Musk tweet on Japan provokes anger


An Elon Musk tweet saying Japan will "eventually cease to exist" without a higher birth rate has sparked sarcasm and anger - though much of the angst is aimed at a Japanese government many say does little to address the issue.

Musk, the head of electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc, at the weekend tweeted, "At risk of stating the obvious, unless something changes to cause the birth rate to exceed the death rate, Japan will eventually cease to exist. This would be a great loss for the world."

The comment hit a nerve among Japan watchers and in Japan, whose population peaked in 2008 and has declined since due to its low birth rate to about 125 million as of last year despite government warnings and sporadic attempts to grapple with the issue.

But Japan remains the world's third-largest economy, host to global heavyweights ranging from car manufacturers to games developers, and is a key link in global semiconductor supply chains.

"What is even the point of tweeting this?" wrote Tobias Harris, senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.

"The anxieties surrounding Japan's demographic future is not that 'Japan will eventually cease to exist' but rather the profound social dislocations that are occurring as a result of the decline to a lower population level."

Others noted sluggish birthrates plague many nations besides Japan, including Germany - where Tesla has just opened a new factory - and that Japan was simply being hit first.

衝撃の投稿でした。  イーロン・マスク氏(ツイッターから):「日本はいずれ存在しなくなるだろう」  先日、ツイッター社の買収を発表して話題となった、アメリカ・テスラ社の最高経営責任者イーロン・マスク氏。  そのツイッターに「日本が消滅する」とする、衝撃的な投稿をしました。一体、どういうことなのでしょうか?  実は、この投稿は、去年10月時点の日本の総人口が前の年より、過去最大の64万人減少し、およそ1億2550万人となったというニュースに反応したものでした。  イーロン・マスク氏(ツイッターから):「当たり前のことだけど、出生率が死亡率を上回るような変化がない限り、日本はいずれ存在しなくなるだろう。これは、世界にとって大きな損失になる」  マスク氏が注目しているのは、日本の人口減少だけではありません。 - ANNnewsCH