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Kishida orders ¥3.5 trillion to be set aside for child care

55 Comments
By Yoshifumi Takemoto and Tetsushi Kajimoto

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The measures are aimed at supporting higher education, preventing child abuse in poverty, and ensuring medical care for handicapped children,

These may be worthy causes but I am not sure how much they come into any calculations of whether to have a child or not.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has vowed to double such spending over the next three years to arrest the country's dwindling birth rate, …

How would doubling spending arrest falling birth rates?

Japan’s own MHLW data shows that nearly half million new child care slots were created between 2013 and 2017. And what was the impact? Japan’s fertility rate steadily dropped.

2017, 1.43

2018, 1.42

2019, 1.36

2020, 1.34

2 ( +10 / -8 )

Government think just provide money people will start having baby suddenly? What are the actual plan with those money?

The measures are aimed at supporting higher education, preventing child abuse in poverty, and ensuring medical care for handicapped children, Economy Minister Shigeyuki Goto cited Kishida as telling the ministers' meeting.

It will help certain people but it won't help at population growth.

1 ( +12 / -11 )

If you increase health insurance premiums it will increase the cost of living meaning less people can afford to have the babies to increase the figures. You need to support families, not make living costs higher..

16 ( +16 / -0 )

Just throwing money at the problem will not make it go away. There have to be a million reforms and cultural changes if they want to increase the birthrate. Allow parents to go home at reasonable times during the work week. Don't have mass group holidays that make it much more expensive to travel. Don't force children to have to buy super expensive "randoseiru" when a simple back pack would suffice. Those are just a few, but they will never happen, so Japan says "here take money and have babies"!

1 ( +14 / -13 )

It rather looks like the education ministry, the doctors/medical industry/health ministry and maybe some local authorities have seen a chance to increase their budgets under the pretext of increasing the birthrate. How much oversight and assessment of the effectiveness of this money will there be?

1 ( +11 / -10 )

There was no discussion on sources of funding, he added.

Money is a convenient fiction used to control the commoners.

Money supposedly from taxes will be spent on caring for children in what manner is up to the LDP or for a future sports event promotion.

https://fcpp.org/2021/04/24/entering-the-age-of-modern-monetary-theory-and-universal-basic-income/

Most nations are long past paying for "debt" and they continue this fiction to extract from workers.

Which is the case for a new "child care initiative".

-2 ( +5 / -7 )

No plan, no social reform, it is going to be a waste of Monday.

0 ( +9 / -9 )

Is this a dysfunctional country or what,when the baby daddy should pay for the upkeep,how many Elite Japanese men are baby daddy on the side

-18 ( +3 / -21 )

They just need to look to Korea to see that no amount of spending will arrest the problem. The famous quote from Einstein about insanity comes to mind.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Hmm… this comes hot on the heels of the scandal with his son. A cynical person might think he’s had this in his back pocket just in case there’s another popularity-poll-destroying scandal in his orbit.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

The spectre of doubling child care as well as military spending aimed at coping with threats from China and North Korea runs counter to any move towards fiscal reform.

The spectre of doubling child care as well as US DEMANDED military spending aimed at coping with IMAGINED threats from China and North Korea runs counter to any move towards fiscal reform.

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

There was no discussion on sources of funding, he added.

So the government will have to find additional billions to pay the Raytheon Tax and billions for the Kiddy Tax and billions for the Fukushima Clean Up Tax, all from a shrinking tax base and an economy in decline.

How's that going to work then? Just print more government bonds?

8 ( +11 / -3 )

How's that going to work then? Just print more government bonds?

Yes, and get the BOJ to buy them. After 10 years, the bonds mature and the debt disappears. How do you think Japan can run the industrialized world's biggest public debt and still have low interest rates, inflation and other stable metrics?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He ordered it? Seems like a strange way to describe his actions. He implemented it. He requested it. He assigned it. Why, he ordered it? Just strange.

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

The measures are aimed at supporting higher education, preventing child abuse in poverty, and ensuring medical care for handicapped children, 

Wow! Miss the point much? The crisis is in child care placements plus, a lot of the private child care is too expensive. Most working couples have one parent working just to pay childcare. Once again we see the J-Gov throwing money at a problem with no real plan to resolve the issues at hand.

Child poverty is a problem, but it rarely results in abuse. At present, just over 20% of Japanese kids live in poverty.

The plight of handicapped children and their parents is horrid. I knew one lady who was travelling 45 kilometers (one hour each way) three times a week to get her handicapped child into a daycare facilty. The crisis here is not medical attention. It is a major lack of support facilities for the children and their parents.

I fail to see how higher education has anything to do with the declining birthrate and a lack of affordable daycare facilities.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Welcome to Japan's form of democracy, wherein LDP codgers meet in private to draft bills. Knowing that they have the votes the PM then announces which bill(s) will be brought forward for near-automatic passage.

He ordered it? Seems like a strange way to describe his actions. He implemented it. He requested it. He assigned it. Why, he ordered it? Just strange.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

Well, at least he is starting to do something for the country, instead of pleasing the pathetic whims of good old US..

-13 ( +1 / -14 )

So no money for stay at home moms? Isn't that what most Japanese women say they want to do? Why ignore this opinion and lifestyle?

I've nothing against career women, women should be more active in society, but looking after a baby is just as important than the content of many many jobs. A stay at home mom looking after a baby is doing something far more important than someone on a miracle face cleanser counter in the cosmetics department at Isetan. Or misselling old people life insurance for a rural branch of the Post Office. Or going to an office to do something that could be done at home with the young child beside her.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

TokyoLivingToday  08:53 am JST

Well, at least he is starting to do something for the country...

Why is he just "starting"? How long has he been PM for now?

2 ( +4 / -2 )

The government is leaning towards introducing a new type of bonds to raise funds for education fees

I don't mind this idea, that is if the bond is used for education and not for the falling birthrate. Some kids living in poverty trying to get into a university can use an actual "scholarship" instead of that loan the government gives you that claims it's a "scholarship".

But as someone did mention above, addressing just this issue alone will likely not impact the falling birthrate significantly, if any at all. I hope Kishida has an actual plan for this because we've been hearing this news for quite some time now and there hasn't been an announcement on what these funds will do to help impact the falling birthrate. Depending on the plan, I hope the citizens can vote on the proposition.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

All offer FREE Education to it's citizens including College and Universities and many extend it to International students. The majority of these nations NOT an economic power and certainly are NOT the first second or even Third economic Power.

I hate to break it to you, but there is no such thing as “free.” You say that the countries on your list are not first, second, or even third economic powers, which rather argues against the benefit of “free education,” right? Why do people pay a quarter of a million dollars to go to an Ivy League college in America instead of going to a “free” college in one of the countries on your list? You should get a textbook on basic economics and spend some time reading it

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

How about first some simple elementary logic? First the measures for more children, then the ones for the child care? Doesn’t make sense at all, a bigger and financially better equipped child care without any children, that is one of the craziest things I have ever heard of.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Good job Kishida. The LDP getting the job done as usual.

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

@Asiaman7

2005 1.25

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So he will have to increase sales tax to 15% so young couples won’t afford children?

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The thing which bothers me when I read such news that there is usually no oversight over how the money is being spent.

Let's take the childbirth allowance. Since it's a one-time targeted payout which never meets the payee's hand, it basically becomes a free money scam that all the birth clinics participate in.

Since the lump-sum payment is decided to be ¥500,000 no questions asked, guess what is the base price of all birth clinics? Yes! It's exactly ¥500,000.

Typical LDP scam. I guess this is how the increased child support will play out too.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Good job Kishida. The LDP getting the job done as usual.

And with only 30 years warning.

Too much prioritising of concrete-pouring for their elderly and rural constituents until now. Until they finally realised there will actually be nobody around to pour the concrete soon. But still chances to look like they are doing something while spreading the cash around their major stakeholders are too good to overlook.

-2 ( +7 / -9 )

@Geeter Mckluskie

1947, 4.54

1957, 2.04

1975, 1.91

1985, 1.76

1995, 1.42

2005, 1.26

2015, 1.45

2020, 1.34

3 ( +3 / -0 )

In my opinion I don't want to pay taxes amymore in order to care another person child! is not my buisness! instead of pay for child support , Kishida should support elder people who get small pension moneys! stop making kids if you can't support it!

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

I don't really think this is about trying to improve the fertility rate. As the article mentions this might be more about the national debt, by pushing more parents into "work", which by pure chance "increases" tax revenue. If this really was about fertility, why wasn't this started in the 1970s 80s 90s? Or was it that Japan was living in its Bubble, and didn't care about it? They were very happy to keep women at home, raising kids, while men worked until they retired, or dropped. If women need child care "now" they needed child care in the past too, but now the government is facing demographic problems, debt problems, and worker problems. That's the real reason! Mis-management by old men? This might help with other problems, but it won't lift the birth rate! We should expect more sales tax increases.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Put aside, but what are you planning to spend it on? More panels discussing things? A handout to shut people up? You need to build more schools and day cares!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Money is not the issue. The dream of majority of women now is to marry and have kids with hosts or underground idols, but there is a limited supply.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Gogo, should men be legally force to take care of their children with a 15 percent garnishment of their wages

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Issue really confidence in the future. If society has that, then the babies and home prices will both increase but if not, then forget about it! Money alone not sufficient, structural.

Broken record, global markets require global values and standards, this crazy legacy stuff isn't going to cut it, too risky, too inefficient, to biased etc. Nobody cares and nobody follows world's oldest and most rapidly shrinking country into a blackhole.

Shared values, shared interests and then shared success happens naturally!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Governments, making things better or worse? You decide.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

MarkXToday  07:26 am JST

Just throwing money at the problem will not make it go away. There have to be a million reforms and cultural changes if they want to increase the birthrate. Allow parents to go home at reasonable times during the work week. Don't have mass group holidays that make it much more expensive to travel. Don't force children to have to buy super expensive "randoseiru" when a simple backpack would suffice. Those are just a few, but they will never happen, so Japan says "Here take money and have babies"!

Very true.

Having said that some countries with a much better work-life balance do not do better. For ex Italia fertility rate was 1.29 in 2022 against 1.36 for Japan.

So I think that the fall of fertility is global phenomenon which is very difficult for governments to stop. The only exception being France with a fertility rate of 1.84. This countryoffersr both a lot of financial help for families and also, they value family life a lot and have tons of "vacances" to enjoy life.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kishida orders ¥3.5 trillion to be set aside for child care

AMAZING Kish!!!!!!

first they have money, then they don't and now they have 3.5 T for child care?

Make up you mind, KISH.

So will more taxes be used for that? Will they just magically print money?

What happened to the military funds? Or will that also happen?

Don't forget that $500 billion promised to Africa.

Oh and the $69 Billion for the Abe Funeral.

And the $300 trillion for the Tokyo Olympics.

And all the money for your son to buy Omiyage in Ottawa or Paris or wherever you guys went to.

Wow, JAPAN is RICH! Aren't we, KISH.................

get rid of this clown.............

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

@Asiaman7

Clearly, trends fluctuate. To imagine a trend would continue in only a downward direction is to ignore the fact that it rarely does.

Currently, the mean for women of childbearing age is 31.46. In 2005 it was 29.7. In 2030 it's projected to be 32.7. What has impacted the "number" of children being born (rather than the rate) is the fact that there are fewer women of childbearing age and that women of the current generation are having fewer kids than in previous generations, as is the case in all affluent nations throughout the world. Families are still having kids, just not 3~5 like they did in previous generations. I fully expect that rate to raise slightly in the coming years. Considering the fact that mass-automation and AI will have made 50% of current jobs obsolete within the next 25 years, a levelling off of the population is prudent.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Considering the fact that mass-automation and AI will have made 50% of current jobs obsolete within the next 25 years, a levelling off of the population is prudent.

Nobody knows exact long-term impact of machine learning and AI, certainly it'll make things more productive, create wealth etc. E.g. autonomous driving.

Certainly tech. to date's created great wealth and new jobs. If you ask tech. companies, AI infatuation's just media, they've been doing it for decades e.g. Amazon.

Japan's depopulation, due to reduced babies & prior Covid driving excess disease & death, likely approx. 50% increase this year vs. last 2022. That's NOT leveling off!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Let's have a new tax, we'll call it Minors Care Tax!?

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The government hasn't ever done anything when it could have tried something earlier to avert this child shortage crisis, and now it's thrown itself into panic mode. Way to go, fellas!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Clay

The population in 1990 was 124,505,240. It's currently, 125, 362, 821. It was 128,326,116, in 2005 when it's birthrate hit its nadir @ 1.25. The current birthrate is 1.37. It was 1.65 in 1990.

That's levelling off

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Children are the present and the future of every country. May each child be blessed with proper love and care worldwide.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

That is good news, future parents can now preview the finanxial help to face expenses with their kids. I don't agree with government ruling tax payers money like this, they should create a better economy for people to develop their akills to earn money, like improving the quality of education from earlu age.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So you borrow money to indebt the children that will have to reimburse that cost ?

What a great move ! (Of unintelligence).

Instead, I would have provide a pay for mommie at home, with the pay the more babies the higher, a family allowance at the level it requires (60 000¥ at least for 3 kids), require all facilities to propose reduced prices for family to be less expensive the mofe children you have (and not higher), etc.

A commenter said above he did not want to pay for people to have kids. He forgets that if he has any issue or live long time, who will take care of him/her ? Children are the future.

Japan itself is becoming a care home, where even in the streets you shuffle to move.

Anyway, societies with women deciding to have babies if they wish and when they want (later and later) is also a main issue. Nature taking its toll objectively speaking.

I don't see any going back (leveling off of population) without heavy change with impact on family values.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Regardless of its effect on birthrates, taking care of children is the right thing to do. And, it can't hurt in relation to the birthrate.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There was no discussion on sources of funding, he added.

Can't set aside something you don't have

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@Geeter Mckluskie

That's levelling off

A fertility rate of 2.07 is needed for population replacement, so Japan’s population is definitely not “leveling off” as long as the fertility rate remains as low as it is — and Nikkei reported two days ago that Japan’s rate “likely fell to about 1.2 in 2022, the lowest in 17 years.”

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think the problem is likely to get worse before it gets better - with smaller towns and villages thinning out with the declining population, it means jobs, public services and transportation in those places will also be thinning out. That will just drive more and more people to move to big cities like Tokyo and Osaka - those places are just not good for bringing up families - certainly not larger families - the birth rate in Tokyo is the lowest in the country. If the government is to do something, it would be best to try to stop people from moving to the bigger cities. That could mean tax incentives for companies that locate or relocate most employees to smaller towns and cities well away from the larger cities, paid for by tax increases for those that refuse to do so. The government could take the lead by moving many of its departments away from Kasumigaseki. With high speed internet all over the country, excellent transportation and delivery services, there really is no need for many companies to locate in Tokyo - do away with hankos and fax machines for everything - embrace the digital replacements that are already available and used the world over - its 2023 for crying out loud!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Posts down faster than grease Lightning! Urge with an o.

Serious Biz time here. Making Orders…

About time to start thinkin of the vote- kids!

Had me goin until… “meanwhile, considers other hikes…

Everybody knows slashing is just an upside down tax hike. 

Just Hot air?? Child care trillions yens! BUt whatabout the plan ??? 

Like I said. Everyday regular folks barely shop anywhere cus "price hikes”

So good ol Sales tax "hike" dead on arrival.

Next hike incoming. We already know whos gonna pay for it.

Regular dudes, single moms… 10 yen bandits etc.

But hey ccplease sendvotes!

80 more years and kampai!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@Asiaman

"A fertility rate of 2.07 is needed for population replacement, so Japan’s population is definitely not “leveling off” as long as the fertility rate remains as low as it is — and Nikkei reported two days ago that Japan’s rate “likely fell to about 1.2 in 2022, the lowest in 17 years.”

Population replacement...relates to the current population. In 1947, the fertility rate was 4.50. It dropped 2.5 in 10 years. How did that work out?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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