Japan’s birthrate policy could be funded by government bonds, says ruling party heavyweight

TOKYO: Japan’s efforts to counter the country’s declining birth rate by doubling the budget for child-related policies could possibly be covered by government bonds, a ruling party heavyweight lawmaker said in a television programme broadcast on Sunday (Mar 12).

“I think it’s completely plausible to consider covering it with government bonds,” Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) lawmaker Hiroshige Seko said during a segment on BS TV Tokyo regarding the government’s policy to take “unprecedented” steps in countering Japan’s falling birth rate.

Seko, currently the LDP’s secretary-general for the upper house, said there needed to be a discussion on whether to fund the policy with government bonds, taxes, an insurance scheme, or a combination of different sources, but added that funding through government bond issuance “should be allowed”.

Births in Japan plunged to a new record low of just less than 800,000 last year, according to official records.