Beset by aging population and low birth rates, Japan is facing a slow-moving crisis: researchers calculated that it could become extinct in 1,000 years!
Academics in the northern city of Sendai said that Japan's population of children aged up to 14, which now stands at 16.6 million, is shrinking at the rate of one every 100 seconds.
Their extrapolations pointed to a Japan with no children left within a millennium.
"If the rate of decline continues, we will be able to celebrate the Children's Day public holiday on May 5, 3011 as there will be one child," said Hiroshi Yoshida, an economics professor at Tohoku University.
"But 100 seconds later there will be no children left," he said. "The overall trend is towards extinction, which started in 1975 when Japan's fertility rate fell below two."