The graph below shows a steady decline in rural population. Demographers expect Japan’s population to fall from 128 million to 100 million over the next half-century, the first peacetime fall in population.
In rural areas of the country, the population has been falling steadily for decades. In 1970, 82 per cent of farmers were under 65; in 2005, only 42 per cent. As farming is a collective effort in Japan, unlike the independent farmers of Europe and North America, the young play an important role.