Japanese population fall creates policy challenge
Japan's population fell by a record last year, highlighting the challenges faced by the country in terms of maintaining economic growth and controlling rising welfare spending.
According to official statistics, Japan's population fell by 0.2% to 127.8 million in 2011. The number of people aged over 65 has risen too, to 23.3% up from 23% in 2010.
The BBC's Roland Buerk in Tokyo, says the falling population is presenting the government with difficult policy challenges.