Japan’s falling birth rate challenges its fragile demography – UCA News

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Creating an environment where family takes precedence over work will definitely improve things

Japan’s falling birth rate challenges its fragile demography

This picture taken on March 16, 2019, shows life-size dolls depicting a family sitting in front of a house in the tiny village of Nagoro in western Japan, where life-sized dolls outnumber humans 10 to one, the product of a bid to counter the emptiness and loneliness felt in the village, like many other places in the nation decimated by depopulation. (Photo: AFP)

By Cristian Martini Grimaldi

Published: March 02, 2023 12:27 PM GMT

Japan is facing a significant demographic challenge. On Feb. 28, the health ministry announced that the number of births in Japan in 2022 was 799,728, falling under 800,000 for the first time since such figures were first compiled in 1899. This would be a significant drop from the 1.5 million babies born to Japanese parents in the early 80s.

This preliminary data included babies born to non-Japanese parents, and also Japanese parents living abroad. This marks a decline of 44,000 births from 2021, representing a decrease of 5.3 percent.

The natural population decline, calculated by deducting the number of births from the number of deaths, was 782,305 in 2022, representing a record decrease. This means that Japan’s population is shrinking rapidly, which poses significant challenges to the country’s economy and social welfare systems.

The decline in births is driven by several factors, where the high cost of raising children, the increasing number of women entering the workforce, and the trend towards delaying marriage and parenthood are just one piece of the story.

To address this issue, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has pledged, again, to release an unprecedented package of measures by the end of March. He has called for the doubling of government spending on children, which is currently around 2 percent of Japan’s budget.

The package is expected to include measures such as increasing financial support for families with children, expanding access to childcare services, and encouraging companies to offer more flexible work arrangements to support working parents.


Japan’s falling birth rate challenges its fragile demography – UCA News

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