An Elon Musk tweet saying Japan would “ultimately stop to exist” with out a increased birthrate set off a flood of sarcasm and anger on Monday – although a lot of the angst was aimed toward a Japanese authorities many mentioned did little to handle the difficulty.
Musk, the pinnacle of electrical car maker Tesla Inc, on the weekend tweeted, “Vulnerable to stating the plain, until one thing adjustments to trigger the start charge to exceed the dying charge, Japan will ultimately stop to exist. This might be a fantastic loss for the world.”
The remark hit a nerve amongst Japan watchers and in Japan, whose inhabitants peaked in 2008 and has declined since as a consequence of its low birthrate to about 125 million as of final yr regardless of authorities warnings and sporadic makes an attempt to grapple with the difficulty.
However Japan stays the world’s third-largest financial system, host to world heavyweights starting from automobile producers to video games builders, and is a key hyperlink in world semiconductor provide chains.
“What’s even the purpose of tweeting this?” wrote Tobias Harris, senior fellow on the Middle for American Progress.
“The anxieties surrounding Japan’s demographic future shouldn’t be that ‘Japan will ultimately stop to exist’ however fairly the profound social dislocations which might be occurring on account of the decline to a decrease inhabitants stage.”
Others famous sluggish birthrates plague many countries in addition to Japan, together with Germany – the place Tesla has simply opened a brand new manufacturing unit – and that Japan was merely being hit first.
However many Japanese commentators mentioned the scenario was not stunning and slammed their authorities for not doing sufficient to combat it, reminiscent of by offering extra daycare centres and making it simpler for girls to return to work after having kids.
“They preserve saying the birthrate’s falling, however on condition that the federal government is not taking thorough steps to take care of it, what can we are saying? The whole lot they are saying and do is contradictory,” wrote Twitter consumer SROFF.
“On this setting, who’s going to say ‘Okay, let’s have a toddler’? I despair for Japan.”