Demography news. Japan has announced some population numbers. The country's child population has been falling for 40 straight years, and just hit another record low. "Child" here is defined to be 14 or younger. Japan's child population peaked in 1954 at almost thirty million: the figure at April 1st this year is just less than fifteen million—half the 1954 figure.
Across the water in China, meanwhile, the ChiComs are being awfully cagey about releasing their census numbers. On the usual schedule, the 2020 census data should have been released in early April. It wasn't; the authorities said it would be late April; and … we're still waiting.
A common theory among China-watchers is that the numbers for fertility are lower than expected, and the ChiComs don't want this known.
Other experts pooh-pooh this. There are, they say, a lot of complicated algorithms involved in modern head-counting, and the covid pandemic has buggered them up.
I don't know the truth of the matter. I do know, though, that I called this in my galaxy-spanning 2009 best-seller We Are Doomed, chapter eleven:
Not long ago, giving some talks after returning from a trip to China … I was asked about the possibility of a future Japan-China conflict. I replied that unless it happens very soon, any such conflict will have to be fought out on the shuffleboard court.