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Old 2012-12-17, 12:51   Link #2641
ArchmageXin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Regarding promoting procreation:

I find it odd that the Japanese can't swing pro-children legislation past it's senior citizen voter base. Seniors tend to skew conservative, and pro-family legislation tends to be a conservative cause. Furthermore, don't Japanese seniors want to have more grandchildren?

Usually it's the youth vote (<25s) that don't lobby for pro-family legislation, as they still haven't planned to have children yet. I don't see how increasing the political involvement of Japan's youth will create the conditions to pass the legislation to arrest Japan's population decline.

Perhaps Japan needs to look at the pro-family legislation passed in countries like France. France is an interesting case as it managed to reverse a declining birth rate and now maintains a birth rate of 2.01. Not only that, but most of those children (72%) are not being born to immigrants, while a quarter of France's population is of immigrant origin(so the French population has similar fertility rates to the immigrant population).
But there is a problem France's economy is terrible and now children are without jobs after college...You need population growth---but you also need a backbone to support any incentive programs.

The very last thing you need is a China-scenario where an aggressive pro-birth campaign then lead to vicious population curbing plans due to over-growth. Right now from what I read Japan has one of the most expensive food cost (due to farm lobby and a decline interest in farming by the younger generation), does Japan has a plan to feed an "growing" population?
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Old 2012-12-17, 14:14   Link #2642
KiraYamatoFan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Regarding promoting procreation:

I find it odd that the Japanese can't swing pro-children legislation past it's senior citizen voter base. Seniors tend to skew conservative, and pro-family legislation tends to be a conservative cause. Furthermore, don't Japanese seniors want to have more grandchildren?

Usually it's the youth vote (<25s) that don't lobby for pro-family legislation, as they still haven't planned to have children yet. I don't see how increasing the political involvement of Japan's youth will create the conditions to pass the legislation to arrest Japan's population decline.

Perhaps Japan needs to look at the pro-family legislation passed in countries like France. France is an interesting case as it managed to reverse a declining birth rate and now maintains a birth rate of 2.01. Not only that, but most of those children (72%) are not being born to immigrants, while a quarter of France's population is of immigrant origin(so the French population has similar fertility rates to the immigrant population).
I was wondering the same thing too and I almost forgot about France. As you say it, we talk about a complete turnaround in birth rates.

I know the situation is not all perfect in France because of the shortage of jobs. However having an increase in the population also means that the fools sitting on top of the country will be forcede to respond to the growing population and change the system to fit everyone in. Just throw the archaic parts of the system down the trash bin already!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchmageXin View Post
Right now from what I read Japan has one of the most expensive food cost (due to farm lobby and a decline interest in farming by the younger generation), does Japan has a plan to feed a "growing" population?
I think that's too easy to blame the declining interest in farming; heck, we see that everywhere among the G8 countries, including Canada for God's sake. However considering that, I think someone someday will need to axe the farm lobby, which is getting weaker with a shrinking labour force but are still managing to hold the entire population hostage with their crazy pricing on foods.
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Old 2012-12-17, 16:46   Link #2643
Terrestrial Dream
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willx View Post
Japanese Nationalism Swells in Tokyo’s Geek District






http://kotaku.com/5968981/japanese-n...-geek-district

Interesting that seeing flags waving about is causing consternation among some of the populous. Coming from a western nation, a certain degree of national pride is expected, but it seems like there are mixed feelings about it due to people blaming nationalism and fascism for the militarism of the nation / suffering post-war. I'm personally not against the proposed constitutional amendments, but I wonder if it'll ever come to pass.

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I am actually against Japan changing constitution, for now. I do not trust some of these nutjobs in Japan, if there were less crazies I would be more incline to let Japan expand their military. Hell, I am not even against Japan having nuclear weapons because of its neighbors, but as of right now I can't trust them.
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Old 2012-12-17, 16:49   Link #2644
sneaker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Not only that, but most of those children (72%) are not being born to immigrants, while a quarter of France's population is of immigrant origin(so the French population has similar fertility rates to the immigrant population).
Got a source for that?
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Old 2012-12-17, 16:52   Link #2645
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
I find it odd that the Japanese can't swing pro-children legislation past it's senior citizen voter base. Seniors tend to skew conservative, and pro-family legislation tends to be a conservative cause. Furthermore, don't Japanese seniors want to have more grandchildren?
I would imagine it depends on how the issue is portrayed. If subsidies are discussed in "zero-sum" terms, suggesting that money spent on families would mean reductions to old-age pensions, then it's not hard to imagine pensioners would not be interested in expanding support for families.

Then there is always the notion of whether those being subsidized are "deserving." Presumably if you are from a generation when having children was not subsidized, you might find it hard to sympathize with young families today. I bet few Japanese people have a clue about that $77,000 figure the Times cited. I suspect if asked in a poll what it costs to raise a child over the first five years of life, the answers would be half that figure or less.
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Old 2012-12-17, 17:02   Link #2646
ArchmageXin
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Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I would imagine it depends on how the issue is portrayed. If subsidies are discussed in "zero-sum" terms, suggesting that money spent on families would mean reductions to old-age pensions, then it's not hard to imagine pensioners would not be interested in expanding support for families.

Then there is always the notion of whether those being subsidized are "deserving." Presumably if you are from a generation when having children was not subsidized, you might find it hard to sympathize with young families today. I bet few Japanese people have a clue about that $77,000 figure the Times cited. I suspect if asked in a poll what it costs to raise a child over the first five years of life, the answers would be half that figure or less.
Actually, I am not surprised the figure is not higher, especially in rural Japan-I was reading about how Japan had schools with 3 teachers and 1 student. Japan would need to consolidate many of these declining small villages for the purpose of delivering social services.
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Old 2012-12-17, 17:10   Link #2647
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I would imagine it depends on how the issue is portrayed. If subsidies are discussed in "zero-sum" terms, suggesting that money spent on families would mean reductions to old-age pensions, then it's not hard to imagine pensioners would not be interested in expanding support for families.

Then there is always the notion of whether those being subsidized are "deserving." Presumably if you are from a generation when having children was not subsidized, you might find it hard to sympathize with young families today. I bet few Japanese people have a clue about that $77,000 figure the Times cited. I suspect if asked in a poll what it costs to raise a child over the first five years of life, the answers would be half that figure or less.
It's not because older generations haven't fought for families being subsidized in other times that it gives them the right to leave scraps for young families to feed upon when the situation has very different parameters. With all due respect, I'd bluntly call that selfishness and a pathological lack of consideration for the future. Each and everyone of us will be reminded that we are past our due date;from the looks of it, many people in Japan need this wake-up call no matter how harsh it will be.

Either way, anything (mindsets, policies, etc.) that doesn't help future generations is just fundamentally plain wrong when numbers are on the table to prove how bad the issue is getting at without a more serious course of action here.
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Old 2012-12-17, 20:55   Link #2648
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Why do Japanese politicians wave fish?
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Tokyo (Dec 18, Tue): No, we're not talking about trout slapping.

One of the victorious candidates in Japan's general election on Sunday appeared in front of cheering supporters holding a large fish. Why?

The politician was Mr Shinjiro Koizumi, son of the retired former Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, who was re-elected to represent his father's former constituency for the conservative Liberal Democratic Party.

The fish was a tai, usually translated into English as "sea bream", or "red sea bream", or sometimes just as "snapper".

The fish is not a prop used by politicians alone. In fact, it is more commonly seen held aloft by winning sumo wrestlers — or on dinner plates to celebrate a happy occasion. One reason given for this in Japan is the similarity between the word "tai", and the word for "joyous", "auspicious" or "deserving celebration": omedetai.

However, Professor Ian Neary, of Oxford University, says it is actually "slightly unusual" for a politician to brandish a fish when celebrating victory. "It's what sumo wrestlers do," he says. "The bigger the fish the better. It shows how tough they are."

When politicians do it, "it's mainly about mimicking what sumo wrestlers are seen to do after they win a tournament".

The wrestler holds the fish with one beefy hand. The politician may need two.

The Japanese love of the tai, however, is not explained by its name alone. It is also one of the best-tasting fish. Professor Tomoya Akimichi, a maritime anthropologist at Japan's Research Institute for Humanity and Nature, says it has long been considered the "king of fish" in Japan, eaten for at least 5,000 years, and once presented as an annual offering to the emperor.

BBC
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Old 2012-12-18, 00:50   Link #2649
DonQuigleone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ArchmageXin View Post
But there is a problem France's economy is terrible and now children are without jobs after college...You need population growth---but you also need a backbone to support any incentive programs.
Don't want to derail the thread, but I don't think the two are necessarily directly linked. The economy always tends to grow in proportion to the number of working aged people. That's why it's a fallacy to believe that immigration always leads to unemployment (though it can under certain quite specific circumstances).

Quote:
Originally Posted by KiraYamatoFan View Post
I think that's too easy to blame the declining interest in farming; heck, we see that everywhere among the G8 countries, including Canada for God's sake. However considering that, I think someone someday will need to axe the farm lobby, which is getting weaker with a shrinking labour force but are still managing to hold the entire population hostage with their crazy pricing on foods.
Not an authority on this, but doesn't the Japanese government put large tariffs on food imports? That might be what is causing the high prices.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sneaker View Post
Got a source for that?
Here. You can check the sources yourself. France has been very successful in increasing it's birth rates.

That said, figuring out why some countries have higher birth rates then others is tricky. Ireland has little in the way of direct incentives but still has one of the highest fertility rates in Europe. Likewise, the USA still has little trouble in keeping it's fertility rates up in it's general population.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SeijiSensei View Post
I would imagine it depends on how the issue is portrayed. If subsidies are discussed in "zero-sum" terms, suggesting that money spent on families would mean reductions to old-age pensions, then it's not hard to imagine pensioners would not be interested in expanding support for families.

Then there is always the notion of whether those being subsidized are "deserving." Presumably if you are from a generation when having children was not subsidized, you might find it hard to sympathize with young families today. I bet few Japanese people have a clue about that $77,000 figure the Times cited. I suspect if asked in a poll what it costs to raise a child over the first five years of life, the answers would be half that figure or less.
I don't know. From what I've seen most Japanese parents are very keen on helping their kids (and certainly are willing to go much farther then most western parents). Furthermore, I find it difficult to believe that they aren't interacting with their own kids/grandkids and seeing the financial difficulties they're in. The elderly don't live in a bubble shielded from seeing the problems of the younger generation.

Furthermore, the rural elderly must be seeing how their communities are becoming deserted and wondering how they're going to keep them from dying out.

As a country dominated by conservative politics, more kids would seem to hit the buttons of almost every constituency. Of course they haven't managed to do anything about it so I'm pretty stumped.
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Old 2012-12-18, 09:21   Link #2650
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Remains of man in armour found in 'Pompeii of Japan'
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Tokyo (Dec 18, Tue): The remains of a high-caste man wearing armour who was buried by hot ash — possibly as he tried to calm the wrath of an erupting volcano — have been found in an area known as the "Pompeii of Japan".

Archaeologists say they have unearthed the well-preserved body of a sixth-century man who had apparently turned to face a flow of molten rock as it gushed through his settlement.

"Under normal circumstances, you would flee if pyroclastic flows are rushing towards you and bringing waves of heat. But this person died facing it," said Mr Shinichiro Ohki, of Gunma Archaeological Research Foundation.

"Maybe, if he were someone of a high position, he might have been praying, or doing something in the direction of the volcano and attempting to appease its anger," he told AFP yesterday.

The remains, along with a part of an infant's skull, were found in the Kanai Higashiura dig in Gunma prefecture, roughly 110km (70 miles) northwest of Tokyo, at the site of the volcanic Mount Haruna.

The area is known to enthusiasts as the "Pompeii of Japan" a reference to the Roman city near modern-day Naples buried by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD.

AFP
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Old 2012-12-18, 11:58   Link #2651
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Found this on 9gag.



Is this an ACTUAL Japanese magazine?
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Old 2012-12-18, 12:48   Link #2652
ArchmageXin
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Don't want to derail the thread, but I don't think the two are necessarily directly linked. The economy always tends to grow in proportion to the number of working aged people. That's why it's a fallacy to believe that immigration always leads to unemployment (though it can under certain quite specific circumstances).

Not an authority on this, but doesn't the Japanese government put large tariffs on food imports? That might be what is causing the high prices.

Here. You can check the sources yourself. France has been very successful in increasing it's birth rates.

That said, figuring out why some countries have higher birth rates then others is tricky. Ireland has little in the way of direct incentives but still has one of the highest fertility rates in Europe. Likewise, the USA still has little trouble in keeping it's fertility rates up in it's general population.

I don't know. From what I've seen most Japanese parents are very keen on helping their kids (and certainly are willing to go much farther then most western parents). Furthermore, I find it difficult to believe that they aren't interacting with their own kids/grandkids and seeing the financial difficulties they're in. The elderly don't live in a bubble shielded from seeing the problems of the younger generation.

Furthermore, the rural elderly must be seeing how their communities are becoming deserted and wondering how they're going to keep them from dying out.

As a country dominated by conservative politics, more kids would seem to hit the buttons of almost every constituency. Of course they haven't managed to do anything about it so I'm pretty stumped.
maybe, that anime is the blame?

I mean, how many anime or manga deal with pregnancy outside of hentai mags anyway? Are girls subconsciously being drilled expect every mate must be a prince out of a Shoujo manga, and every guy see themselves are Harem LN MCs with a train of aggressive foreign girls? With the coming of "3D virtual girlfriend," wouldn't that make things worse?
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Old 2012-12-18, 12:52   Link #2653
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Originally Posted by SaintessHeart View Post
Found this on 9gag.

Is this an ACTUAL Japanese magazine?
http://www.amazon.co.jp/gp/search?ie...A8%E3%82%A2%22
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Old 2012-12-18, 19:15   Link #2654
sneaker
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Here. You can check the sources yourself. France has been very successful in increasing it's birth rates.
Thx. I see you were probably talking about the 72.7% of children that fit the "Both parents born in France" category, which I would personally regard as a very strict definition as it does not include children born to second generation immigrants. Also, in the table above the one you listed you can see that immigrant women have higher birth rates than the average. Especially those from Africa and Turkey.

Last edited by sneaker; 2012-12-18 at 19:54.
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Old 2012-12-18, 23:04   Link #2655
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Not an authority on this, but doesn't the Japanese government put large tariffs on food imports? That might be what is causing the high prices.
Can't say for sure, but it would logically have to do with the farm lobby working to try selling homegrown products. However even then, producing homegrown products looks to be expensive in Japan too and that's what usually happens when a cartel is running business, whether it is about food, drugs, gas, etc. That's why I think the government will need to axe the farm lobby and thus reduce tariffs on food imports.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Here. You can check the sources yourself. France has been very successful in increasing it's birth rates.

That said, figuring out why some countries have higher birth rates then others is tricky. Ireland has little in the way of direct incentives but still has one of the highest fertility rates in Europe. Likewise, the USA still has little trouble in keeping it's fertility rates up in it's general population.
If Japan was mostly of Catholic/Christian faith, I guess fertility rate wouldn't be an issue... just kidding. That aside, the issue at hand remains about how the Japanese government should put its priority on the future instead of ever relying on the same old people even when time to call "expiry date" on them has come. As you mentioned, the best way for the economy to grow is to increase the working aged force, but a whole chapter about that was skipped some time ago and we end up with the current problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post
Furthermore, the rural elderly must be seeing how their communities are becoming deserted and wondering how they're going to keep them from dying out.

As a country dominated by conservative politics, more kids would seem to hit the buttons of almost every constituency. Of course they haven't managed to do anything about it so I'm pretty stumped.
As I wrote before, the same phenomenon of deserting the countryside is seen everywhere else in other G8 countries. It's a matter or reorganizing agriculture and breeding methods in order to keep the "business" alive if that's what they mean.

Please explain the last paragraph. I'm at loss here.

P.S. I also think more anime/manga series should also add something about having children. The most powerful tool all media have in Japan to send widespread messages should be put to use in preaching something for future generations.
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Old 2012-12-19, 00:34   Link #2656
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Japan is overpopulated. They should just tough it out until their population is about 100 million or less and then busy themselves with increasing birthrates. Sure their economy will get worse but hey that's better than there not being a livable Japan in a couple hundred years right?
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Old 2012-12-19, 02:25   Link #2657
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Originally Posted by LeoXiao View Post
Japan is overpopulated. They should just tough it out until their population is about 100 million or less and then busy themselves with increasing birthrates. Sure their economy will get worse but hey that's better than there not being a livable Japan in a couple hundred years right?


I hope you're joking. Indonesia are doing just fine with over 230 mlllion for a country made of several islands, a country that has gone through political turmoil and rapid changes of their own. OK, Indonesia is not Japan in terms of economical power right now, but still.

On the other hand, South Korea are currently holding 50 million people in a surface area less than a third of the entire land surface area of Japan. I don't see them complaining of overpopulation as a hindering factor to the economy. I don't see what it has to do with Japan here.
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Old 2012-12-19, 02:49   Link #2658
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Isn't most of Japan mountains, forcing 130 million people into super-dense cities? And yeah actually Korea and Indonesia are rather overpopulated too. It's not just a Japanese thing. Sure, with 130 million Japan is still livable. If the population keeps growing like people seem to want it to, how would life be like with 150 million? 200? 400? When and how to stop? Japan seems quite overcrowded as it is, 100 million is probably already pushing things. They have to import a lot of their food from other countries; what happens when those places become overpopulated themselves (imagine America with 1-2 billion people; yes it could support that many but then it wouldn't be able to export as much)?

For now, a bigger population means more productivity and that to me seems to be why people are concerned about low birthrates and an aging populace. Of course a nation's economy becomes less powerful as its manpower decreases, since it can't produce as much. But when those masses of people are driven to live in slums and in danger of starvation (due to a physical lack of space and food), the more there are, the more the nation is screwed.

Basically, it's tough on Japan now that they are aging as a people, but that is ultimately more sustainable in the long run.
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Old 2012-12-19, 03:03   Link #2659
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KiraYamatoFan View Post
Can't say for sure, but it would logically have to do with the farm lobby working to try selling homegrown products. However even then, producing homegrown products looks to be expensive in Japan too and that's what usually happens when a cartel is running business, whether it is about food, drugs, gas, etc. That's why I think the government will need to axe the farm lobby and thus reduce tariffs on food imports.
I'd say this is probably right. From what I've heard, 99% of the rice eaten in japan is grown domestically. That sounds like a protectionist result to me.

Quote:
If Japan was mostly of Catholic/Christian faith, I guess fertility rate wouldn't be an issue...
Well, Ireland still hasn't legalized Abortion...

Quote:
As I wrote before, the same phenomenon of deserting the countryside is seen everywhere else in other G8 countries. It's a matter or reorganizing agriculture and breeding methods in order to keep the "business" alive if that's what they mean.
I don't know, I've been to rural communities in Britain and Ireland, and I've never found any to be quite as "dead" the way rural communities in Japan are often described.
Quote:
Please explain the last paragraph. I'm at loss here.
The two most powerful political groups (far as I can see) in Japan are Nationalists and Social conservatives. Nationalists should favor pro-children policies as it means more people to enlist in armies and into industrial workforces to compete with foreign countries. Social conservatives are generally pro-family. So given Japan's conservative leanings, it should not be difficult to pass laws to encourage further child bearing. That Japan has not I find odd.

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Originally Posted by LeoXiao View Post
Japan is overpopulated. They should just tough it out until their population is about 100 million or less and then busy themselves with increasing birthrates. Sure their economy will get worse but hey that's better than there not being a livable Japan in a couple hundred years right?
Japan is not necessarily so densely packed as people make it out to be. There are plenty of parts in Japan (particularly far away from Tokyo) that are sparsely populated.
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Old 2012-12-19, 03:16   Link #2660
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Originally Posted by DonQuigleone View Post

Japan is not necessarily so densely packed as people make it out to be. There are plenty of parts in Japan (particularly far away from Tokyo) that are sparsely populated.
Aren't the parts that are not very populated mostly mountains? Or Hokkaido, which is damn cold and not many people want to live there (I would but I like the cold lol).
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