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Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said Japan’s ageing, shrinking population was not a burden, but an incentive to boost productivity through innovations like robots, wireless sensors, and Artificial Intelligence.
Abe’s comments on Wednesday came days after official data showed that Japan has 34.6 million people aged 65 and older, or 27.3 per cent of the population – the highest proportion among advanced nations.
“I have absolutely no worries about Japan’s demography,” Abe said in a prepared speech at a Reuters Newsmaker event, noting that nominal gross domestic product had grown despite losing three million working-age people over the last three years.
“Japan may be ageing. Japan may be losing its population. But these are incentives for us,” he said. “Why? Because we will continue to be motivated to grow our productivity,” Abe added, citing robots, wireless sensors, and Artificial Intelligence as among the tools to do so. “So, Japan’s demography, paradoxically, is not an onus, but a bonus.” (Reuters)