Speaking of Japan, this long Financial Times Magazine article looks at the question of whether Japan's increased casualisation of its workforce, and general increase in concern for the quality of life amongst its younger generation, is actually a good thing.
It's very detailed and looks at all of the contradictory evidence, including decreasing interest in relationships and a high suicide rate, yet quite high levels of life satisfaction found in a government survey.
There were a couple of points made in passing that I hadn't realised:
Japan’s economy has not performed as wretchedly as is sometimes believed, especially when measured in per capita terms. The unemployment rate, now 4.6 per cent, has never scaled the dreadful heights of the US or Britain, let alone Spain.and:
Although it has risen slightly in recent years, Japan’s fertility rate has fallen to 1.4, well below 2, which is the rate needed to maintain a population. That is higher than South Korea’s 1.23 or Singapore’s 0.78, though – unlike Japan – Singapore supplements its dwindling native population with a steady inflow of immigrants.What the heck is going on with Singapore's birthrate?