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Japan Enacts Bill to Expand Measures for Tackling Low Birthrate

Japan Enacts Bill to Expand Measures for Tackling Low Birthrate

   Tokyo, June 5 (Jiji Press)--Japan's parliament Wednesday enacted a bill aimed at bolstering measures to tackle the country's declining birthrate.
   To secure funds necessary for the expanded measures, such as removing the income cap on child allowances, the government will collect "support funds" widely from the general public, in the form of extra fees to be added to public medical insurance premiums.
   The bill to amend related laws was approved by a majority vote with support mainly from the ruling camp at a plenary meeting of the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, following its passage through the House of Representatives, the lower chamber, in April.
   On the support fund scheme, under which the fee collection will start in stages from fiscal 2026, the government has explained that it will promote spending reforms and take other steps so that there will be no real additional burden imposed on the people. It is unclear, however, whether this explanation can win public understanding.
   The government plans to secure 3.6 trillion yen annually by fiscal 2028 for the expanded child-rearing assistance measures. Of the total, 1 trillion yen will come from the support fund scheme.

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