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Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary

Monday, January 30, 2012 (PM)

Press Conference by the Chief Cabinet Secretary (Excerpt)

[Provisional Translation]



REPORTER: Returning to the subject of population projections, although I realize that making projections about the situation 30 or 50 years from now is difficult, it is the case that Japanese society is faced with a declining birthrate and aging population, and it is therefore unavoidable that the population will decline in the years ahead. What is the Government's view of this issue?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: The issue of the aging society is one that will continue in the future. With regard to the birthrate, I do not think that we can expect it to suddenly surge in years to come. In that sense the population pyramid is therefore set to become an inverted one, with fewer people of productive working age supporting the social security system, and it is for this reason that the comprehensive reform of social security and taxation systems is required. A further point is the draft bill for "new systems for children and child-rearing," which is scheduled to be submitted to the current session of the Diet. This bill is being submitted based on the recognition that we cannot leave the issue of the declining birthrate unaddressed, and that it will be necessary to formulate policy that will ensure the creation of a society in which it is easy to have children and raise them.

REPORTER: I believe that both the previous Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)-New Komeito administration and the current administration of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) have provided child-support measures to date, however in contrast to other countries, such as France, for example, these measures do not seem to have been particularly effective. What analysis is the Government implementing on child support measures?

CHIEF CABINET SECRETARY FUJIMURA: We should remember that the birthrate has risen slightly in recent years. I believe that the Government's child support measures implemented to date, including those continued from the LDP-New Komeito administration have contributed to this gradual upward shift in the birthrate, and the Government recognizes that further efforts should be made to strengthen support measures. I believe that in the case of France the birthrate also rose from a certain point of time as a groundbreaking way in a sense.


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