Falling Japanese Birthrate

Japanese government thinks one of the reason why our birthrate keeps falling down is money. So they are thinking to get us delivery expense. It will be some help but I don’t think it solves the problem much. This country, actually people are not supportive for people with infant or child. Childrens are treasure of nation but for most of Japanese, childrens are parents belongings.
I posted about it on my weblog before, I think I can still say same thing. Please read the extended post if you are interested.

The other day, a woman was pushing stroller at some trainstation in Tokyo. It was just before noon, trainstation wasn’t crowded at all. Then, she got in the elevator. There were one old lady, me and that young mom. Just before closing the doors, two middle aged guys (maybe 50 around?) got in the box.

The guys gave a glance at the woman. The one guy said to another “young mothers are lazy these days” in unneeded loud voice. Obviously he tried to offend her. The other one answered “yeah. mothers with baby shouldn’t use public transportation. especially stroller is taking up space”. I wanted to yell at them. Maybe I should have ask them why they are using elevator at least. (btw, I had the reason. I bought a big pot of lavender. I couldn’t use stairway)
When the elevator arrived, they pushed her and her stroller to get off the cage. Old lady told her “don’t care about it.” but seemed she was almost crying.

It happened only in 30secs. but it ruined my day. Probably, it ruined the woman’s whole week.

Japanese birthrate keeps dropping down. lawmakers keep saying they are trying harder but I think they are missing the point. daycare center, revision of working rules and etc are fine. It will be a good support.

But woman still feel insecurity about having baby. It is not about money for shopping, traveling, pleasing herself, for education for kids or even her own freedom. Many women answer “because it costs too much”, “I want to develop my career”, “I don’t want to lose my freedom yet” or something when she is asked why she doesn’t have baby or doesn’t get married. She may be sick of answering the same question again and again so, she just repeats typical answers.

Half of my married friend don’t have a baby yet. They usually say, they are not ready yet. or they say they want but it is too tough to be a working mother in Japan.

Most of lawmakers are around 50years old or older. The same generation to the guys on elevator. I’ve never seen 50 around guy giving his seat to elder, handicapped or pregnant woman. Are they total strangers to the concept of compassion?
That generation are working on raising Japanese birthrate. So their idea will work? I doubt it.

5 Comments so far

  1. yuki (unregistered) on January 14th, 2006 @ 12:51 am

    jesus what assholes!!!! i hope to yell at those kinds of brainless old men when something like that happens around me. :(

  2. Brownie (unregistered) on January 14th, 2006 @ 1:00 pm

    Seems like men around 50 is the same in Japan as in Norway, no feelings for any person other than themself. I work part time in a shop, men at that age always are the most difficult customers. They simply do not understand that pepole can have diffculties and have to act acording to those, be it old age, diabilites or other things.

  3. Michael(tm) Smith (unregistered) on January 16th, 2006 @ 1:11 pm

    Damn. Hard to find words to express the anger at these guys that I feel when reading this.

    What really troubles me about this is that I wonder if it’s ever going to change. I mean, is the next generation of salarymen — the guys in their 20s now — are they going to morph into being idiots just like these two when they reach their 50s?

    Or to put it in other terms, has there been any change in the cultural norms that produced the kind of attitude these guys have? (I mean the attitude of these middle-aged white-collar salaryman guys thinking it’s acceptable to be openly abusive and insulting to other people whenever the mood strikes them, particularly to women.)

    It does seem to be something that’s most common just in middle-aged guys. Older men — I mean retirement-age ones — don’t seem to be like this.

    So maybe it’s just a negative holdover of the “we’re the kings of the world” attitude back from the days before the bubble burst. Except that these guys are too stupid to look around themselves and see that they and the companies they work for aren’t exactly the kings of the world any more.

    Anyway, I really hope the younger generation won’t look to these guys as role models but will instead maybe look more to the generation that came before them. Yeah, I guess they weren’t perfect either — but at least they seem to have a greater sense of empathy for other people, and humbleness.

  4. James Hart (unregistered) on January 16th, 2006 @ 4:54 pm

    I always put the fact the people in Tokyo don’t generally offer their seat to mothers with children down to shyness. I hope that the opinion of those guys is not common.
    As well as being a**holes, they are totally illogical. Driving everywhere is not practical in Tokyo and it is better for the city if people travel by public transport. Meanwhile, with the falling birthrate, that lady’s child will be supporting the pensions of those 50yr-olds, so those guys should be doubly grateful to her.

  5. Claw (unregistered) on February 10th, 2006 @ 5:34 am

    I think they just had mental problems. or were too old to remember who children are and how to make them!

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