Japan Govt OKs Child-Related Action Plan

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Prime Minister’s Office in Tokyo

Tokyo, May 31 (Jiji Press) — The Japanese government adopted Friday an action plan for child-related measures, including those to shore up the low birthrate such as expanding child allowances as well as enhanced steps to reduce child poverty.

The action plan for 2024, endorsed at the day’s meeting of the Council for the Promotion of Child-Related Measures, comprising all cabinet ministers, is set to be reflected in the government’s annual economic and fiscal policy guidelines, to be compiled in June or later.

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, who heads the council, called on the participating ministers to “steadily implement the action plan by listening sincerely to the views of children and youths.”

The action plan is the first drawn up on the basis of the General Principles for Child-Related Measures, adopted by the cabinet last December. The general principles set the direction of child-related measures for the next five years or so.

The action plan reiterates steps to expand child allowances, such as scrapping the income cap for parents for receiving the benefits and extending the payment period. It also features education support for children from low-income families and a survey on so-called young carers, or young people who provide daily care for family members.

In addition, the action plan includes indicators to check the progress in the implementation of child-related measures, such as the utilization rate for child-rearing support programs. The government plans to review the action plan every year through assessing the readings of the indicators.