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Japan: PM Fumio Kishida To Focus On Child Care As Birth Rate Reaches Its Lowest

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Japan’s health ministry said on Friday that the country’s birth rate has depreciated for the seventh year in 2022 marking its lowest record, indicating a crunch of a population that is reducing and aging at a high rate.

The average number of children that a woman gives birth to in her lifetime or the fertility rate, was 1.25 when compared to the previous lowest rate posted in 2005, 1.2602, and is much below the rate of 2.07 that is required to have a balanced population.

Though Japan is facing high levels of debt, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has made the declining birth rate an important agenda of the government which has plans to spend 3.5 trillion yen ($25 billion) every year to enhance child care and other efforts to help parents.

On a visit to a daycare facility, earlier this week, Kishida said, “The youth population will start decreasing drastically in the 2030s. The period of time until then is our last chance to reverse the trend of dwindling births.”                                                                 

The coronavirus pandemic had led Japan to face major population-related challenges, due to reduced marriages in the last few years resulting in fewer births and the pandemic being partially the cause of increased deaths.

New births in Japan have reduced to a new low of 5% to 770, 747 in 2022, the death rate of the country has spiked up to 9% higher setting a record of 1.57 million, according to the data. The COVID-19 pandemic was the cause of death of more than 47, 000 people in 2022.

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