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Japan Plans More Handouts in Last Chance Bid to Hike Birthrate

  • Cash subsidies to be provided regardless of household income
  • Paternity leave payments to be raised to match post-tax salary

Japan unveiled a raft of new proposals to incentivize people to have children, after Prime Minister Fumio Kishida warned the aging country had only a few years to put the brakes on a demographic slide that threatens the economy. 

Alarmed by a plunge in the number of children born in Japan last year to a record low of less than 800,000, Kishida has pledged to introduce measures “on a different dimension” to tackle the problem and to unveil by June a path to doubling the budget spent on children. A new agency for children and families is set to open its doors in April.