Japan To Promote Measures To Raise Number Of Childbirths

Japan to promote measures to raise number of childbirths

Japan's top government spokesperson says the government will promote comprehensive measures to help increase the number of childbirths.

The health ministry released a preliminary report last week that about 599,000 babies were born in the country from January through September. The figure, including births to foreign nationals, is down about 30,000 from a year earlier.

The report said the number of babies born with Japanese nationality in the whole of the year could be fewer than 800,000 for the first time since record-keeping began.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Matsuno Hirokazu spoke to reporters on Monday that the situation over the childbirth in the country is critical.

He said that various intertwined factors are blocking people from getting married, as well as having and raising children.

Matsuno pledged that the government will promote comprehensive steps at different stages of people's lives.

He said the measures will include helping people to marry, get pregnant and have children, by creating an environment in which men and women can strike a balance between work and childcare, and providing financial aid to households with young children.