The average person would not necessarily imagine the words “robotic” and “babies” together in the same sentence, but when places like Japan have a declining population, drastic measures are attempted in order to save the population.
Here’s the problem
According to a Washington Post article about Japan’s birth rate, author Ana Swanson says, “Japan’s population shrank by its largest amount in 2014. Roughly 1.001 million people were born and 1.269 million people died last year, leaving the country with 268,000 fewer people overall.”
Why the problem is occurring
A BBC.com article says the issue of Japan’s declining population is for numerous reasons, among them the cost of raising a child is too expensive, women are now working — leaving them with no time to care for a child, the later age of marriage causes infertility for some women, the increase in the amount of unmarried people and lastly the changing in the housing environment throughout the country.
All of these issues have impacted the decline in Japan so much that the projected population for the country is 97 million by 2050. That is 30.3 million fewer than Japan’s current population.
Why this will negatively affect Japan
These predicted numbers would bring down the economy and standard living of Japan for many reasons. The Gross Domestic Product will shrink due to the lowering population, which according to a Nippon.com article means, “This also raises the danger that it will be difficult to sustain the pension system and other elements of social welfare system, thereby bringing down the nation’s standard of living.”
This problem is so intense that a resolution is nearly impossible. But, countries like France have had successful tries at getting the birth rate back up. Japan is trying to follow in that country’s footsteps.
What Japan is doing to try and solve the issue
One approach Japan has taken to solve the low birth rate issue is to introduce women to Yotaro, a giggling robot baby. The baby (seen below) is introduced in order evoke emotion with a parent to encourage them to want to have a child of their own to increase the birth rate in Japan.