Ten years ago, William Okeke was an angry and unemployed youth in Kinshasa who survived on a measly US$2 a day. His wife, Meriam, was a vegetable seller who barely made more than that. Fast forward ten years and their lives cannot be more different.
With Japanese population in decline and the odd newborn baby being treated as a gift from the gods, the Japanese government began a large scale immigration effort in 2018. Youths like Okeke and their wives were being recruited and trained in Africa after which they were flown to Japan in order to save what was left to be saved of the once flourishing nation.
Today Okeke is on call as a personal nurse for a wealthy family (who prefers real human touch as opposed to RoboNurse which the rest of the geriatric population has to make do with). On the side, he works as a Re-Wilder and tries to undo the environmental damage that has built up for the last few decades. Meriam works as a part-time drone engineer – that’s when’s she’s not heavily pregnant. The government subsidy for children is substantial, and a huge incentive to have large families.
Midori Akimoto, who spear-headed this program, says it’s a win-win for Japan: “We get a working-age population that takes care of the elderly while simultaneously contributing taxes and babies to keep the gears of society churning.”
The Okekes and their offspring will eventually be shipped back to their homeland as all immigrants receive a one-way ticket back to Africa on their 60th birthday. Critics say it’s nothing less than a crime against humanity, treating geriatrics like that and splitting up the African families as they age. But surely Japan doesn’t want to add more numbers to its silver-haired population. Who knows, a few decades from now they might be exporting babies and importing grandmas!