Japan Begins New Systems for Childcare Assistance, Education, Employment

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Bicycle helmets are seen in a bicycle shop in Okayama.

New systems for childcare assistance, education and employment were slated to be introduced with the start of the new fiscal year Saturday.

The Children and Families Agency will be established as an offshoot of the Cabinet Office to centralize and manage issues related to children, such as the declining birthrate and child abuse.

Companies with more than 1,000 employees will be required to disclose the percentage of male employees who take childcare leave. Companies subject to the requirement must annually announce their maternity leave-rate online or through other means.

The lump-sum maternity allowance paid upon childbirth will be increased from the current ¥420,000 to ¥500,000, in principle.

Public pension benefits will increase by 2.2% for people under 68 and by 1.9% for those 68 or over who are already receiving benefits, marking the first upward revision in three years.

Students and teachers will no longer be required to wear masks at school as part of measures against COVID-19. In this connection, there will no longer be a limit on participant numbers for entrance ceremonies and athletic competitions, nor will there be any time restraints on such events.

With the implementation of the revised Road Traffic Law, all bicycle users will be obliged to make an effort to wear a helmet. Until the end of March, parents were required to make an effort to have children under 13 wear a helmet.

A digital payroll system will be introduced, allowing employees to receive their salaries through a smartphone payment application or other means without the need for a bank account.