Prime Minister Fumio Kishida stated on Monday that Japan’s low birth rate and aging population constitute an immediate threat to society and pledged to address the issue by forming a new government agency.
According to World Bank data, Japan has the second-highest proportion of individuals aged 65 and over in the world, behind the tiny principality of Monaco. This problem is particularly serious in Japan, where birth rates are dropping and the proportion of elderly people is second only to Monaco.
“According to estimates, the number of births fell below 800,000 last year,” Kishida said MPs in a policy address marking the start of a new parliament session.
“It is uncertain whether Japan can continue to function as a society,” he stated.
Focusing on issues pertaining to children and child raising is a subject that cannot be postponed or delayed.
The conservative leader stated that his measures, including the April launch of the new Children and Families Agency, were aimed to empower parents and ensure the “sustainability” of the third-largest economy in the world.
Kishida stated that he eventually wants the government’s expenditures on child-related programs to be doubled.
“We must build a social economy that prioritizes children to reverse the (low) birth rate,” he stated.
Japan, with a population of 125 million, has long struggled to provide for its rapidly expanding older population.
In many nations, including Japan’s nearest neighbors, birth rates are declining due to factors such as growing living costs, more women entering the workforce, and people opting to have children later in life.
In 2022, China’s population decreased for the first time in over six decades, according to official data released this week.