To mark Children’s Day, which was Wednesday, here’s a roundup of recent stories about Japan’s issues with kids:
- Japan’s estimated child population has hit a record low of 14.93 million after falling for 40 straight years, data showed Tuesday. The proportion of children within the overall population also fell to its lowest point on record, at 11.9%.
- The ruling party is discussing proposals for a new “Children’s Agency” that would centralize control over kids’ education and welfare, reports Eric Johnston. After the prime minister backed the idea last month, stocks of firms offering child care and education services soared.
- Also last month, a ruling party lawmaker submitted a proposal to Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga to set up a central database of records of sex crimes, aimed at preventing perpetrators from becoming teachers and cram school tutors.
- The first government survey of so-called young carers showed that 5.7% of second-year junior high schoolers look after family members with chronic illnesses or other problems. Over 10% of such children spend seven hours-plus per weekday on such care.
- A new website designed to be a crowdsourced guide to help house hunters avoid noisy neighborhoods is stoking controversy, The New York Times reports. Many parents are alarmed by the prevalence of posts on the site expressing annoyance with kids playing.