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.