Japan to Outline New Child Support Measures in March

Politics

Tokyo, Jan. 6 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Friday gave Masanobu Ogura, minister in charge of policies for children, until the end of March to come up with an outline of new measures to support child rearing.

Kishida aims to double the government's budget for child care to address the country's declining birthrate. The government plans to include an outline of new measures in annual economic and fiscal policy guidelines due out in June.

The prime minister instructed Ogura to consider expanding child benefits, improving services related to child education and beefing up support for parents to raise children while working.

Ogura will form a task force of officials as early as this month to discuss details. A new agency that the government plans to set up on April 1 to oversee policies related to children and families will also discuss the measures.

A major challenge is how to secure funds for those measures as the government already plans to raise corporate, income and tobacco taxes to finance a boost in defense spending. "We'll lay the groundwork for discussions on financial resources," Ogura told a press conference.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press