Japan is, sorry for the cliché, the canary in the coalmine when it comes to shrinking populations (along with Detroit and a handful of other cities and countries). We are all headed in the same direction but Nippon arrived first. So what do you do with infrastructure (which was built to stimulate growth!) that you no longer need and can no longer afford to maintain? Blow it up. In a weird way, one of the key tenets of American-style capitalism is showing the way.
Japan Eyes Demolishing Unmanageable Infrastructure - Japan Real Time – WSJ