13 Abr 06
Japan eyes discount shopping to boost
- Alarmed by its sliding birth rate and rapidly
aging population, Japan is hoping the prospect of
lower shopping bills will encourage couples to go
for bigger families.
government is considering issuing identity cards
to families with children, which would
give discounts at stores cooperating with the
program, the Yomiuri Shimbun daily said on
of the discounts would be decided by the stores,
which would also be expected to fund the system in
return for favorable publicity surrounding the plan,
the Yomiuri said.
government is also considering tax rebates as a way
of reducing the economic burden on parents of young
children, which is seen as one reason for the
declining birth rate.
fertility rate -- the average number of children a
woman bears in her lifetime -- fell to a postwar low
of just under 1.29 in 2004. Demographers say a rate
of 2.1 is needed to keep a population from declining.
The nation's population shrank in the year to
October for the first time since 1945.