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November 15, 2004

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Won Joon Choe

A demographic collapse is not unique to Japan in East Asia. According to a much-publicized report, South Korea now has the lowest fertility rate in the world, with Hong Kong & Singapore not too far behind. A short term cause is the deprivations from the IMF crisis & the reluctance of couples to raise children in the midst of economic uncertainty; but the real & long-term cause is the penetration of Western social values & the subsequent onset of Western style social decay in East Asia. I am very sympathetic to Lee Kuan Yew & those who tout the "Asian values" argument (certainly their understanding of Asian culture is more accurate than those of local ignoramuses such as Kim Dae-Jung or Western ideologues such as Christopher Patten, or William Safire), but democraphy will break "Asian values."

Won Joon Choe

Mea culpa--I meant "demography," not "democraphy."

Perhaps my congenital elitist & anti-egalitarian biases shining through--albeit in a subconscious manner? :)

Won Joon Choe

More bad news on South Korean fertility rates:

http://www.koreaherald.co.kr/SITE/data/html_dir/2004/11/20/200411200018.asp

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