National

Fertility aid, loans for single parents eyed to revive Japanese society

Kyodo

The government is drawing up measures to help revitalize Japanese society that includes expanded financial aid for fertility treatment and loan programs for single-parent households, sources close to the matter said Saturday.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is promoting “dynamic engagement of all citizens” to address the nation’s aging population and lower birthrates while struggling to keep the economy on a recovery path.

A panel of ministers and experts on such issues is expected to agree on the policy measures next week, the sources said.

In an attempt to raise the birthrate for couples hoping to have children, the government plans to raise subsidies for women receiving fertility treatment and also allow the cost of infertility treatment for men to be covered by the program.

On assistance for single-parent homes, the government is considering setting up a loan scheme as well as increasing child care allowances.

Abe is focusing on reforming the welfare system to make it easier for people to raise children or care for the elderly while working.

The policy package could also involve setting up more nursing homes operated by public interest corporations and raising benefits for those taking family-care leave.