Take our user survey and make your voice heard.
Nursery school children and their teachers go for a walk in Tokyo. Image: Japan Today file
national

Japan to boost child allowances to tackle falling birthrate

122 Comments

The requested article has expired, and is no longer available. Any related articles, and user comments are shown below.

© KYODO

©2024 GPlusMedia Inc.

122 Comments
Login to comment

Great, and there are a lot more to do..

GO JAPAN!!..

-33 ( +4 / -37 )

Who is going to tell them? The birth rate in Sweden isn't much higher than Japan and is also well below the replacement rate. It seems that the solution is to become an impoverished country. Now that I think about it, Japan is well down that path.

-9 ( +17 / -26 )

The US birthrate isn't much better but the population ain't falling. Hmmm... what could it possibly be? Oh yeah, IMMIGRATION. Legal or otherwise, they pay taxes and take jobs most don't want.

Throwing a few yen at the problem won't solve a thing. But as long as dinosaurs keep running the country, it'll just continue to be business as usual.

7 ( +29 / -22 )

As the availability of day care facilities is critical for working parents, the government plans to expand child care support for children between the ages of 6 months and 2 years and make the service available to anyone, irrespective of their employment status, from April 2026 nationwide.

Better late than never

.

The approach as always, just pouring money to the flush.

The government aims to start collecting 600 billion yen at first and increase it to 1 trillion yen under the new funding scheme in fiscal 2028.

-7 ( +9 / -16 )

Late marriage and financial worries are often cited as reasons behind the decline in the number of children. 

Who believes that people choose to marry earlier and have more children because of moderate child allowances? Not me. This is simply an additional tax on overtaxed taxpayers.

26 ( +32 / -6 )

What do the different colors on the children's hats signify? Year in school maybe?

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Under the plan, the existing income limit for households receiving the benefits will be removed.

The LDP brand new improved innovation to address families struggling to provide for all their members in this "New Capitalist" system: Let's extend the subsidy to the well-off and privileged too!

Brilliant.

They could have done better by raising the absurdly low non-living income exemption threshold for the income tax and other associated taxes which are an oppressive burden on workers making barely 200,000 yen a month.

13 ( +18 / -5 )

Simply throwing money at the problem will not solve it. The main problem lays within career and financial security in the future.

8 ( +11 / -3 )

I agree with immigration, but I also support financial incentives for raising kids. It’s just a bit late for half measures.

12 ( +16 / -4 )

Here's a couple of sergetions,

1: stop working around the clock, go home and be with your spouse.

2: break the monopoly that schools have on school uniforms, the real price should be a small fraction of what they charge, each year it cost thousands to kit each child out.

3: stop charging for hospital visits, health care, hospital treatment, maternity care whilst having a child, ( from what I've been told you have to pay for it, I maybe wrong)

10 ( +17 / -7 )

@Paul Sventek

What do the different colors on the children's hats signify? Year in school maybe?

It's pre-school which below 5 year old and below, so they are in nursery care. Those hat signify their age group, it's depend on nursery care sometimes they have one for each age or they have only three groups, which are young, mid and older.

12 ( +15 / -3 )

I bet you my life's savings, even at 5 trillion yen, the population problem will not be solved. There are things money can't buy, population happiness for example.

11 ( +16 / -5 )

With four under 18, im laughing all the way to the bank. Thanks Kish, may your reign be long.

-1 ( +9 / -10 )

Less people in Japan and in the world is a good thing despite all the scary communication by government and businesses.

and I do not want to pay more

2 ( +9 / -7 )

Children need emotional support,not a check

6 ( +9 / -3 )

If they are going to do this, getting people with one or two kids to have another one is the way to go. People who don't have kids due to choice or fertility problems (possibly leaving it too late) aren't going to have them because of 20,000 yen extra a month. People with one or two children have clearly demostrated a desire to have kids and will be using financial considerations when deciding how large their family should be.

I also think throwing money at child benefit is better than throwing money at childcare, because lots of women do not want to use childcare. A parent taking five years off work is the best form of childcare. We should work to live, not live to work.

We have three but our eldest is already 18, so I doubt we'll get 30,000 a month for #3. We will no longer qualify as a family with three kids. "Three kids" will likely mean three dependent kids.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Find me one couple who said "I would have a child if only I had ¥10,000 extra a month". There isn't one.

This will be nice for parents but won't lead to a single extra birth.

There are many reasons for the lack of children the biggest being Japanese work culture. Women are putting off marriage and any idea of giving birth to much later in life. The government needs to make it acceptable for women to have children and re-enter the workplace not waste tax payers money on re-election pledges. Though this one is better than most of the waste.

17 ( +20 / -3 )

This is a good step, but more needs to be done. The tax system that incentivizes married women to stay home needs to be reformed, companies need to be forced to change their insane work culture and provide more flexibility so young people aren't too exhausted to have a social life and so parents can better care for their children. Expand flextime and remote work. Suggesting or even incentivizing change isn't going to cut it—laws with real penalties need to be imposed on these companies if anything's going to change.

And of course, more childcare centers. Which means increase the wages for childcare staff. Caring for young children is one of the most difficult jobs a person can do, yet these people are paid a pittance.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Find me one couple who said "I would have a child if only I had ¥10,000 extra a month". There isn't one.

No, but as another poster mentioned, people who already have kids may be tempted.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

All good stuff but non of this will really lift the birth rate. The best way to increase the birth rate are to bring in young single immigrants who will marry, and have kids. Women have more fertility choices, more career choices, choices on how to spend that money, choices regarding the size of their family and the experiences they can give their children. Along with great health care advances we can have smaller families, as the children have a 98.9% chance of survival compared to day countries with high fertility rates. It’s great you wanna help but don’t expect it to raise the birth rate.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Expanding the child allowance coverage is a good move but increasing health insurance premiums to pay for is not. A lot of people still don’t know that countries like Japan, US and UK that issue their own currencies can never run out of money. The government can pay for the allowance increase simply by issuing government bonds rather than increasing burdens on tax-paying citizens.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Children need emotional support,not a check

That is true, but you a check to buy food and pay rent for the kid.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I agree with immigration,

100% of gaijins do, but 100% Japanese dont. And in Japan, Japanese have the say.

-1 ( +8 / -9 )

And still, nothing for pet owners !

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

Children need emotional support,not a check

And parents need money so they can afford to be home to give emotional support to their children.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

They have to start the allowance much much earlier. Potential parents are thinking more about the immediate future. Nursery schools are expensive. New clothes basically every year because they're growing. Etc....

1 ( +2 / -1 )

1 man yen monthly child allowance is both a joke and an insult to the working class parents of a supposedly advanced G7 country given the cost of raising children in Japan.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

If they are going to do this, getting people with one or two kids to have another one is the way to go. People who don't have kids due to choice or fertility problems (possibly leaving it too late) aren't going to have them because of 20,000 yen extra a month. People with one or two children have clearly demostrated a desire to have kids and will be using financial considerations when deciding how large their family should be.

Excellent idea! Perhaps the government could better promote this allocation scheme. If a third child would get a family ¥30,000/month for 18 years, perhaps the government could market it as …

“Have a third child. We’ll support you with ¥6.5 million!”

Better yet, dump the other child allowances and jack the third child allowance up to ¥50,000/month (or even more) …

“Have a third child. We’ll support you with ¥11 million!”

¥11 million (or more) might actually stimulate a couple considering a third child.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

One thing people are missing that was reported in the Japanese press but not here. To fund this the gov't is taking away the dependent child tax deduction. However, for JHS and HS age children the amount of the deduction is more than the amount of the allowance. 10,000 a month for my HS aged son is 120,000 a year. The deduction, if I rememebr correctly, is 260,000. So, I am losing 140,000 a year. It's like a friend asking to borrow $1,000 and then turing around and saying, "Hey, here's $500 to buy something nice." It was my money to begin with and you're keeping half of it.

I with they would give me the option of taking the allowance or taking the deduction. I'd take the latter. Let me manage my own money.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

If I didn't return home for the Mega fire season in 2019 which was before the virus shutdown. My daughter family would be struggling with time and money. I worked long and hard in the world's mining industry earning an early retirement. I retired at 49 (2010 ) but a year latter found myself in the Japans snow industry helping out a mate and spent the next 9 years living around Japan. That 2019 year my daughter when back to work after having 18 months off with maternity leave. So I have help out minding the grandchildren for the last 4 years which has been a big help to her and her family. Which I enjoy doing. What this does is take away pressure off a young family and having the confidence of knowing personally your children are in good hands. I have not missed working but I know having 10 year out of mining I wouldn't just pickup where I left. Safety and workplace manner have improve. the latter would take time to adjust to today's standards. So I found money has a lot to do with time spent with family. To say throwing money at family rising a family is a waste shows how uninformed some posters are. Yes Government money sure does help out with more time with the family unit then spending that valuable time working overtime.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Simply throwing money at the problem will not solve it. The main problem lays within career and financial security in the future

Physical security too. Climate change and wars. People are smart enough to no these things are actual existential threats to society. People don’t want to bring children into this.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Have the dinosaurs even bothered to contemplate people not actually wanting kids? Not everyone secures satisfaction in life by making a clone of themselves.

1 ( +10 / -9 )

GREAT news, kids FAR better investment than massive defense spending to facilitate greater global destabilization by US unelected special interest globalists.

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Find me one couple who said "I would have a child if only I had ¥10,000 extra a month". There isn't one.

A major competent in the low birthrate is people who actually have with kids having smaller families. If you think financial concerns aren't an issue, you've not talked to many parents.

The alternative of course is to get single people into relationships, presumably marry, and have kids, possibly at an advanced age. I reckon Kishida has more chance of passing a camel through the eye of a needle, to use that wonderful Biblical expression. Can I get a witness?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Stark reality in Japan's births dropping like rock, even official numbers, (5.8%) & 726K for 2023's inflated. Why?

1) approx. 50K to foreigners in Japan, most will leave

2) approx. 75K outside Japan (1/2 JNs) most not returning

Japan's replacement population, approx. 50M IF number of babies STABILIZES = smaller than South Korea today.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Raising kids was such a great time for us. Make raising kids fun again.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Polygamy is the answer. Works for Muslims and Mormons.

-12 ( +4 / -16 )

Raising kids was such a great time for us. Make raising kids fun again.

Same. I feel nothing but sadness for those who can't/won't have children.

The most intense feeling of love that cannot be put into words.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

Have the dinosaurs even bothered to contemplate people not actually wanting kids? Not everyone secures satisfaction in life by making a clone of themselves.

fortunately the "dinosaurs" don't share your desperately sad, anti-human point of view.

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Have the dinosaurs even bothered to contemplate people not actually wanting kids? Not everyone secures satisfaction in life by making a clone of themselves.

Ultimately everyone has a right to decide for themselves whether they want children. But they perhaps should also consider that it's not all about them. While they are enjoying child free life, parents are contributing to the short and long term economic welfare of society, including the childless.

Unless Japan at least hits the replacement rate the country is doomed.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

HopeSpringsEternalToday 09:49 am JST

GREAT news, kids FAR better investment than massive defense spending to facilitate greater global destabilization by US unelected special interest globalists.

Literally not the right topic or country even. ChatGPT needs a tune up again.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

Kids are the most important investment for society BUT also for one's personal development, especially becoming OTHER focused rather than SELF focused.

Society has choices, do we spend LIMITED resources on military expenditures that only better enable US military partners to dangerously destabilize the world? Most would agree Kids = FAR better societal investment.

0 ( +6 / -6 )

The politicians have been catering to the elderly for year while ignoring the needs of young families.

Now they’re in panic mode throwing money at a problem and trying to clean up a mess of their own making.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Spreading global chaos and conflict's surefire receipt for falling births across the world.

If Japan and other countries with terrible demographics really hope to reverse these trends, then policies of peace and prosperity must be pursued. Military alliances and massive defense spending NOT the Right Policy!!!

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

All the more reason to maintain the current marriage laws.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

That's a step forward.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

HopeSpringsEternalToday  09:57 am JST

Stark reality in Japan's births dropping like rock, even official numbers, (5.8%) & 726K for 2023's inflated. Why?

1) approx. 50K to foreigners in Japan, most will leave

I have a bit higher numbers . According to Immigration Services Agency number number of foreign resident increased by 148 K in 2023. This does not include number of illegal (which overstayed their visa) which is probably pretty high.

Beyond numbers when it comes to immigration what is striking is what can be observed. The situation has totally changed over the past few years. I live in Tokyo and I basically see only foreigners in Combini. In chain restaurants like Yoshinoya it is maybe 70% and rising super fast. In cheap hotel and ryokan 30% to 50%. Foreigners used to work in the manufacturing and construction industry, they are now everywhere in services.

I think that anything faster than that would lead to rejection by the Japanese.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I'm all in for more child support, more child centers, etc.

However, why do you have to burden with more taxes the population, which is already over burdened with dozen of taxes?? Already the monthly health insurance premiums are ridiculously high as they are, and are getting progressively higher depending on your salary.

Seems like this Government lead by those corrupt LDP incompetents, only know to raise taxes for everything, instead of thinking of a constructive and productive way of getting more funds for those National related projects.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Japan only needs Tax payers....

-5 ( +4 / -9 )

Japan to tackle falling birthrate

they still aren't "getting it."

2 ( +3 / -1 )

As some said economic reasons probably not the main cause not to have babies. Otherwise how to explain the following fertility rates: 1.4 in Swiss, 1.4 in Luxembourg and 1 in Singapore (1.3 in Japan). If anything it is inversely correlated with having money.

Low birth rate is not limited to Japan but is a global phenomenon . But Japan was a pioneer, 30 years before all countries.

@HopeSpringEternal

No more a fan of Combini than you. Fully agree that 99% « food » sold there is overpriced super unhealthy crap!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

From what I have read and seen on YT video's, the overwhelming problem why people are choosing not to have children is the Japanese work culture. The hours per day most work are horrifying, and they get so little time off for meal or coffee breaks, I saw one young woman just yesterday saying she worked 12 to 16 hours per day and then only had a 5 minute lunch break. The companies who do things like this should be prosecuted for inhumane treatment, but then, that will never happen.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I fully agree that the work culture is very toxic but Japanese people were working even more in the sixties yet they had on average 3 to kids.

I think it is more of a global phenomenon due a change of society values.Even France with its 35 hours work week and long vacations has seen its fertility rate fall like a stone recently (only 1.6 in 1923).

3 ( +4 / -1 )

seriously to live in Japan, based on my real experience, if you and your wife are working, on proper payroll, plus Japan government kids-friendly policy, it is real not that hard to raise a family. i just regret why i never come to this country early and suffer much on my own during my early marriage. Anyway thanks God i did manage to go through it, and i can tell you with my heart, your kids will grow up happily in Japan and you need not to spend much time worrying on them

9 ( +10 / -1 )

I saw one young woman just yesterday saying she worked 12 to 16 hours per day and then only had a 5 minute lunch break

you cannot compare blue collar jobs to others. Thats why it happens in every country, you need to study hard to get into proper university, get your qualification, and then you can get into proper company with proper payroll. Work for few years, raise your family with your working wife, then things will run on its own. From my survey, Japan university tuition fees is very affordable and one cannot blame others if he is not admitted

5 ( +7 / -2 )

There are no income problem in Japan. The government clearly have zero idea of what is going on.

Low birth rates are being mostly driven by majority if women ages 16-20 getting addicted/peer pressured to host clubs and therefore racking up huge debts for life, often to host club linked han-gure groups.

there needs to be a huge crack down on the shadow loan operations worth tens of billions of dollars run by the large host club groups. 95%+ of the host club group revenue is not from the physical host clubs but these loan interest payments, as well as splits from overseas criminal groups from acting as scouts to send Japanese women overseas

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

It's really interesting when people vote down the facts based on research in developed countries and poorer countries.

Fertility rates tend to be higher in poorly resourced countries due to higher mortality rates. In developing countries, children are needed as workers and to provide care for their parents in old age. In these countries, fertility rates are higher due to the lack of access to contraceptives, and lower levels of female education. The social structure in society, religion, economic prosperity and urbanisation within each country are likely to affect birth rates as well as access to abortion. On the other hand developed countries tend to have a lower fertility rate due to lifestyle choices because of economic affluence where mortality rates are low, birth control is easily accessible and children often can become an economic drain caused by housing, education costs and other costs involved in bringing up children. Higher education and professional careers often mean that women decide to have children later in life. This is exactly what women/politicians wanted as part of an equal society, and politicians want an ever-increasing workforce and tax-paying citizens. Since Japan is a highly educated, developed, country with good access to health care. The TFR is not going to increase at all. The politicians might want to say this is a fertility problem but in reality, it's an economic problem. Highly educated, skilled, healthy career women don't want 3 or 4 kids, which will be there for the next 21 years. Thats the economic demographic paradox.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Never rely on the government for anything. Go out there and make money.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

What do the different colors on the children's hats signify?

Japanese society drilling conformity into kids at an early age. It's sad to see.

-8 ( +7 / -15 )

Too little too late !!!!

-7 ( +3 / -10 )

Uh, no. It's so the kids can easily be identified when outside walking

What do the different colors on the children's hats signify?

Japanese society drilling conformity into kids at an early age. It's sad to see.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Worth noting, immigrants have approx. +2x more babies than Japanese Nationals on average. More immigration, like what's happening now, will lead to more children.

Japan for FY 23 ending in March, possible +1M new immigrants. For first half of FY 23 ending in Oct, nearly 700k new immigrants, mainly from South and South-East Asia Total FY 22 immigration approx. 300k

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Can search in JT, immigrant population increased from approx. 2.7 to 3M in FY 2022, 2023 growth MUCH higher thru Sept, obviously no FY 2023 number yet.

Key point, immigrants have +2x more babies per 1000 people vs. JNs, about +15 vs. +7 per 1000

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Immigration this year b/w 2k & 3k/day, as JN domestic population falling about 3k/day, so population mix changing rapidly. Immigrants far younger on avg. than Japan's median age of 50, thus FAR more children etc.

Maybe above another reason Kishida unpopular?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Abe234, that's a fine synopsis. Makes me wish more posters here would put equal thought into their opinions.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Throwing money at this pressing issue isn't going to solve anything because the root causes go beyond money.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Basing a countries health on the idea it needs to increase its population and GDP every year is not sustainable, and is a metric “economists”, wealthy people and corporations use to scare people into working harder and buying more stuff they don’t need.

The only other wealthy countries that have increasing population is based on mass immigration.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Maybe stop raising taxes that cancels out every incentive you add? Also maybe not try to make it harder for people trying to freelance and work from home? With both parents home in our household we are in a good spot to have many kids, but due to the constant additions of taxes and annoyances to people freelancing I don't feel safe in doing so.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It sounds like my comment higher up is mistaken, and your third child will qualify as your third child until your eldest is 22. Our #1 is 18, 19 in July, so we'll get some a larger payment for #3 for the next few years. Our #2 is about to start SHS, and the child benefit for SHS has also been raised from hitherto zero to 10,000 a month.

https://sukusuku.tokyo-np.co.jp/hoiku/81335/

4 ( +4 / -0 )

HopeSpringsEternalToday  05:52 pm JST

Immigration this year b/w 2k & 3k/day, as JN domestic population falling about 3k/day, so population mix changing rapidly. Immigrants far younger on avg. than Japan's median age of 50, thus FAR more children etc.

Maybe above another reason Kishida unpopular?

Indeed. This sudden rise of immigration is spectacular and obviously most Japanese are not too happy about it.

Having said that most them are too young to have kids. May be different in the future if they stay. But will they be allowed?

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

And, once again, Japan kicks the empty can down the road... where no one will be left to kick it at some point. It is too late for this to increase the birthrate, and even if the birthrate increases, since it'll be a 1:1 ratio of working to retired people within the next few years, it will do nothing to help with the aging population problem (mind you, I predict the retirement rate will be pushed up to at least 70 years within a few years, so that might skew the ratio a bit.

Easing Immigration rules and allowing exponentially more people than at present is Japan's only answer. But, as with this child allowance -- and don't forget it was only 16 years ago Japan took away family tax credits in favor of a one-time ¥10,000 payment to all the people of Japan -- they won't do it until it is far too late to have any effect.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

Can search in JT, immigrant population increased from approx. 2.7 to 3M in FY 2022

I don't dispute that number.

2023 growth MUCH higher thru Sept

You assume that the number of immigrants per month between 6/23 and 10/23 is almost nine times as high as between 12/22 and 10/23? Tall order.

FY 2022 approx. 300k, FULL 12 months, April 22 - Mar 23. Hope that helps. Again, immigration relevant as it relates to MORE births/babies. FY23 immigration growth high, b/w 2x & 3x greater than FY22, not 9x

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

As someone who knows about kids, tell all of my cafe 'market research". If I sit in a random cafe, many very uncomfortable with immigrant kids. Tell all, half of old lady's love (my kids), half want them dead. That's the cold hard truth. Old men of course, FAR worse.

Massive increase in immigration now, clear stress for many, really most in Japan, there's just no question about it, even while it collapses daily. It's only very educated that tend to be ok with immigration or those that are fundamentally human first with strong values.

With more immigrants, more kids are coming, but they'll be much less Japanese on average and more global.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Again, FY23 unfinished, nobody knows how many new immigrants and new immigrant kids will result, we'll all have to wait until sometime in April. Meanwhile I'm off for a walk with you guessed it, the little ones!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

smithinjapan

Easing Immigration rules and allowing exponentially more people than at present is Japan's only answer. 

It is not an answer at all, as immigration means and influx of adults, or adults with families. Not babies, So it only adds to the already large top of the population pyramid, and not to the bottom, where the problem is. I know it is PC to promote immigration, but the concept does not withstand a reality check.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Such a minimal increase, I’d rather pay less tax and keep the money the Gov take..

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Work/life balance, oppressive work culture and long unproductive hours, disincentives inherent in the system and culture to working women to have children. Just a few of the real underlying structural problems without which being addressed nothing will change. The monetary increase is not of its self bad but without all the rest changing it will have no effect whatsoever.

If I can see that from the other side of the world, why can’t the Japanese Government?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As a multiple grandfather over here will you please connect to the others and be part of multiculturalism. ( that word is a new one to me and was suggested by apple automatically)

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

Hate to break it to all of you but Japan is going to be forced to swallow the immigration pill just as the Western world has over the past 2 decades. Japan will not be "Japanese" in the way it is today in 20 years and it will be unrecognizable in 50. The party is over for the Japanese as a homogenous state; hope you all enjoyed being the token gaijin like I did.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

As a multiple grandfather over here will you please connect to the others and be part of multiculturalism. ( that word is a new one to me and was suggested by apple automatically)

multiculturalism is a failed ideology.

The west will choke to death on it sometime in the next century, maybe less.

Either way its suicide. Hope Japan is taking notes.

0 ( +5 / -5 )

Japan needs to move corporations out of major metropolitan areas to encourage people to move to more suburban and rural areas. Cities are terrible places for kids to grow up.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

multiculturalism is a failed ideology.

The existence of Canada, being one of the best countries on the planet, proves your assertion to be ridiculous.

Just ask any Brazilian.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

I am going to sound like a broken record there are many unwanted babies and children presently in Japan and that are hitting the news lines each and every day regarding their parents injuring and or murdering them. There are so many children sitting in orphanages, the government will not let be adopted because of their policies and sit in those orphanages until they age out. When those children leave the orphanages, they are sent out with a brown paper bag from my understanding and a small amount of money. Let's fix these issues first and count these children, because I have a feeling they are not being considered when these policies are being introduced.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Canada is not one of the best countries, being back here for my child after being bullied the cost of living is ridiculous, getting to see a doctor is next to impossible and people are so rude. I cannot wait until my child graduates, and I can move back, and my bags will be packed weeks prior to that I can guarantee you.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Switzerland is number 20 and they seem to be quite healthy. The US is number 1 and has major poverty issues.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

multiculturalism is a failed ideology.

The existence of Canada, being one of the best countries on the planet, proves your assertion to be ridiculous.

Just ask any Brazilian.

Better yet, lets ask a Jew.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

> The existence of Canada, being one of the best countries on the planet, proves your assertion to be ridiculous.

Im not sure what's parody anymore lol

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Switzerland is number 20 and they seem to be quite healthy. The US is number 1 and has major poverty issues.

Would be helpful to readers if you identified #20 and #1 is what exactly.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There’s not any one reason for the low birthrate. It’s a combination of a dozen or more issues.

Young girls have grown up resenting their fathers who were hardly home because of long work hours. They don’t want to marry and can’t relate well to men as a result.

For the same reason, boys grow up raised almost entirely by their mothers and lack a strong male role model. Thus young men feel impotent in pursuing mates.

Even as the government offers more handouts for having kids, the government also tries to fill gaps in the labor force with more women. As more women seek careers, fewer have kids. Those who do have kids later and have fewer.

Porn is a substitute for relationships for far too many men.

Abortion as birth control accounts for a big part of the deficit in the birthrate.

More people are in school longer, which delays marriage and parenthood.

More young people are in debt, while the whole country hangs under massive public debt. Debt depresses people’s options for the future, including having kids.

Japan’s economy has been in a deflationary slide for three decades. Young people lack opportunities. Those who find moderate success typically have to get a lot of support from the saved wealth of parents and grandparents.

What time people aren’t working, they are glued to screens. Mindless entertainment distracts people from human relationships. Shut down internet and TV for a month during several hours every evening, and I guarantee a mini baby boom nine months later.

Raising kids is expensive, but it’s not the reason for the low birth rate. Money isn’t going to fix a problem of the soul. Handouts aren’t going to change the social and spiritual disease that drives people not to have children. Captive, stressed animals also frequently don’t reproduce. Humans are no different.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

If more immigrants, more kids will result. FY 2022 largest increase in immigration on record/300k. FY 2023, just first half, Apr-Sept, more immigrants than entire FY 2022. Immigrants have +2x more kids than JNs on average.

Seems Japan's very serious about stabilizing population and increasing numbers of kids, based on above. Let's see if immigration continues. Business under serious pressure with workers shortages, so it seems likely.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Business under serious pressure with workers shortages, so it seems likely.

In this rare case I have to agree with you. I was just on a trip to Hokkaido and at my hotel I was greeting by Malaysian staff, served by Chinese servers in the restaurant, and saw Australian instructors. In the conbini near me, a man who appeared foreign and spoke decent Japanese, was running the shop. So there you have it. Stealth and manageable immigration, not hordes illegally crossing the border like where Biden runs the show.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Japan announces official population numbers shortly after March 31st year end, so we'll know soon about numbers of new babies, new immigrants, etc. Babies and immigrants correlated. Hard to extrapolate based on first half results, but we already know FY 2023 will be record breaking for new immigrants, because of Apr-Sept #'s.

I'd guess FY2023 new immigrants about 2k/Day, but higher/lower, depending on Govt. Biz policies, etc. We know foreign tourism's booming in Japan, some are surely considering moving to Japan & having kids!

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

Roy - even if the numbers are wrong, why do you sound so horrified?

Isn't mass immigration a good thing?

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Many ways to 'back into' numbers of births and immigrants etc. Public info readily available on deaths, immigrants, births etc. Number of immigrants in FY 2023 for Apr-Sept period LARGER than record FY2022.

There is also reporting on immigrant, birth and death info throughout the year. Immigration historically high now and immigrants have far more children than JNs.

Most analysts I know model Japan's FY2023 immigration at 2k/day, approx. 750K, some higher, some lower, while modeling JN net deaths at approx. 3k/day, approx. 1.1M

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

It turns out babies, while a great spending catalyst for the economy and household formation etc., take TOO long to become 'productive assets' for Govt.

Govt acting on behalf of business, thus NOW historically aggressive trying to recruit workers to Japan, especially drivers, construction workers, nurses, etc.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Worth remembering that reporting on immigrant's and numbers of children they have, adjusted for age. Apples to apples, usually demographic analyzed for women for example is 18-39. Certainly, older immigrants don't have many kids! Lots of public info on this, turns out immigrants EVERYWHERE have far more kids.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Take a break kid. You have been on these message boards all day.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Not sure if raising the child alllowances in Japan to a level per month that a number of western countries give per week is going to encourage more Japanese citizens to give birth to multiple children to fit the fertility rate needed. That ship has already sailed - the demographics can't change so radically to reverse the population pyramid of Japan.

And giving even more child allowances/baby bonuses to follow countries like some in Europe and Austalia for example, isn't the answer. Those countries are completely different in their single mother/non traditional households/refugee/asylum seeker demographics. The low income end of those societies tends to have more children than the middle/affluent/wealthy end.

Some people on here think everything should be free for people with kids - maternity care, birth giving, hospital visits, healthcare etc. There's one basic problem with that - just because something is 'free' doesn't mean it is, it's just a transfer of public resources from other groups to that group. It has to be paid for because the costs associated with all this are enormous. Families with kids already get all this well subsidised thanks to the J NHI.

Japan's tax model already is geared towards couples with kids. Its traditional company model is too with extra payments built in to salaries for married couples. Japan has the same issue that other developed countries have - the changes to society regarding gender roles and greater choice for women have resulted in more women saying no thanks to more than 1 or 2 children or children at all.

Mass immigration is no answer especially with the European experience of some decades now of tolerating illegal immigration under the catch all phrase 'asylum seeking' which also goes under the name of 'immigration' despite the fact that immigrants as they used to be in western countries paid for their visas, were expected to follow their new countries' laws and brought money instead of expecting their new countries to provide housing, medical services etc for free.

Japan will never do this nor tolerate this even if it wasn't an island nation. The maintenance of order will always be crucial to Japanese society just as Japan will resist demands that it changes its essential culture to accommodate other cultures especially if those come from regions of the world where there are undesirable 'norms'.

It's unlikely that Japan also will tolerate different ethnic communities bringing their back-home conflicts to their new country. I think Japan will keep bringing in foreign workers but still make PR and Citizenship hard to get. It will focus on improving the tax base to help solve the demographic problem instead of fertility rates when it becomes more and more clear that they will not improve.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Immigration a very delicate subject in Japan to be sure, as are immigrant offspring. Even JT has reported on immigrant numbers in FY 2023 if one wishes to search and on their rate of reproduction. It's all at your fingertips, no 'conspiracy' here, just reporting the facts!

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Canada is not one of the best countries

Yes it is:

https://www.cimmigrationnews.com/canada-is-no-1-country-people-most-want-to-move-to-survey-says/

I assure you, the quality of life here is amazing.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Hmm. A 4 year-old survey!

Canada is not just an international laughingstock, but recent immigrants are looking to get out since theyve experience a cost of living higher than almost any other G7 country.

Oh, and those social services and free handouts they've come for..

Care to comment on the waiting time to see doctors at any of the say, B.C. hospitals?

What's rent like these days? Any new houses being built for the 1 million immigrants expected in 2024? Nope.

Canada has been run into the ground. Its a joke of a country.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Companies need workers Today, kids take TOO long, 18years at minimum. Japan has big shortages of drivers, construction workers, hotel and restaurant workers, etc.

Furthermore, serious inflation around world, especially poorer less developed countries that's driving immigration. World's undergoing record modern day migration countries like Japan very attractive given shrinking aging workforce.

Tons of research on immigrants and their stronger propensity to have children. Japan's experiencing RECORD migration today, lots of their kids and babies, and it's not covered by media in context of solving demographic problems. Why?

Immigration is politically toxic, businesses need the workers, Govt. needs a growing economy and society needs their kids long-term, but the suppression and omission of this subject in media is astonishing.

Japan has RECORD migration TODAY, their kids and future babies and it's NOT Reported by Media, WHY?

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

If they want to encourage people to have children:

-Remove the sales tax on groceries, so it's easier to feed children.

-Enact paid family leave for maternity, paternity, and medical, so can take the time necessary to have and raise children.

-Actually enforce overtime limits and other worker protections, so parents can have a proper family life.

-Ensure availability of day care and pre-kindergarten schools, to allow parents who work to have families.

-Other stuff I can't think of right now.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

garypen - I'd add one more to your list. It's a pipedream, but still, hear me out.

Ban gaming and porn. Force some of these man-babies to grow up a little.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

How about cutting costs?

Why do I have to buy a special bag for my elementary aged child that costs 8 - 10 man?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

masterblaster

How about cutting costs?

Why do I have to buy a special bag for my elementary aged child that costs 8 - 10 man?

Or uniforms for JHS and HS kids, for that matter.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

How about selling some family sized food in the supermarkets? Everything seemes to be made for a single woman.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

how does any of this work if people are burdened working more than 160 hours a month, and at pittance wages?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hmm. A 4 year-old survey!

Three years ago: https://www.immigration.ca/canada-tops-survey-as-country-where-people-most-want-to-move/

Two years ago: https://www.settler.ca/english/canada-the-country-people-want-to-live-in/

last year: https://www.ctvnews.ca/world/canada-ranks-as-second-best-country-in-the-world-in-2023-u-s-news-1.6554229

This year: https://cultmtl.com/2024/02/canada-was-ranked-the-1-country-people-most-want-to-live-in/

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why do I have to buy a special bag for my elementary aged child that costs 8 - 10 man?

Because LDP friends and family happens to own that special bag store.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think the main problem is time! If I had more time, I would have more kids. A four day working week or a shortened working day would do the trick. Money will not motivate me to have any more kids.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Late marriage and financial worries are often cited as reasons behind the decline in the number of children. Kishida's government sees the period leading up to the 2030s as "the last chance" to reverse the trend.

There you go. "Finance" is the key to this. Common sense that it takes money to raise a family, along with other things. Prices have gone up, but not so much salaries, which just causes people to remain single till later on in life, if they ever do get married. Having kids comes the responsibility, one of which is financial. Delivery costs, support costs, the mom staying home, while the husband brings the bacon, or "tofu" in this case, along with times for child and family dedication, which the husband won't have much of because of work.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Anyway thanks God i did manage to go through it, and i can tell you with my heart, your kids will grow up happily in Japan and you need not to spend much time worrying on them

Actually, being a father of 3, you will ALWAYS worry about your kids; even after they leave the nest. That will never stop. Growing up happily? Well, so-so. My kids are mixed, and they've had their shared of challenges. They haven't been really bullied much. However, they will always be regarded as mixed. They will one way or another stick out, whether it be by language, hair color, family values, etc. Yes, overall, they are happy in Japan, but there's always the stigma that they have to conform with everyone else and sometimes lose their identity and personality as a result.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I really feel sorry for many of these families and their kids, Japan suppose to be the third or fourth largest economy and yet it can't just provide FREE EDUCATION to it's own citizens!? just unbelievable.

More than 20 nations some that are not even close to japans GNP offer free education all the way to graduate schools and beyond, and yet Japan just keeps tightening the screw down putting a limit on everything and anything that will benefit it's own children.

Simply unbelievable.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites