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Japan’s Population Shrinks for Third Year as Aging Increases

Japan’s population slid for a third year with the proportion of people over the age of 65 at a global record, underscoring the challenge the world’s most-indebted economy faces in financing its aging society.

The population declined by 0.17 percent to 127.3 million as of Oct. 1, as the country maintains one of the world’s lowest birth rates. People age 65 or older made up one fourth of the total, the highest-ever percentage, as postwar baby boomers head into retirement, the Internal Affairs Ministry said on its website yesterday. That’s the highest of any country in the world, according to the Population Reference Bureau.