Japan's govt. aims to secure 3 trillion yen for measures to tackle low birthrate

The Japanese government is considering securing 3 trillion yen, or over 21 billion dollars, annually to tackle the country's declining birthrate. It plans to carry out measures with increased intensity over the next three years.

Prime Minister Kishida Fumio earlier said he does not plan to raise the consumption tax to fund the measures.

Instead, the government is studying reforming social welfare expenses, raising social security premiums and other steps to earn the revenue needed.

One of its ideas is to collect additional funds using the health insurance system, which is supported by premiums paid by people of working age and seniors as well as contributions from companies.

The government is considering raising health insurance premiums starting in fiscal 2026. Until then, it plans to issue bonds to make up for the budget shortfall.

The government intends to use about 8.7 billion dollars of the 3 trillion yen it raises to expand coverage of childcare allowance. It plans to abolish the income ceiling for recipients and extend the allowance until the child completes high school. It also plans to double the monthly allowance for the third child and beyond to about 200 dollars. This increased allowance will be provided for children aged 3 until they graduate from elementary school.

The government is also studying plans to double the budget for the childcare measures by the early 2030s. It says the current budget is nearly 5 trillion yen, or about 36 billion dollars, based on the amount allocated to the Children and Families Agency.

The government also plans to create a special account to manage the childcare measures budget.