He stated that it is a case of "now or never" due to the country's population being 125 million, with an estimated 800,000 births last year. In the 1970s, that figure was over two million.
Japan's Aging Population Puts a Strain on the Workforce
The issue is particularly critical in Japan as life expectancy has risen in recent decades, leading to an increase in older citizens and fewer workers to support them. According to World Bank data, Japan now has the world's second-highest proportion of people aged 65 and over, around 28%, after the small state of Monaco.
Japan's Government Creates a New Agency to Address the Falling Birth Rate
Mr. Kishida stated, "Focusing attention on policies regarding children and child-rearing is an issue that cannot wait and cannot be postponed." He aims to double the government's spending on child-related programs and establish a new agency in April to tackle the issue. However, previous attempts by Japanese governments to implement similar strategies have failed.
Experts Advocate for Loosening Immigration Laws to Address Japan's Aging Population
Researchers have projected that Japan's population will fall from a peak of 128 million in 2017 to less than 53 million by the end of the century. The current population is just under 125 million, according to official data. Despite some relaxation, Japan continues to implement strict immigration laws; however, some experts suggest that these laws should be loosened further to address the aging population.