The Incredibly Shrinking Japan

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt
the incredibly shrinking japan

As the Japanese fiscal year draws to a close on March 31, The Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) is already looking forward. And there’s a decline ahead. JAMA expects domestic sales of automobiles, including minivehicles, to slide 8 percent from the (not yet announced) level in the current fiscal year to a 32-year low of around 4.29 million units in fiscal 2009, the Nikkei [sub] writes.

If their projection is accurate, domestic auto sales will be just about half of their former 7.8 million glory reached in fiscal 1990. It was downhill from there.

Japan is expected to close out the current fiscal year with al 12 percent minus. 4.66 million units are expected to be sold, a level not seen in 28 years.

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  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Mar 25, 2009

    It's not about the race of people - it's their culture. In short does any given group of people give a damn? I think America is in danger of being in this position. Not making careful choices, not really trying very hard, etc. Maybe I'm just showing my age and EVERYBODY who does give a dman and goes to work everyday gets to a point where they think they see two generations of people younger looking pretty sorry. Maybe this happens about the same time a person thinks they understand their world a little better (reading, listening, looking around, who's getting into trouble, why and where they live). Prob just a bad case of busting my hump while looking that those sorry souls wasting time and money... Anyhow I don't see any potential American woes defined by colors or regions. I think folks in general have gotten too complacent, too comfortable. Folks at one end of the economic spectrum think somebody owes them something, people at the far other end thinking people are their's to use up and throw away, and people in the middle have their problems too - witness the mortgage implosion. We ought to watch Japan and parts of Europe - like Italy - where the there is a negative birthrate - and learn something. Whether those lessons are what to do or not to do remains to be seen. I can't help but think we'll be in the same boat IF immigration slows. I know plenty of 30-somethings who are skipping children all together because of the cost and what they see as a hassle factor. Heck, my wife and I have spent $50K on childcare for two children... Wouldn't trade the kids for the cost but the cost is noteworthy to those who teens who might be messing around and not being careful...

  • 07Frontier 07Frontier on Mar 26, 2009

    We don't have a problem with negative birth rates. There were more babies born in the United States in 2007 than any other year in history, even surpassing the record in 1957: This bodes well for our economy. In a few short years, these people will be consumers. It also means more money to provide for my social security and Medicaid.

  • Jurisb Jurisb on Mar 26, 2009

    racism is a negative prejudice towards an ethnic group without substantiation.if I deal with facts and stats , I am not a racist. It is quiet simple, the biggest tangible value within any country is usually connected with highly skilled workers and technologies( productivity plus income division). Any country that has shown their ability to create such technological values, most likely will benefit in financial parity and will eventually improve their infrastructure and living standards.When you mention equality, What do you mean by that? Do you expect that an MIT engineer should equally split his income with a Mart sales clerk?No! Equality means, equal division of income ACCORDING TO THEIR INPUT! Blacks are 2 times more likely to be unemployed, 3x more likely to live in poverty, more than 6x likely to be imprisoned than white people( CNN,State of Black America, March 26,Cnn Money, Nobody discards black people because of their color, because every enterpreneur is hiring their staff according to their productivity and trouble-proof record. I would hire even an alien EBE Jayrod if he did his job well.So , some ethnicities are rather likely creating problems themselves, than getting them from elsewhere. One reason is subpar IQ, meaning average test scores for certain ethnicities are lower on average, thus prohibiting them to enter Universities and colleges. This leads to decreased employment, increased crime and poverty.If no nationality has predominance towards technical engineering, how come that Japan excels at it, but Namibia doesn`t? By the way, Quasimondo, Japan is accumulating huge trade surpluses, in excess 0f 120bn$ annually, and her debt is not external, meaning she doesn`t owe the debt to other countries. And , oh, boy, how wrong are those people that think that innovations don`t come from japan, and those who think jpanese copy euroopean cars are even more dilussional. Japan is the God in industrial robots, car building, consumer electronics and many other branches, thanks to her consolidated philosophy of long term-planning and product-comes-first strategy.If certain nations can`t organize meaningful manufacturing at their own countries, what makes you think that they would do it when flocked together in another? Just because you can find exceptions, doesn`t disapprove the stats itself. The secret is the percentage. What percentage of population within a due nation is likely to receive doctor`s degree in natural sciences as compared to a percentage of population to receive the same degree in naother nation or ethnicity group?

  • Joeaverage Joeaverage on Mar 26, 2009

    And some groups of people value education MUCH more than others. This isn't a comment on race, it's a question of culture. An 18 year old kid who has avoided getting any education his whole life is going to have a hard time in college. Alot of catching up to do... He likely is not as sophisticated as the kid that goes home to hear intelligent conversation between family adults, who has high(er) brow magazine laying around the house to read, whose parents can introduce their kids to the finer things in life and what it takes to continue that lifestyle as an adult. Listen I live in a small southern town where there are few blacks. What we have plenty of are white people who don't value education. They go onto small jobs, small pay, small houses, and small bank accounts. They avoided the positive effects of learning a few things, valued all things not school, and a few ridiculed those who did want to learn some "stuff". Sometimes I can look at a person and their life and pick out dozens of indicators to why they live like they do. Not stereotypes - choices that took them down a more basic lifestyle... We've got friends in the education system here who tell us about their biggest challenges at work during dinners and playdates. These usually come in the form of white rural kids with the same problems as inner city black youth. Same excuses. Same choices. Same backgrounds. Same outlook on life. Same problems. Same futures. The only real difference is the environment maybe rural instead of urban. What sets Japan apart from other countries is (I think) that they value their engineers and other technical people. When those same people were 12-15 yrs old those people were likely the geeks and nerds of grade school. I know when I was in HS in the 80s the geeks and nerds were tormented constantly. The athletics folks got way more support and "glory" from the school and administration than the science kids. Want to fix education? Separate athletics from the public school system. Let those kids play ball on the weekends and afternoons through community teams - not school teams. It would likely save ALOT of money too. I have a child going through grade school now. He is a mild mannered type of kid inclined towards things technical and science. He's embarrassed to ask questions in class b/c some of the other kids give him a hard time about it on the school playground. They don't value their education. They ridicule anyone who does. We work with him in the evenings to fill in any "blanks" in his instruction for the day. Would the school admin "protect" him? Not very well. Just enough to cause him more troubles with those kids. This is one example of small minds holding back better minds. We need those better minds to be given a little of that school glory normally reserved for guys who play games with a ball and the pretty girls who cheer them on. In this country there is too much value placed on athletics (school and pro), consumerism/affluenza, and celebrity. In the end this may well be the end of us as American expertise is replaced with Indian, Chinese, or simply Asian expertise. If there is anything that might set private schools apart I suspect it would be a much higher percentage of parents and students who value education in any given private school. People spending big bucks for an education for their children may have their priorities in better order. Alas, no private schools in this area aside from a religion "academy" and they are not the types of people I want teaching my child...