all in just about precisely one millennium.

At that point, while my colleagues teaching Japanese literature will still be in business, the folks in my department who teach Japanese as a living language will need to retool and look for other jobs.  I hope, personally, to be retired by that time — assuming that the economy and the state of my investments will ever actually permit me to retire.

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