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Kishida aims for half of new fathers to take child care leave in 2025

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said Friday he will raise the nation’s target for the ratio of men taking child care leave to 50% in fiscal 2025, increasing drastically from the current goal of 30%.

He also said he will aim to raise the rate to 85% by fiscal 2030, adding that the bold goals are necessary to reverse the declining birthrate. Those are lofty targets in a country with a famously rigid corporate culture: As of Oct. 1, 2021, the latest data available, the figure was 13.97%.

“We are at a turning point in history and the best way to overcome our challenges is investment in our people,” he told a news conference on Friday, noting that the number of new births has declined by nearly 200,000 over the past five years — to below 800,000 in 2022 for the first time ever.

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