To counter the nation's ultralow birthrate, five prefectural governments are offering to subsidize fertility treatment for men, sources said, in addition to the nationwide program.

With six more prefectures considering following suit, the tally signals that local governments are taking action to deal with the problem by focusing on men as well. Often, infertility treatment has focused on women even though the problem lies with the man in half of the couples who are unable to conceive naturally.

"We want to publicize that it is not only women's problems," an official of one of the five prefectures said.