Japanese population declined by record number in 2013
Cherry Blossom Walk in Osaka
Flickr user Gaheilon
The Japanese population, which has been shrinking for the last couple of years, declined by a record 244,000 people in 2013, according to health ministry estimates.
If the current trend persists, the BBC reports the country will lose a third of its population in the next 50 years.
An estimated 1,031,000 babies were born last year, a decline of about 6,000 from the previous year.
With a quarter of the population over 65 years of age, the number of people who died in 2013 was 1,275,000, an increase of 19,000 from 2012.