Japan’s population is falling faster than ever before.
Burdened by a low fertility rate and widespread aging, Japan is losing its young people who can perform everyday jobs.
Economists call situations like these “demographic time bombs,” since they create vicious cycles of economic downturn and population loss.
Japan’s demographic time bomb has forced the country to get creative in how it stays afloat in the global economy — here are some of its strategies.
The federal government is hosting speed dating events.
Kim Kyung Hoon/Reuters
For the past two years, Japan’s government has sponsored speed dating events around the country. People are encouraged to go on multiple dates in the hopes they’ll eventually get hitched and have kids.
If the conversation gets too awkward, a “marriage promotion committee” will step in to smooth things along.
In Japanese, the practice is known as konkatsu, or “marriage hunting.”
Couples can project their faces onto a virtual-reality baby to feel like parents.
At this year’s SIGGRAPH computer graphics conference, Motherboard’s Marissa Clifford tested out a virtual-reality game in which her own face was projected onto a digital baby.
The idea was that by caring for a baby that bore her resemblance, she might be more inclined to have kids of her own.
Clifford could feed the baby (using the VR controller) and put the baby in her crib. It had all the trappings of motherhood, except it existed only in the digital realm.
Bachelors are taking fatherhood classes in which they play with dolls.
In a similar vein, the Osaka-based company Ikumen University has launched workshops that involve men…