Go to contents

1 Million Won For Sterile Couples

Posted July. 18, 2003 22:05,   


The Japanese government that has been concerned about its aging population is trying hard to raise its child birth rate with some 260 billion yens (2 trillion and 500 billion won) of funds set aside to achieve this objective.

It is also coming up with various ideas to raise a birthrate such as providing assistance to sterile couples, expanding its child assistance funds and having get-together events for unmarried men and women.

Japanese Economic Daily reported on July 18th that Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare would provide some 100,000 yens of funds (some 1 million won) per year for sterile couples so that they can have necessary treatment to get pregnant. The Ministry also plans to increase the coverage of child-raising assistance funds from the current 6 years old to 9 years old while expanding child welfare facilities.

Sterile treatments cost 300,000 to 400,000 yens per year, which is too expensive for general couples to get. The ministry will provide the funds to 280,000 people as its first stage of the project. In the long term, the birthrate would rise if more couples could get the treatments.

For child-raising assistance funds, the first and second children will be provided with 5000 yens each while the third child will get 10,000 yens. And the coverage in terms of child ages was also raised to promote more birthrates.

The reason why the Japanese government is so concentrated on raising the birthrate is because it knows well that its national economy will lose momentum if the current decline in the birthrate continues with the increasing number of aging people and the reduction in the working population.

An average life span of Japanese women stands at 85.23 which is the highest in the world while that of Japanese men marks 78.32 which is the second-highest in the world. On the other hand, an average birthrate for last year recorded 1.32 with the number of newborn children last year hit the bottom as 1,153,866.

The number of married couples also nosedived to 757,331, down by 40,000 couples from the previous year while the divorce rate is on the increase.

Local self-governing bodies had supported some 120 million yens (1.2 billion won) to have couple events until last year only to have 4 children as its successful fruits. The Japanese government is considering a way to give out some encouragement funds for the marriage at the events.