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history of economic growth has made a handful of Western nations, later joined
by Japan, remarkably rich and powerful. Until recently, it seemed that the fast-growing
developing countries led by China were poised to catch up with the advanced
economies by the middle of this century. Now, the macroeconomic data suggest
that they may grow old before they get rich.
Dr. Stefan Lippert
Japan faces a daunting demographic challenge. Both the general populace and the working-age population are graying and rapidly decreasing in size. In recent years, the number of deaths has outpaced the number of births by around 300,000 per year. If the country’s birth rate remains constant, this figure will continue to rise by tens of thousands annually. ...