Economic Focus – Japan’s Robotic Workforce

What do we do when there are not enough humans in the workforce? Robots anyone? With Japan’s rapidly aging population, robots dominating the workforce may soon become a reality. But just how bad is Japan’s rapid aging population?

The current level of fertility among Japanese woman is 1.3 babies per woman which is far below the level needed to maintain Japan’s population. According to government estimates, 40% of the population will be over 65 years old by 2055.

An article in Reuters stated that robots might be able to fill the gap of an estimated 3.5 million people in Japan which would help to decrease the pressure on the upcoming worker shortage scenario.

Even though robots may be more efficient and effective workers (no riots, strikes, and medical problems), the fact remains that the elderly may still face a hard time ahead. With rising global food and fuel prices and no increases in their incomes, the elderly in Japan are headed for a bleak future.

Facts – BBC

  • Full name: Japan
  • Population: 128 million (UN, 2007)
  • Capital: Tokyo
  • Area: 377,864 sq km (145,894 sq miles)
  • Major language: Japanese
  • Major religions: Shintoism, Buddhism
  • Life expectancy: 79 years (men), 86 years (women) (UN)
  • Monetary unit: yen
  • Main exports: Vehicles, computer parts, chemicals, scientific instruments and watches
  • GNI per capita: US $38,980 (World Bank, 2006)

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