According to the prime minister of Japan, the nation’s declining birth rate puts it in danger of losing its ability to function as a society.
As Fumio Kishida put it, “now is the time or never.”
Less than 800,000 births are thought to have occurred in Japan, which has a population of 125 million, last year. The number was over two million in the 1970s.
Many nations, including Japan’s neighbors, are seeing a slowdown in birth rates.
But because of the recent increase in life expectancy in Japan, there are now more elderly people than there are workers to care for them, making the problem more acute there.