• Politics & Government

Birthrate, Child-rearing Issues Stand Out in Analysis of Kishida’s Diet Comments

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks at the Diet on Tuesday.

Analysis of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s comments in the latest Diet session indicates the declining birthrate and support child-rearing are at the forefront of his policy agenda.

Utilizing text mining software developed by Tokyo-based tech firm User Local Inc., The Yomiuri Shimbun tallied the frequency of word combinations that appeared in comments made by Kishida in the House of Representatives, the House of Councillors, and during Budget Committee meetings.

The most frequent combination comprised the words “kanyo” (involvement) and “usui” (sparse), appearing 18 times in such comments about the scant involvement of men in child-rearing, and the importance of creating an “atmosphere that promotes child-rearing across society.”

The second-most frequent combination comprised the words “shitsu” (quality) and “takai” (high), appearing nine times in such comments as “People must have equal opportunities to receive a high-quality education.”

Analysis of Kishida’s comments in an extraordinary Diet session last year showed a high frequency of words such as “hansei” (reflection), “moshiwakenai” (sorry), “chosa” (investigation) and “muzukashii” (difficult).

Shoji Azuma, a professor of sociolinguistics at the University of Utah, said the data reflects the fact that “Kishida had to tackle problems surrounding so called the Unification Church and successive resignations of Cabinet ministers.”