Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is counting on his new minister for stemming Japan's population decline to inspire imitators. He's a father of four.

Katsunobu Kato, a 59-year-old former Finance Ministry official, was appointed Wednesday to a new Cabinet post responsible for turning around Japan's demographic descent.

His task: reverse the nation's sliding birthrate and stem the flow of people leaving the labor force to care for elderly relatives. Japan has the highest percentage of people aged 65 or over of all the Group of Seven nations.