THE WORLD

Births in Japan are falling at a record level, it is considered the country's biggest crisis

The number of babies born in Japan last year fell for the eighth year in a row, government data showed, while officials said it was critical for the country to reverse the trend in the coming years.

The 758,631 babies born in Japan in 2023 was a 5.1% drop from a year earlier, according to the Ministry of Health. It is the lowest number of births since Japan began collecting statistics in 1899.

The number of marriages was 489,281, falling below half a million for the first time in 90 years – one of the key reasons for the decline in births. Births out of wedlock are rare in Japan, the Guardian wrote.

Surveys show that many young Japanese refuse to marry or start a family, discouraged by poor job prospects, the high cost of living that has risen faster than wages, and a corporate culture that has made it difficult for both parents to work. .

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has called the low birthrate trend "the biggest crisis facing Japan" and has offered a package of measures that includes more support for children and families.

Japan's population of over 125 million is projected to drop by about 30% to 87 million by 2070.