Japanese minister proposes increasing subsidies, salaries to promote marriage and raise birthrates

Japan's Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare, Katsunobu Kato, is proposing a plan to increase subsidies and salaries in order to encourage marriage and raise birthrates.

Kato announced his plan at a press conference on Tuesday, citing concerns over the nation's declining birthrate as motivation for the proposed measures. “We need to take strong measures to address the issue of the low birthrate,” he said.

Under the proposed plan, couples would receive a one-time payment of 500,000 yen ($4,600) when they marry. Additionally, the government would give a monthly subsidy of 25,000 yen ($230) to married couples with children under the age of 18.

Kato also plans to introduce a new salary system to help young people get better jobs. Under the new system, employers would be required to provide a salary of at least 1.5 million yen ($13,700) for new graduates and 2.25 million yen ($20,500) for those with two or more years of experience.

The government hopes that these measures will encourage more young people to get married and have children. The plan is expected to be implemented in April 2021.

Kato's proposal comes as Japan is facing a population crisis. The nation's birthrate has been declining for decades, and the number of people aged 65 and over is expected to exceed 40 million by 2040.

Kato believes that his plan will help reverse the trend. “We hope that this will help create an environment in which more people can get married and have children,” he said.

Only time will tell if the government's plan will be successful. However, it is clear that the Japanese government is taking the population crisis seriously and is willing to take bold steps to address it.