Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in his address to the Diet upon being re-elected to the office Nov. 1, emphasized that one of the urgent tasks facing his Cabinet is tackling the low birthrate.

To address this issue, he proposed boosting day care capacity enough to handle 320,000 more children, thereby reducing the national waiting list for nurseries to zero, by the end of fiscal 2022. Moreover, the government plans to craft a policy package that will include free early childhood education.

Will these policies work to address Japan's low birthrate? The answer, most likely, is "no."