Japan saw the biggest natural population decline on record in 2018, a year when there were only 921,000 births but 1.37m deaths. The population decline this year is 448,000.
While the Shinzo Abe has adopted a policy of increasing birthrates, the number of births fell to its lowest since records began more than a century ago. The number of births was 25,000 fewer than last year’s figure.
The country witnessed the below-million births in the previous two years too.
The government has set a target of reaching a fertility ratio (average number of children a woman will have in her lifetime) of 1.8 by April 2026. But the current rate is 1.43.
Japan is an old society, with a high proportion of the elderly. The average life expectancy of the country is 87.2 years for women and 81.01 years for men.
Over 20% of the total population of 126.7 million are aged 70 and over.