He is charismatic and unpredictable.
His personality is divisive.
Some describe him as the most revolutionary CEO of recent years. Others see in him a CEO who is the mirror of an era dominated by trends that follow one another at the speed of a short video on TikTok.
We stick all the labels on him: even CEO, megalomaniac. But Elon Musk has succeeded in getting everyone to agree on one important thing: he is filling a great leadership void that the world is currently experiencing because of the mistrust of political leaders.
Musk has seen his popularity explode in recent months. For those who love numbers, Musk managed in a few weeks to gain millions of followers on the social network Twitter (TWTR) – Get the report from Twitter, Inc., which he describes as the “de facto public square” of the Internet. He has over 91.5 million followers at the time of writing.
As a reminder, the serial entrepreneur is in the process of acquiring Twitter for 44 billion dollars. He would thus add to his already busy schedule — Tesla (TSLA) – Get the Tesla Inc report, SpaceX, The Boring Company, Neuralink — another company with a global presence. In some countries, Twitter and other social networks are often a place for political opponents and minorities to express themselves.
“Japan will eventually cease to exist”
Musk therefore seems to be embracing his new status. He now expresses himself on almost all subjects, economic, political, geopolitical, aware that his voice has an impact and can launch a debate or shine the spotlight on a given issue. Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February, Musk has just touched on another international topic.
The billionaire, whose fortune is estimated at 247 billion dollars as of May 7, according to Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is worried about the decline of the Japanese population.
“At the risk of stating the obvious, unless something changes so that the birth rate exceeds the death rate, Japan will eventually cease to exist,” Musk tweeted May 7. “It would be a great loss to the world.”
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The billionaire’s cry of alarm followed a report on a story reporting Japan’s continued population decline.
“Japan’s population drops from a record 644,000 to 125.5 million in 2021 @elonmusk,” Whole Mars Catalog tweeted at Musk.
The fear of the Tech mogul seems to be shared by many Twitter users, who recall for example that the Japanese population has been in decline for many years.
“It’s true and it’s something to be concerned about,” one user commented. “Japan is so important to the world – we need Japan not only to survive, but also to thrive. Hundreds of millions of people around the world admire, love and deeply respect the Japanese people. @NikkeiAsia.”
“We of working age are struggling to escape this suffering. Thank you for caring about Japan. It’s very encouraging,” another user posted.
“Unless something changes to cause CHILD ABDUCTION BY JAPANESE PARENTS, Japan will eventually cease to exist. It would be a great loss to the world,” another user said.
‘Children’s second wall’
In 2021, Japan’s population shrank from 644,000 to 125.5 million people year-on-year, according to official figures. And 2021 marked the eleventh consecutive year of decline. While this is the largest annual decline, the Japanese decline is nothing new.
For decades, Japan has been plagued with a serious problem of declining birth rates. The distribution of births in Japan is amply documented. The Archipelago experienced tremendous demographic acceleration in the 20th century, rising between 1920 and 2008, the year of its population peak, from 55 to 128 million inhabitants. It was on the back of this wave that the Japanese “economic miracle” took place, a creation of wealth unprecedented in the history of humanity. The post-war figures are especially dizzying. In 1946, the Japanese fertility rate reached 4.5 children per woman and 3.6 million children were born that year.
But since then, there’s been a phenomenon called the “child’s second wall,” say demographers. Generational renewal is not guaranteed in the country because the fertility index peaks at 1.4 children per woman instead of 2.1. Many say they ideally want two or three children, but often they only have one because it costs too much.
Successive governments have taken measures to try to stem this demographic crisis when nearly 30% of the population is already over 65 years old.