The Japan Pediatric Association has warned the falling birthrate could be expedited by ten years because of the pandemic, a trend that could not only wipe out pediatric medicine but have far reaching effects.
The International Monetary Fund has forecast global economic growth of around 5.2% in 2021, but expects Japan’s growth to be closer to 2.3%. Kumano said depopulation was the major factor in the differing outlooks.
(hi. Can we go without “around” and “closer to” as IMF is specifically predicting 5.2% growth for the world and 2.3% growth for Japan? Many tks)
A recent survey by the Nikkei newspaper showed that the majority of 22 economists polled expect that the Japanese economy will not come back to pre-pandemic levels before 2024, indicating a prolonged headwind against getting married.
Policymakers are scrambling to address the crisis, covering fertility treatment with health insurance and doubling the upper limit of a one-off government allowance for newlyweds to 600,000 yen ($5,726).
“There are various predictions on what will happen if the number of births keeps falling, but one thing is certain. Current systems, including the social security system, will no longer be functional,” Masaji Matsuyama, former minister overseeing the issue of declining births, told Reuters.
“It will be a crisis in which the very existence of the nation as we know it is at stake.” ($1 = 104.7900 yen) (Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka; editing by Jane Wardell)