Shrinking Japan: Tackling a Worker Shortage

Who will sustain the national economy?

By the 2050s, Japan's total population could dip below 100 million. If so, the working-age demographic would see a drop of 35 million from its peak, and the country's population pyramid would become "coffin-shaped." How to prop up the dwindling labor pool? The elderly now makes up 12.4% of the workforce, the highest proportion in the world. But they cannot take on everything, as many jobs involve heavy labor or require specific licenses. Hopes are pinned on those from overseas, who already play a vital role in large-scale developments in central Tokyo. But global competition to attract young workers is fierce. What will the future hold? A look into the challenges being tackled on the ground.