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Japan needs to step up policy efforts to boost lagging birthrate

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The Cabinet on May 29 agreed on an outline of the policy efforts in the next five years to stem Japan’s demographic decline due to low birthrates.

The government’s strategy for tackling the serious and intractable problem through a set of measures including child care support will cover the period through 2025.

An estimated 864,000 babies were born in Japan last year. Alarmed by the faster-than-expected pace at which the number of children in this nation is sinking, the government has compiled a new package of measures to reverse the trend featuring benefits for child care leave, expansion of child care support and financial incentives for infertility treatments.

But it is not clear how all these measures will be financed. The government will have to determine ways to budget for the package.

In addition to the need to spend a colossal amount of money to mitigate the economic damage from the new coronavirus pandemic, the government is also facing an expected sharp drop in tax revenues due to a serious economic downturn.

The government has........

© The Asahi Shimbun