AP, Mar. 12
TOKYO — How about getting paid 1 million yen for having a baby?
To combat a shrinking population, a small town in northern Japan has decided to give a cash award worth about $9,600 to each female resident who has a third child, an official said Friday.
To be eligible, the women must have lived in Yamatsuri town for more than a year, town hall spokesman Eiichi Takanobu said.
As the country’s birthrate declines, demographers have predicted Japan’s population will peak at about 127.7 million next year and fall rapidly over the next half-century to about 100 million.
The situation is raising concerns about how future generations will support the growing ranks of elderly and how businesses will survive as the labor pool shrinks.
(Posted on March 15, 2005)