In the course of my duties I had a chance to look at this pair of population pyramids from Japan in Figures 2007.
I find the figure on the right, the one that is supposed to fill me with horrified awe, only midly intriguing. The year 2050 is so far out as to be meaningless to me.
The population pyramid on the left though, from 2005, fills me with a jokey horror. I suddenly feel like the white kid with the freckles and the curly reddish hair in the non-descript Hollywood horror flick who, because he is facing in the right direction when all the other teenage protagonists are looking the wrong way, engrossed in some pointless activity, has to say:
"Uh guys? Guys? I think we have a bigger problem over here..."
Except that the sleeves upon which I am pulling in my imagination are not those of some band of attractive post-pubescents but those of Prime Minister Fukuda, Ozawa Ichirō, Fukushima Mizuho, Ōta Nakahiro, Ōshima Tadamori and the whole merry crew performing their Indian Ocean dispatch dispute pantomime to the amusement of only themselves.
"Uh...guys? Guys? Remember about the pensions problem we used to fret so much in the 90's before we decided to go for economic growth first? Well...uh...does anyone remember the age at which we said people will probably be expecting to retire?"
Uh-oh. Wow, where did the time go?