Japan seeks to improve its birthrate

March 20, 2013 at 10:21 AM

TOKYO, March 20 (UPI) -- Japan's government will embark on a program to boost the country's birthrate by encouraging citizens to get married and have children, a government source said.

The source told The Yomiuri Shimbun that an expert task force will be established next week to come up with a set of concrete measures by May to combat the country's declining birthrate.

Masako Mori, state minister for birthrate measures, will head the task force comprised of scholars, doctors, heads of local government and corporate managers.

Three bills that center on improving child care services and preschool education in Japan were passed into law last year.

The government calculates that establishing better conditions for childbirth and marriage can boost Japan's fertility rate from 1.39 children per woman to 1.75.

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