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New policies do little to meet fertility, elder care targets

TOKYO -- Newly outlined measures to help workers in Japan raise children and take care of the elderly have a long way to go toward meeting ambitious numerical targets as shortages of labor and facilities mount.

      The government aims to raise Japan's birthrate to 1.8 and eliminate cases in which workers caring for aging relatives are forced to leave their jobs. Special policies proposed by a panel and approved by the government on Thursday look to solve those issues by making child and elder care more compatible with working life and taking on other hurdles.

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