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The bright side of Japan's population decline

Older childless singles have much to offer society

The dark side of Japan's demographic outlook is well known: Barring a dramatic shift in immigration policy, the country faces a steady decline in numbers until not long after the year 3000, when the last Japanese in the world will pass away.

But however grim the long term, the short-term effects of this shift are not all bleak. Over the next decades, our aging population offers many economic and social opportunities to shape the country for the better -- and improve people's lives. The question is whether we have the imagination and the courage to make the best of this chance.

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