Fears of societal collapse prompt new push for babies in Japan

Alarmed by an even faster than expected slide in the number of babies born last year, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is preparing a policy package he says is a last chance to keep society functioning.
Ideas like compulsory paternity leave, canceling student debt for people who have a baby, and ¥10 million ($76,445) payouts for a third child have been thrown around in recent weeks. While some of these are controversial and won’t make it into the final program, Kishida has promised measures “on a different dimension” from previous efforts.

As part of the fresh attempt at tackling the issue, a new agency devoted to children and families is set to open its doors April 1, and the government will lay out a path to doubling spending on them by June. Kishida has begun floating some of the proposals and more details are expected by the end of the month.