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The number of babies born in Japan in 2021 fell by 29,231, or 3.5%, from the previous year to a record low of 811,604, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare said Friday.

The total fertility rate, or the average number of children a woman is expected to have in her lifetime, stands at 1.30, down 0.03 point. The rate, down for the sixth straight year, fell to the fourth-lowest level on record.

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