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Economy

Fertility crash: Japan's births headed below 900,000 this year

Faster-than-expected decline strains social security and economic growth

Fewer children are being born in Japan, partly due to the children of baby boomers reaching their mid-40s.

TOKYO -- The number of babies born in Japan is declining even faster than expected, highlighting the need to support families in order to avert even greater strain on the nation's social safety net and economy.

Births during the January-July period fell 5.9% on the year to 518,590, the sharpest drop in 30 years, preliminary figures from the health ministry show. This marks the fourth straight yearly decline and a steeper fall than the 2% decrease for the first seven months of 2018.

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