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Abe Has to Run to Keep Up as Demand for Childcare Grows in Japan

  • Daycare scarcity stops many mothers returning to work
  • The problem is worst in big cities like Tokyo and Kobe
Demand for daycare in Japan has kept increasing, and a lot more facilities are needed in big cities.

Demand for daycare in Japan has kept increasing, and a lot more facilities are needed in big cities.

Photographer: Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP via Getty Images
From

Four years after promising to fix Japan’s childcare shortage, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is warning that he may need another three years to cut daycare waiting lists to zero.

Abe has sought to draw more women into the labor force since he took power to alleviate an increasingly severe labor shortage that’s caused by the aging and shrinking population. Yet one of the biggest barriers facing women who want to return to work after giving birth is a lack of daycare facilities.