Early this year the Japanese government announced a dramatic decline in the national birth rate.

The long-term forecast is for the population to drop to 47.71 million in 100 years from its peak of 127.84 million in 2004. Such a fall would make the predicted 2100 Japanese population equivalent to the number of inhabitants a century ago.

To help reverse the nation’s falling birth rate, the Japanese government has introduced medical insurance that reduces the financial burden of birthing to 30 per cent of the total fee.

The total number of assisted reproductive technology cases in Japan in 2018 was 447,763 with 55,000 babies born as a result of ART in that year. That represents about five per cent of all newborn Japanese babies in a year.

It has been reported that more than 400,000 births annually will be necessary to keep the total population at around 100 million.

Will it be possible to achieve an eight-fold increase the number of babies born after ART each year?

My most optimistic estimate is that we can achieve 100,000 births. I wonder if the Government insurance coverage should and would continue at that new rate of births from ART.


“Japan report” on ASPIRE newsletter Volume 7, Issue 3 (August 2022). Read more here.
Written by Professor Atsushi Tanaka Country Representatives