‘Now or never’: Kishida says Japan has to act on population drop | Politics News

Kishida said the government will take steps to address the slowing birth rate, which has fallen to a record low in 2021.

Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said that Japan must take urgent steps to tackle the country’s falling birth rate and that it is “now or never” for the world’s oldest society.

“Our nation is facing whether it can maintain its social functions,” Kishida said in a policy speech on Monday at the opening of the annual parliament session. now on.

He added: “It is now or never when it comes to policies regarding childbirth and child rearing – it is an issue that cannot wait any longer.

Kishida said a new government agency to tackle the issue would be created in April and he would submit a plan to double the budget for child-related policies in June.

Japan sees a record low number of births in 2021, the latest data available, leading to the largest natural population decline ever.

Adding to the problem, about 28 percent of Japanese are over the age of 65.

For years, the country has maintained strict immigration policies that limit the number of people who can settle in Japan, and experts say it needs to relax its approach to make up for its aging. rapid evolution of society.

In recent years, the government has amended the law to allow more foreigners to live and work in the country with their families.

Japan has a population of about 126 million people. While largely homogeneous, there are about a million people of Chinese descent as well as hundreds of thousands of people of Korean descent.

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