PM: It’s ‘now or never’ to stop Japan’s shrinking population

TOKYO, 24 January 2023, (TON): Japanese Prime minister Fumio Kishida pledged on Monday to take urgent steps to tackle the country’s declining birth rate, saying it was “now or never” for one of the world’s oldest societies.

Japan has in recent years been trying to encourage its people to have more children with promises of cash bonuses and better benefits, but it remains one of the most expensive places in the world to raise a child, according to surveys.

Births plunged to a new record low last year, according to official estimates, dropping below 800,000 for the first time – a watershed moment that came eight years earlier than the government had expected.

That most likely precipitated a further population decline in a country where the median age is 49, the highest in the world behind only the tiny city-state of Monaco.

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