Japanese researchers on May 11 unveiled a population clock that showed the nation’s people could become extinct in 1,000 years because of declining birth rates.
Academics in the northern city of Sendai said that Japan’s population of children aged up to 14, which now stands at 16.6 million, is shrinking at the rate of one every 100 seconds.
Their extrapolations pointed to a Japan with no children left within a millennium.
“If the rate of decline continues, we will be able to celebrate the Children’s Day public holiday on May 5, 3011 as there will be one child,” said Hiroshi Yoshida, an economics professor at Tohoku University.
“But 100 seconds later there will be no children left,” he said. “The overall trend is towards extinction, which started in 1975 when Japan’s fertility rate fell below two.”
Yoshida said he created the population clock to encourage “urgent” discussion of the issue.
Another study released earlier this year showed Japan’s population is expected to shrink to a third of its current 127.7 million over the next century.
TODAY’S WORDS 今日單字
1. extrapolation n.
推斷 (tui1 duan4)
例: The extrapolations of the building’s size made from the measurements of an average room were inaccurate.
2. extinction n.
滅絕 (mie4 jue2)
例: The government set up a research institution to preserve endangered species from extinction.
3. shrink v.
縮減；縮小 (suo1 jian3; suo1 xiao3)
例: My wool jacket shrank about three sizes after I threw it in the dryer.