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Japan’s Demographic Dilemma: Birth Rate Hits Historic Low

Japan grapples with an unprecedented demographic challenge as its birth rate plummets to historic lows. With only 758,631 babies born in 2023, marking a 5.1% decline from the previous year, the country faces a critical juncture in reversing this trend. Factors such as declining marriage rates, soaring living costs, and an incompatible corporate culture deter many young Japanese from starting families.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshimasa Hayashi warns of the urgency, emphasizing the next six years as a crucial window to address the declining birth rate. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida labels the situation as Japan’s “biggest crisis,” implementing measures to incentivize childbirth and support families. However, experts express skepticism, citing a need to target not only married couples but also address the concerns of young individuals hesitant to embrace parenthood.

With Japan’s population projected to decline significantly by 2070, the implications extend beyond economic concerns to encompass national security in the face of geopolitical challenges.