Japan, debt, yields and other things that make you go hmmm.
Another must read piece by Grant Williams.
The change in the structure of Japan’s population over the past 50 years is starkly reflected in the country’s population pyramid which looks ever more shaky with each passing year while the forecasts for 2050 are, frankly, frightening (chart, above).
By 2050, Japan’s population is projected to fall to 90m. Incredibly, as recently as 1990, the number of working Japanese was three times that of both children AND the elderly.
In 2011, Japan’s budget for social welfare was ¥90 trillion but that was at least ¥1 trillion short of where it needed to be, precipitating further issuance of government bonds and that, on top of the increased strain caused by the Kansai tsunami has Japan’s bond market teetering on the edge of implosion—still.
A 2011 report from the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research (could that BE any more Japanese?) shed some light on just how fast things could deteriorate from here:
The proportion of children under 15 will shrink from 14.6% of the population in 2000 to 12% in 2021, 11% in 2036 and 10.8% in 2050.
Meanwhile, those of working age (15-64) amounted to 68.1% of the population in 2000, and their proportion is expected to decline to 60% in 2020….
Full Hmmm Jul 29 2012 (1)