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Japan Having Some of the Lowest Birthrates in the World - Essay Example

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Japan having some of the lowest birthrates in the world The growing decline in birthrates has been proved to be one of the most challenging issues faced by Japan. It has been identified that Japan has one of the lowest birthrates in the world. The growing numbers of delayed marriages, the existence of large percentage of never-married population, the high cost of living, labor shortage, high standard of education among young Japanese women, control over immigration and the high cost of bearing children have been regarded as the major reasons for the decline in birthrate…
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Japan Having Some of the Lowest Birthrates in the World
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Download file to see previous pages LeBlanc, while making her observations on the political world of the Japanese housewives, addresses the issue of the low birthrate in Japan from a female point of view. While the taxi-bicycle contrast characterizes the male-female involvement in Japan’s political scenario, the author purports that women in Japan have clear cut political perspectives on such issues as the nation’s low birthrates. The author conducted an extensive ethnographic fieldwork study among housewives, volunteer groups, and consumer cooperative movements in suburban Tokyo; the results of the study throw light on the various underlying reasons behind the declining birthrates in Japan. LeBlanc rightly identifies that the “high cost of living, the declining birth rate, and a possible labor shortage combined with the high standard of education among young Japanese women today” determine women-related issues in the Japanese society (LeBlanc 200). The high cost of living and the difficulty in child-rearing prompt many Japanese women to remain in their workplaces rather than getting married during their fertile productive period. Consequently, many of them marry late, whereas the number of never-married women is also at an increasing rate. LeBlanc’s interactions with the housewives underline certain environmental and healthcare practices that adversely affect the fertility rates of Japanese women. In the Ono campaign, Ono makes it clear that global environment has affected the health and that the Japanese disposal system itself is defective. She also mentions the growing pollution of water and purports that women can help the environment through proper disposal of cooking grease, use of non-polluting detergents, and proper disposal of water for washing dishes (LeBlanc 173). She also realizes that most of the environmental problems are related to people’s lifestyles and shares how her daughter wastes a lot of water in her morning showers. Ono also expresses her views on the problem of the aged and enumerates on the various reasons that have contributed to low birthrate in Japan. For her, birthrate in Japan is declining to almost one child per couple and she reasons: “What if this is your daughter? She wants to work so she marries late; she has children late. And the cost of bearing children is high” (LeBlanc 173). LeBlanc, thus, throws light on the three major reasons for the low birthrate among the Japanese women: marrying late, not giving birth to children in their most fertile period and the high cost of child rearing. Ono also refers to the average Japanese family’s difficulty of paying new day-care bill. Similarly, Schoppa in his seminal book argues that Japan as a nation lacks far reaching reforms that would better enable Japanese women to balance both their work and family roles. The author also observes that it is imperative for the policy framers to adequately address such issues as leave for child rearing, child care services, labor standards, child allowances, and tax and benefit rules. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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