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Cost of giving birth in Japan

By Rosie Blakely

Coming from a country in which I was ‘spoiled’ with ‘free’ healthcare (and correspondingly high income taxes), the costs of pregnancy and birth were not something that ever entered my mind when thinking of future babies. When it came time for my husband and I to consider starting a family in Japan, however, we were immediately confronted with the reality of the large “start-up” costs of our great family venture. We quickly realized we needed to count the costs and make a plan.

As expected, when it comes to costs, there is a large scale depending on medical facility, location, medical needs and other circumstances. At one end of the scale, birth costs can be completely offset by insurance (and then some), and at the other, families may find themselves upward of ¥1,000,000 out of pocket following the birth of their child.

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© Savvy Tokyo

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Japan has generated its own low birth rates and aging population due to mismanagement and greed. Universal healthcare as is standards in many countries including developing countries as well as industrial leading nation is as important as universal schooling and social security for a country and its long term ability to remain stable and prosperous.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

I honestly don't think the price is that high for a newborn. In the states, the price is about the same, probably a bit more than that (¥1,000,000).

Japan has generated its own low birth rates and aging population due to mismanagement and greed.

I don't think thats the case with Japan. It falls more with its young people not wanting to have to deal with that kind of "burden" while they are are young. They rather focus on their career or their studies, I don't see anything wrong with that.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Million Yen is way more than I and my friends paid, more like 350.000~500.000yen most of which comes back from the City.

Add in free medical, etc till school age.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

And? Call me a cynic but if having kids is such a monetary problem, then give birth elsewhere or don't have them. As simple as that.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Japanese insurance only covers ILLNESS. Giving birth is NOT. Cost of birth is not a reason why we have low birth rate. My brother and his wife choose to have six children including one handy cap child as a middle child. They sent four children to private hugh school and to college, tuition paid by my brother's income. My sister in law spends most of her time taking care of handicap child so it's really boils down to personal choice. I have two sons only I married American but if I had my way .. I'll have one child and that's enough for me.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Actually when my son was born we paid very little, as people noted there is a cost but most of it gets reimbursed.

From memory it may have been close to net zero had we not chosen to pay for a private room for my wife.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

@Akula - Ditto that ! My Japanese wife had us enrolled in so many different insurance plans, I think we even made out on the deal twice ! I used to tease her by saying that we were going to be "hoken bimbo" (insurance broke) someday !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

i paid 100000 yens at the red cross (narita)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We paid a little under 400,000 out of pocket (after reimbursements), including all the pre and post check ups, but that was for an upscale hospital with a private room. My brother-in-law went to a regular hospital and I think came out about even.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

We were reimbursed for everything, so it cost us zero. Plus my wife was paid 60% of her salary during 2 years of maternity leave. The same for the second child. Still, that's not why we chose to have children. We probably would have had a third had we been a little younger.

It's hard to make a blanket statement about the medical costs here for having children aside from the fact that if you consider all options, it is possible to get great care in Japan pretty much for free.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

After reimbursement I think it cost me about 200,000 for the first one but the second was more expensive as it was c-section. not more than 400,000 though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

It also might be more expensive in the city than country. Also prices are higher if the child is born on the weekend and/or national holiday.

While my wife had 5 nights in a private room and 90% paid back, my friends and family back in the States tried to leave within a day of having their baby to escape high costs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the conditions are deterrent to raise a child, wisdom would be to not have a child at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

We paid very little (100.000 something), as the rest of the costs were reimbursed. We chose a private clinic, where the doctors allow (and even insist) that the father actively takes part in the childbirth process. I therefore fully witnessed three births, and can say, it is a very memorable experience. I'm quite thankful for having this chance.

The personnel and the service they provided was top-class, we really had no complaints...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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