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Japan’s New Male Minister for Birthrate Tried ‘Pregnancy Belly’

  • Record low number of babies were born in Japan last year
  • Former central bank official replaces veteran female minister
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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida replaced the female minister in charge of tackling the country’s falling birthrate and installed a man who sought to deepen his understanding of the issue by trying out a “pregnancy belly.”

Kishida reshuffled his cabinet Wednesday and named former Bank of Japan official Masanobu Ogura, 41, to take over the post from ruling party veteran Seiko Noda, a mother of one. In an interview with the Associated Press last month, she blamed a male-dominated political world for “indifference and ignorance” toward a plunging birthrate that has become an increasingly serious threat to its economy.