One of the most urgent tasks that the government needs to tackle is Japan's low birth rate. At less than 1.5, it remains well below the replacement rate.

While the reasons for the low birthrate are multiple, the government should do more to make child delivery a less painful process, both financially and physically.

Giving birth in Japan is expensive compared with other developed countries. It entails direct substantial financial costs and involves high indirect costs in terms of lost income and career setback. Finally, whereas other developed countries made efforts to minimize the physical pain associated with child delivery, in Japan the traditional way is favored.