A tweet from Elon Musk saying “Japan will eventually cease to exist” due to its declining birth rate has sparked online discussions.
On Sunday, the Tesla CEO responded to a tweet that shared a Kyodo News article about Japan’s largest-ever recorded drop in its population.
“At the risk of stating the obvious, unless something changes to cause the birth rate to exceed the death rate, Japan will eventually cease to exist. This would be a great loss for the world,” wrote Musk.
According to the article, Japan’s population dropped by a record 644,000 people to just over 125.5 million in 2021, which saw 831,000 births and 1.44 million deaths. The East Asian country’s population decline is now in its 11th consecutive year.
Tobias Harris, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, found Musk’s tweet pointless, stating that “the anxieties surrounding Japan’s demographic future is not that ‘Japan will eventually cease to exist’ but rather the profound social dislocations that are occurring as a result of the decline to a lower population level.”
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Still, many Japanese social media users apparently agreed with Musk’s words, with some blaming their country’s government and education system for not addressing the issue accordingly.
Meanwhile, others pointed out that Japan is one of several countries that are experiencing declining birth rates.
In recent years, the Japanese government has tried to mitigate the declining workforce and aging population by relaxing its visa system and allowing more foreign workers to enter the country.