Declining Population? No Problem: Build Robots


In this morning's Washington Post, there is an interesting story on Japan's declining population. According to the Post, "population shrinkage began [in Japan] three years ago and is gathering pace. Within 50 years, the population, now 127 million, will fall by a third, the government projects. Within a century, two-thirds of the population will be gone. That would leave Japan, now the world's second-largest economy, with about 42 million people."

Rather than open its doors to immigrants or encourage larger families, the Japanese government in partnership with industry has decided to turn to robots.

According to the Post's story, Japanese engineers say it's "service robots" that can "bail out Japan, which has the world's largest proportion of residents over 65 and smallest proportion of children under 15. One such gizmo, on display at the [Great Robot Exhibition in Tokyo's National Museum of Nature and Science], can spoon-feed the elderly. Others are being designed to hoist them onto a toilet and phone a nurse when they won't take their pills."

Some critics in Japan, however, call the "robot cure for an aging society as little more than high-tech quackery."

I wonder if the future Japanese population demographics include the wide-spread creation of sex robots?


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Robert Charette
Spotsylvania, Va.
Willie D. Jones
New York City