"We had an interesting discussion about why fewer students are coming to, particularly from Japan, to study in the United States, and one of the responses I got from our officials from conversations with parents here is that they're actually scared. They think they're not safe in the United States and so they don't come."
- Secretary of State John F Kerry, 14 April 2012
Of course, Kerry overlooks the FACT that Japan has one of the highest suicide rates IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. 30,651 committed suicide in 2011.
In 2009, the Japanese suicide rate was 24.9 per 100,000 people. In contrast, the US suicide rate was 11.0 per 100,000 residents.
Typically most suicides are men; over 71% of suicide victims in 2007 were male. In 2009, the number of suicides among men rose 641 to 23,472 (with those age 40–69 accounting for 40.8% of the total). Suicide was the leading cause of death among men age 20–44. Males are two times more likely to cause their own deaths after a divorce than females. Nevertheless, suicide is still the leading cause of death for women age 15–34 in Japan.
The rate of suicides has also increased among those in their 20s, and in 2009 was at an all-time high in that age group for the second straight year reaching 24.1 per 100,000 people. The NPA likewise reported a record for the third consecutive year among those in their 30s. The rate among the over-60 population is also high, although people in their 30s are still more likely to commit suicide.
In 2009, the number of suicides rose 2 percent to 32,845 exceeding 30,000 for the twelfth straight year and equating to nearly 26 suicides per 100,000 people. This amounts to approximately one suicide every 15 minutes. In comparison, the UK rate is about 9 per 100,000, and the US rate around 11 per 100,000. The Japanese suicide rate is especially high amongst industrialized nations. In 2007, Japan ranked first among G8 countries for female suicides and second, behind Russia, for male suicides.
Common methods of suicide are jumping in front of trains, leaping off high places, hanging, overdosing on medication, or using household products to make the poisonous gas hydrogen sulfide.
And, of course, the decline in the population in Japan has nothing whatsoever to do with the decline in students attending school overseas.
Based on the Health and Welfare ministry estimation released in January 2012, Japan’s population will keep declining by about one million people every year in the coming decades, which will leave Japan with a population of 87 million in 2060. By that time, more than 40% of the population is expected to be over the age of 65. In 2012, the population for a sixth straight year of declines by 212,000 as the biggest drop on record since 1947 and also a record low of 1.03 million number of births.
The population ranking of Japan dropped from 7th to 8th in 1990, to 9th in 1998, and to 10th since.
In 1989, only 11.6% of the population was 65 years or older, but by 2007, that figure had risen to 21.2%, making Japan one of the “greyest” countries on Earth.
In 1990, the age 15–64 group comprised 69.5% of the overall population, the 0-14 age group made up 18.2% of the country’s population, and the 65+ population was 12.0% of the entire population.
In 2010, the age 15–64 group comprised 63.7% of the overall population, the 0-14 group made up 13.2% of the country’s population, and the 65+ population was 23.1% of the entire population.
'Average life expectancy in Japan is about 82, in the US it’s about 79. I wouldn’t call that “Much longer”. Definitely not worth it to me to give up butter and BBQ’d ribs for raw fish and rice. My daughter in law is from Burma. They eat catfish soup for breakfast. I’ll pass on that too.'
Oldnuke on April 15, 2013 at 2:33 PM
In 2010, the average life expectancy in the US was 77.97. In Japan, it was 82.73 years, the longest in the world. Making the difference 4.76 years.
The average life expectancy of Asian-Americans is 87.28 years.
For Hispanic-Americans, the average life expectancy is 83.48 years.
For white Americans, the average life expectancy is 78.74 years.
For black Americans, the average life expectancy is 74.27 years.
People can debate quality of life or whether nearly 5 years of additional life is a good trade-off for a life without BBQ ribs, but the point is that Japan is an aging society with a decreasing school-aged population. While it is undeniable that a college student doesn’t have to be 18-34, it is a fact that Japanese students, who have come to the US to attend school, are in that age group. It is further a fact that the number of Japanese in that age group is shrinking.
It should be self-evident that an aging population with a smaller number of school-aged adults is going to send fewer of them overseas to attend university.