Japan Begins Measures To Increase Childbirth

"Measures to address the dropping birthrate are a high priority for the Kishida administration," said Masanobu Ogura, the minister in charge of the measures and the meeting's chairperson.

The administration had its first meeting on Thursday to consider what Prime Minister Fumio Kishida called “historical measures” to combat Japan’s dropping birthrate.

Officials from the welfare ministry, education ministry, and finance ministry, as well as an office engaged in the establishment of the Children and Families Agency in April, attended the conference. Members intend to propose specific actions by the end of March.

“Measures to address the dropping birthrate are a high priority for the Kishida administration,” said Masanobu Ogura, the minister in charge of the measures and the meeting’s chairperson.

“We want to break down ministerial silos and develop bold, unique draft proposals.”

Kishida is expected to announce his resolve to roll out significant child care measures next week in a speech to be delivered at the beginning of a new parliamentary session.

Increased allowances for families with young children, expanded public child care facilities such as after-school day care and postnatal care, and work-style reform that allows families to have a better work-life balance are expected to be explored.

Currently, each child receives a monthly child care allowance of ¥15,000 until the age of three.

Following that, a ¥10,000 allowance is paid until the child completes junior high school.

The proposed measures could increase the ages of children eligible for the stipend or provide further assistance to families with multiple children.

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