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Kishida rules out tax hikes to fund more child care spending

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida on Monday ruled out raising taxes to fund a planned increase in child care spending to tackle the falling birthrate, as government sources said the goal of doubling Japan’s child policy budget will likely be set for the early 2030s.

Kishida places priority on boosting child-rearing support, seeing dwindling births as a “national crisis.” He has said whether Japan can reverse the downward trend before 2030 will be key.

The government would need to secure additional funding of around ¥5 trillion ($36 billion) a year if it doubles the current state budget of around ¥4.8 trillion allocated in fiscal 2023 for a newly launched agency dealing with child and family-related issues.