Tokyo governor considers monthly child benefit to boost birthrate

The Tokyo Metropolitan Government is considering offering households with children aged 18 or younger in the capital a monthly handout of about 5,000 yen, or 38 dollars, per child. The aim is to help increase the number of children.

Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko announced the plan in a New Year address on Wednesday. The metropolitan government is planning to include the benefits in its budget for fiscal 2023, which starts in April.

She noted that the number of births in Japan is likely to fall below 800,000 a year for the first time. She said this could shake the very foundations of society.

Koike pointed out that the central government is not doing enough to immediately tackle the issue in its draft budget for the next fiscal year.

The governor said Tokyo will take the lead in addressing the issue, as there is no time to lose.

Koike also suggested that the measure will not set an income cap for handout recipients.

She told NHK that it is important to provide seamless support for childrearing.