Last month, Japan’s government passed a stunning new initiative in this year’s budget that gives parents cash for having kids. It’s a drastic move for a huge problem as the country has the world’s fastest aging population, and one of the lowest birth rates. By 2050, experts estimate a whopping 40 percent of the country’s population will be over age 65.
The measure calls for the government to pay families $150 per child each month, so a couple with two children would receive $300 a month.
Leading Japanese economists like Yuri Okina say the money doesn’t get to the root of the problem as many Japanese women don’t want to have children because of the inequity of domestic duties and the country’s lack of day care, which often means women must give up their jobs when they have kids.
Officials estimate an estimated 46,000 children are on waiting lists to get into day care in Japan.
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