Falling birth rates in Japan: Spotlight on lack of childcare places and workplace support

Children from a nursery school being taken out for a walk in Tokyo. Just 918,397 babies were born in Japan last year, the third straight year that the number of newborns fell below the one million psychological barrier. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Children from a nursery school being taken out for a walk in Tokyo. Just 918,397 babies were born in Japan last year, the third straight year that the number of newborns fell below the one million psychological barrier. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

The number of births in Japan last year plunged to yet another new low, figures released on Friday have shown, signalling the grave social obstacles that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will need to surmount to reverse the demographic trend.

Just 918,397 babies were born last year, the Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry announced, in what was the third straight year that the number of newborns fell below the one million psychological barrier.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 09, 2019, with the headline 'Spotlight on lack of childcare places and workplace support'. Print Edition | Subscribe