THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO SHOW UP: Japan faces population crisis as twice as many deaths recorded as births in 2022.

“If we go on like this, the country will disappear,” former Minister of Justice Masako Mori said, acknowledging the record-low birthrate last year.

“It’s the people who have to live through the process of disappearance who will face enormous harm. It’s a terrible disease that will afflict those children.”

As a result, Kishida has made a commitment to increase spending on children and family, in an effort to stifle the population decline. The report noted that the Japanese population has fallen to 124.6 million from a peak of just over 128 million in 2008, and the rate of decline is only increasing.

Though South Korea has a lower fertility rate, Japan’s population is getting smaller at a faster rate. It was reported that 29 percent of Japan’s population is 65 years of age and older.

“It’s not falling gradually, it’s heading straight down,” said Mori, who currently advises Kishida on LGBTQ issues and the birthrate issue.

“A nosedive means children being born now will be thrown into a society that becomes distorted, shrinks and loses its ability to function.”

Maybe the worst indicator is that even the number of women of childbearing age is in decline. No matter what steps Japan takes, the problem will get worse before it gets better — if ever.