Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has drawn a storm of criticism after a proposal from his party to ease student debt for Japanese people who choose children. After all, the Japanese population is shrinking and aging at a rapid pace and the authorities want to boost the birth rate in Japan.
At the beginning of this year, Kishida promised “unprecedented” measures in the fight against aging in Japan, a chronic problem that is becoming increasingly important. His liberal-democratic party PLD is working on several proposals on the subject. According to Japanese media, they should be presented to the government by the end of this month.
But in one of those proposals, a reduction in student debt is linked to the choice of parenthood. And that causes a lot of criticism in Japan. The PLD quickly assured that the purpose of the measure is to support families financially and not to sanction childless families.
Almost world record
Kishida had indicated in January that Japan is “at the limit of its ability to continue functioning as a society.” Nearly 30 percent of Japan’s 125 million residents are 65 or older, a world record second only to Monaco.
Last year, the number of births in Japan fell below the 800,000 mark for the first time, the lowest since statistics began in 1899 and almost twice less than 40 years ago. At the same time, the number of deaths in Japan rose to a record high of about 1.6 million last year.
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