• Kyodo News


A governmental strategic panel on the falling birthrate will place priority on helping parents achieve a favorable work-life balance, panel sources said Tuesday.

In its midterm basic policy report to be compiled in June, the panel chaired by Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki will stress the need for a better environment in which parents can bear and raise children while continuing to work, the sources said.

The panel will also propose promoting the employment of women as well as young and elderly citizens to prevent the expected rapid fall in the working-age population after 2030.

The panel cited the need to improve the environment for parents who have children less than 3 years old and who wish to return to work from child-care leave, and to create a comprehensive measure combining social security and tax systems.

The panel plans to compile the report along with interim reports from its subcommittees in early June, so its proposals can be reflected in the government policy outline formulated by the end of the month.

The panel plans to stress that the financial burden should not be shouldered by the next generation and budgetary resources should be earmarked as soon as possible.

However, it will delay coming up with specific fiscal measures for the policies until fall or later, when the government is set to hold full-scale discussions on tax reform, according to the sources.

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