The government is set to raise its lump-sum childbirth and child care allowance to some ¥500,000 from April, informed sources said Wednesday.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is expected to announce the hike soon. He has pledged to increase the allowance, which stands at ¥420,000 per baby in principle, as part of the government's measures to support families raising children.
The allowance, financed with public health insurance premiums collected by health insurance associations and others, is given to ease household economic burdens at the time of childbirth.
There is a program under which the allowance is paid directly to medical institutions where recipients give birth, reducing the need to prepare money for childbirth in advance.
Costs for childbirth have been rising in Japan in recent years.
According to the health ministry, the national average was about ¥470,000 in fiscal 2021, exceeding the current allowance. The average surpassed ¥500,000 in the Tokyo area.
The health ministry also hopes to ensure transparency of childbirth expenses by disclosing on its website the average length of stay and average childbirth costs at medical institutions.