(Original title: Fumio Kishida’s National Assembly Policy Speech: Time Is Not Waiting for Great Efforts to Reverse the Fertility Problem)
News from the Financial Associated Press on January 23 (edited by Shi Zhengcheng)Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida delivered a policy speech in the Diet on Monday. During this period, his series of harsh words on the issues of aging and low birth rate attracted intense media attention.
As the most prominent part of various media reports, the Japanese Prime Minister mentioned in today’s speech: “Japan is already on the brink of whether it can continue to function as a society, and the issue of childbearing and childcare policy has reached the point where it is ‘not to be missed’ and cannot be delayed any longer。”
According to the estimation of the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare,The number of newborns in Japan will fall below 800,000 in 2022, a record low. According to forecasts, the total population of Japan on January 1 this year was 124 million, a year-on-year decrease of 0.43%. In terms of population structure,The population aged 65 and above accounted for 29% of the total, while young people aged 0-14 accounted for only 11.6%。
Given that countries facing aging like to “feel Japan across the river”, it is also curious what measures Kishida will take after this statement, but the Japanese prime minister only outlined an outline in his speech on Monday. In earlier speeches, Kishida had mentioned three platforms to support fertility – financial support, child care services and work model reform.
Fumio Kishida said on Monday he wanted to implement “unprecedented countermeasures” to stop aging and involve everyone, regardless of gender or age, in childcare. He will also thoroughly listen to the voices of parents, young people and childcare providers to build a social economy that puts children first.
The Prime Minister of Japan further disclosed,He will submit a plan to Congress by June this year to double the budget related to childcare. The Japanese government will also establish a new “Children and Family Agency” in April this year, aiming to ensure the sustainability of the world‘s third largest economy.
By the way, the Japanese domestic media “Sankei Shimbun” happened to report yesterday that due to the abnormal monetary easing policy, the “four lows” (low income, low prices, low interest rates, and low growth) of the Japanese economy are difficult to recover. GDP may be surpassed by Germany this year and fall to the fourth place in the world. From the data point of view, the total population of Japan is 40 million more than that of Germany, but Germany will account for 18% of the population aged 65 and over by the end of 2021, which is more than 10 percentage points lower than that of Japan.
(Source: Sankei Shimbun)
Regarding promoting inflation and economic development, Fumio Kishida also said on Monday that he would promote labor market reforms to create an environment in which workers’ incomes continue to grow. Japan’s prime minister told lawmakers he would push for a workforce restructuring that would allow workers to move smoothly into growth industries. I hope that in the future, more workers will be able to upgrade their skills, receive full benefits, and be paid according to job responsibilities rather than seniority.