Political Role of Young Japanese: Robbed of Dreams

‘The Japanese are content with the status quo; they don’t want to change,’ according to many foreign experts. But in fact certain elements of change are already visible, especially in the attitudes and behaviour of the younger generations. They are marrying later or not at all. They are having fewer children – often just one, or maybe none. They are neglecting or refusing to pay their compulsory national pension contributions. And the younger they are, the less likely they are to vote.

The World Today Updated 16 October 2020 Published 1 March 2004 5 minute READ

Akira Kojima

Senior Managing Director and Editor in Chief, Nihon Kenzai Shimbun

Young Japanese are not actively fighting for reform, but they are staging a quiet rebellion that is inexorably eroding the country’s existing systems. Ultimately this could fundamentally transform Japan’s institutions and public policies.

Ever since its bubble economy burst at the beginning of the 1990s, Japan has been surprising and disappointing the rest of the world with its dismal economic performance. Paul Krugman of Princeton University expressed it starkly in Japan’s leading business daily the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, better known as the Nikkei, on January 3.

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