Japan government advisers warn birth rate falling at more rapid pace this year
TOKYO (Reuters) - Private sector advisers to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga warned on Monday that Japan's birth rate is declining at a faster pace amid the coronavirus crisis, saying that society should have a "sense of crisis" about it.
The four advisers in the 11-member Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy (CEFP), Japan's top economic advisory panel, cited the possibility that the world's third-largest economy may see fewer than 800,000 births this year, 10 years ahead of a projection by a government research institute.
The advisers called on the government to strengthen support for children and child-rearing households, such as for securing sufficient revenues for raising support to levels comparable to that of other countries.
The council is comprised of Suga and key economic ministers, as well as Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda and the four advisers, including the head of Japan's biggest business lobby.
Proposals by the advisers tend to provide the foundation for the government's mid- to long-term policy roadmap, to be drawn up by the CEFP.
(Reporting by Daniel Leussink; Editing by Catherine Evans and Mark Heinrich)
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