Kishida Urges Japan to Take Immediate Action to Counter Decreasing Population

‘Now or never’: Kishida says Japan has to act on population drop | Politics News

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida declared that Japan must take urgent action against its declining birth rate, calling it “now or never” for the world’s oldest society.

“Our nation is on the cusp of whether it can maintain its societal functions,” Kishida said in a policy speech at the opening of this year’s parliamentary session.

He announced that a new government agency to tackle the issue would be set up in April, and that he would submit plans to double the budget on child-related policies by June.

Data from 2021 showed a record low number of births in Japan, resulting in the biggest-ever natural decline in the population. 28% of Japanese are over the age of 65, exacerbating the problem.

Experts say Japan must relax its immigration policies in order to offset the rapid ageing of its society. The government has been working to allow more foreigners to live and work in the country along with their families.

Japan has a population of about 126 million people. While largely homogenous, there are about one million people of Chinese descent, as well as hundreds of thousands of ethnic Koreans.