Explaining that the country’s future was at stake, Japan’s ruling party in 2009 came up with a program designed to boost its birthrate, one of the world’s lowest. The plan was simple: Couples who procreated would get cash — a payment every month during a child’s first 15 years.
But last week, to surprisingly little complaint, the government abandoned a proposal to boost the payments, and political analysts suggest the entire child allowance system could soon be dropped.
The political reversal provided the first evidence of a new challenge facing Japan, where efforts to fund reconstruction of the disaster-stricken northeastern coastal region will necessitate cuts in programs that once seemed essential.
Read the rest of the story: Japan scales back child subsidy program – The Washington Post.