Fri, 22 Sep 2023

TOKYO, June 2 (Xinhua) -- The Japanese government has released a draft of the child care policies designed to reverse the Asian country's declining birthrate, including a plan to offer allowance to all households with children.

The government presented the draft package to a panel of experts on Thursday, aiming to implement the changes from fiscal 2024 starting next April.

According to the draft plan, the government will abolish the income cap for families receiving child-rearing allowances, and the coverage will be expanded to children in senior high school.

The monthly allowance will be 15,000 yen (108 U.S. dollars) for each child from newborns to 2 years old, and 10,000 yen (72 U.S. dollars) for each child from 3 years old through senior high school.

The draft plan also said the government will work out ways to increase financial support for childbirth further, including having childbirth expenses covered by public health insurance, possibly from fiscal 2026.

The government plans to earmark about 3.5 trillion yen (25.2 billion U.S. dollars) per year for the next three years to implement the package.

The draft plan stipulated that the government will study ways to finance these measures by the end of this year and secure stable funding sources by fiscal 2028, adding that any financial shortages before that will be covered by the issuance of a special bond.

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