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Tokyo population to fall 46 percent

Published By United Press International
TOKYO, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- Tokyo's population, affected by Japan's declining birthrate, would fall nearly 46 percent to 7.13 million by the turn of the century, experts said.

In estimating the population of the Japanese capital after 88 years, the experts group made up of academics and officials said more than 45 percent of those living in the city then would be 65 years or older, Kyodo News reported.

Tokyo's population, which was 13.16 million in 2010, would peak at 13.35 million in 2020, before dropping by 45.8 percent in 2100, or about the same what it was in the 1940s prior to the Pearl Harbor attack, the report said.

The projections assumed the current fertility rate would remain unchanged at its 2010 level of 1.12 among Tokyo women, the lowest in the nation.

"The number of people in their most productive years will decline, while local governments will face severe financial strains," the group said in a statement. "So it will be crucial to take measures to turn around the falling birthrate and enhance social security measures for the elderly."

The group said the number of Tokyo residents who are 65 years or older totaled 2.68 million in 2010. That number would peak at 4.41 million in 2050 before falling to 3.27 million in 2100.

"The working population, concentrated in Tokyo, will be rapidly graying. If the economies of developing countries continue growing, the international competitiveness of major companies in Tokyo will dive," said Akihiko Matsutani, professor emeritus at the National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies, Kyodo reported.
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