Japan birth rate slumped to record low

TOKYO: Japan’s birth rate declined for the seventh consecutive year in 2022 to a record low, the health ministry said on Friday, underscoring the sense of crisis gripping the country as the population shrinks and ages rapidly.
The fertility rate, or the average number of children born to a woman in her lifetime, was 1.2565. That compares with the previous low of 1.2601 posted in 2005 and is far below the rate of 2.07 considered necessary to maintain a stable population.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has made arresting the country’s sliding birth rate a top priority and his government, despite high levels of debt, plans to earmark spending of 3.5 trillion yen ($25 billion) a year on child care and other measures to support parents. –Agencies