This observation may exist somewhere else. I just haven’t seen it.
As societies get older they become sclerotic. By ‘older’ I mean nothing more than a rising median age. Japan has an aging population as does most of Europe and especially Eastern Europe. The country with the worst aging problem is Germany. Germany is putting a scorpion on its back by trying to lower its population age with Arab immigration. Japan gave up trying to fix the aging problem.
By ‘sclerotic’ I mean that bureaucracy intrudes on everyday life to the point of draining vitality.
The example from my 45 years of spending time in Japan is street life. As recently as 30 years ago I could buy beer and sake from vending machines on the street. Everywhere. Banned for no good reason.
A decade later smoking in coffee shops was put in air conditioned rooms and signs were put on the street saying ‘no smoking in this sidewalk area’. Again no good reason. The smoking research in Japan never showed any effect of ‘secondhand smoke’.
Prior to this, young people in bands and young dancers practiced in a main street on Sundays that runs through a large central Tokyo park. Tens of thousands of young people paraded in great clothes around the bands in one of the greatest street events in the world. Gone, when the city tried to move the event to the fancy Ginza district.
In San Francisco, my lifetime is the measure. The Golden Gate Bridge and the 8 mile Bay Bridge were finished in 1937 after 3 years of construction. An earthquake in 1989 destroyed part of the Bay Bridge. Requiring a new 4 mile section. That took 12 years to build thanks to myriad bureaucratic rules ranging from ‘worker safety’ regulations, to ‘no environmental impact on anything’ laws and buy American preferences and union shop rules.
That is what ‘sclerotic society’ means. The whole society gets older, less vital, more crotchety and dies a slow death while complaining about noisy kids and rambunctious young people.
(You can find data on national median age in wikipedia.)