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Category Archives: World News

Researchers: Japan will have no kids under age 15 by 3011

Japan will have no children under the age of 15 in 999 years if current trends continue, according to researchers at Tohoku University Graduate School of Economics in Sendai.

Japan’s Child Population Clock, as developed at the Tohoku University Graduate School of Economics

A population clock developed by the researchers shows the child population count at any given moment based on declining percentages released recently by Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, according to a news release by Professor Hiroshi Yoshida, the research leader who is an expert on the economics of aging.

Japan’s under-15 population fell to 16.6 million in 2012 from 16.9 million in 2011, Yoshida said.

Assuming the number of children will continue to drop, researchers set Japan’s child population clock to drop one every 100 seconds, he said.

“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,” Yoshida said. “But Children’s Day 3012 will never come.”  Read More

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U.S. and Afghanistan Reach Partnership Agreement

The United States ambassador, Ryan C. Crocker, and Afghanistan’s national security adviser, Rangin Spanta, completed the wording of the draft, which will now be sent to President Hamid Karzai and to the Afghan Parliament for review and approval before it is signed by the presidents of both countries, according to American and Afghan officials.

“We believe we have a final text which will be presented to the president and also presented to Parliament for final consultation and approval before the signature by the two presidents,” said an Afghan official, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the official did not have permission to speak to the news media.

“It covers the broad spectrum of the existing, broad-based, comprehensive partnership between the two countries with the view towards sustaining that for at least another decade beyond the end of transition in 2014,” the official said.

The document outlines the two countries’ future relationship rather than specifying exact amounts of support or programs, but officials from both countries have said that they hope that it will send a signal to insurgents and other destabilizing forces here that the United States is not going to abandon Afghanistan as it did in the 1990s after the Soviets were driven out.  Rather, the Americans will continue to support the country in many areas.

Negotiations on the document started more than nine months ago but were delayed repeatedly over the sensitive issues of night raids by American troops and the American operation of detention facilities.

Ultimately negotiators agreed to write detailed separate agreements on those two issues and signed a memorandum of understanding on the transfer of detention operations to the Afghan government in March. In April, they signed a companion memorandum handing final authority on night raids to Afghan security forces, who are now carrying out all raids unless American assistance is requested.

With those two issues resolved, the strategic partnership moved quickly to completion. The document promises American economic development support for Afghanistan and help in fields like agriculture and education, as well as security. It does not include any specific commitment of foreign aid because that amount must be authorized and appropriated by Congress and can not be committed by the executive branch.  Read More

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