Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk has warned about Japan's rapidly-declining population, local media said on Monday.
"At the risk of stating the obvious, unless something changes to cause the birth rate to exceed the death rate, Japan will eventually cease to exist. This would be a great loss for the world," Musk tweeted.
Musk, who has recently acquired Twitter Inc., made the remarks on Sunday in response to a tweet about a Kyodo News article that said the country's population saw its largest drop on record in 2021 after its population peaked in 2008.
The article stated that Japan's population fell by a record 644,000 people to just over 125.5 million in 2021, marking the 11th consecutive year of decline.
The drop was the biggest since 1950, when comparable data became available.
Japan saw 831,000 births last year but the figure was outstripped by 1.44 million deaths, according to government data, Kyodo News said.
A record high of nearly 29 percent of the population were aged 65 and above, while those 14 and below accounted for a record low of 11.8 percent, said the Japan-based agency.
Japan has been grappling with an increasingly greying population, dubbed the "silver tsunami," as Japanese seniors live longer.
The demographic crisis is also being simultaneously punctuated by a declining birthrate, which is creating an ever-increasing vacuum in Japan's workforce, and has led to Japan looking to overseas countries to help prop up its fragile economy.
Under a relaxed visa system, the government has tried to attract foreign workers and trainees, as well as better incentive mothers to return to work after giving birth.
It is not the first time that Musk has mentioned on his Twitter account his concern over a global population "collapse."
Some netizens responding to Musk's tweet took aim at the Japanese government's haphazard approach to dealing with the growing demographic crisis, however, claiming that not enough was being done to reverse the population decline.
Countries including Germany were facing similar population issues, others pointed out in response to Musk's post, and thus it was not a "Japan-specific" phenomenon.