The House of Representatives on Friday passed a bill aimed at boosting measures to tackle the country's declining birthrate.

The bill was approved at a plenary session of the lower chamber of the parliament, with support mainly from the ruling bloc, and is expected to be enacted during the current Diet session, set to end in June, after deliberations at the House of Councilors, the upper chamber.

It is designed to expand child-rearing allowances and calls for introducing a system to collect new fees on top of public medical insurance premiums to secure funds for measures to combat the low birthrate.

The government plans to start collecting the fees in fiscal 2026 and gradually increase the amounts to secure ¥1 trillion annually from fiscal 2028.

The Children and Families Agency estimates that the average monthly fees will be ¥450 per insurance policy holder in fiscal 2028. The average is estimated to stand at ¥800 for those covered by medical insurance programs.

Actual payments will differ depending on the types of insurance programs and annual income.

The monthly average is estimated at ¥850 for members of health insurance programs for workers of large companies and ¥950 for members of the kyōsai programs for public servants.

By annual income, the monthly amount is projected at ¥1,000 for those earning ¥6 million and ¥1,350 for those earning ¥8 million.

The amount is projected at ¥350 for members of the health insurance program for people aged 75 or older and ¥600 for households of the national health insurance program mainly for self-employed people.

Income caps for child-rearing allowances are set to be eliminated in October this year. The scope of the benefits will be expanded to cover children up to high school age, instead of until junior high school age under the current scheme. The monthly allowance will be doubled for the third child and beyond.