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Washington Post: Will Abortion Ban Halt Japanese Death Spiral?

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Japan as a society may be on something of an irreversible death spiral. Is banning abortion the answer? An article in the Washington Post notes that some have wondered whether this could help.

More than a quarter century ago, Japan became the first society to have more people over 65 than under 15. They were the first country to invert what’s called the demographic pyramid that shows societies naturally have many more young people than old. Such a pyramid is important for maintaining social service support for the elderly.

Much has been written recently about how the young Japanese are forgoing sex. They seem to be avoiding sex and marriage in droves. The reasons are highly complex.

Dr. Susan Yoshihara, Senior Vice President of Research for the New York-based Center for Family & Human Rights, argues that Japanese women are chafing under the traditional notion that when they marry they may have to quit their jobs and live under the authority of their mother-in-law. At the same time, and not as widely reported, there is widespread addiction to pornography among Japanese men.

Yoshihara, former White House Fellow and former professor of international relations at the Naval War College, told Breitbart News that porn is so widespread Japanese men view it openly on pubic transportation. Porn is everywhere, she says; even publications like business magazines typically have pornographic images. She says one of the most common pornographic icons in Japan is the schoolgirl. “It’s creepy,” she says.

Mixed in with all of these societal tensions is the fact that single motherhood is widely condemned in Japan. “In that regard, Japan is still very traditional. Women will not have a baby out of wedlock,” she told Breitbart.

All of this is likely a driver for the massive abortion rate in Japan. Will banning abortion help? A Japanese legislator raised the issue two years ago. Yoshihara is doubtful. She senses little interest in banning abortion in Japan. She says even though there are graveyards for aborted babies where women go to grieve, “there is no pro-life movement in Japan.”

Follow Austin Ruse on Twitter @austinruse.


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