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Monday, January 30, 2023
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Japan’s prime minister rings the bell on declining birthrates: “The country is on the brink of disaster”

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The issue is particularly big in Japan, as life expectancy has increased in recent decades, meaning there is a growing number of elderly people while the number of workers to help them is decreasing

Japan’s birth rate is “on the brink of disaster”, the country’s prime minister has warned, sounding the alarm that the country is at risk of not being able to function as a society due to its falling birth rate.

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The motto followed by the Japanese Prime Minister, Fumio Kishida is “now or never”.

According to the BBC, Japan with a population of 125 million is estimated to have had fewer than 800,000 births last year. In the 1970s, that number was over two million.

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Birth rates are slowing in many countries, but the issue is particularly big in Japan, as life expectancy has increased in recent decades, meaning there is a growing number of elderly people while the number of workers to help them is decreasing.

Japan now has the second highest proportion of people aged 65 and over in the world – about 28% – after Monaco, according to World Bank data.

“Japan is on the brink of whether we can continue to function as a society,” Kishida told lawmakers, adding that “focusing attention on child and parenting policies is an issue that cannot wait and it can’t be postponed,” stressing that the government plans to double its spending on child-related programs.

He also added that the government will double its spending on programs related to children. A new government agency to focus on the issue will be set up in April, he added.

However, Japanese governments have tried to promote similar strategies in the past, without success.

The country’s declining birth rates are due to a number of factors, including rising living costs, more women in education and work, and greater access to contraception, resulting in women choosing to have fewer children.

Last week, China reported its first population decline in 60 years.

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