A report compiled with the Japanese government’s co-operation few years ago warned that by 2060 the number of Japanese will have fallen from 127 m to about 87 m, of whom almost 40% will be 65 or older.

The 2012 government report said that without policy change, by 2110 the number of Japanese could fall to 42.9 m, i.e just a third of its current population.

Japan’s population had shrunk by almost 1 million people in five years. The country lost 947,345 people – more than the population of San Francisco – between 2010 and 2015.

The decline of 0.7% to 127.1 million has been predicted by the government annually but the new statistics confirm the trend. It is an indication that as the nation gets older, and people have fewer babies at a later age, a demographic crisis is looming.

Japan has been worrying for a while now about whether its population may one day become extinct. In 2006, the Japanese National Institute of Population and Social Security Research …