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Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has vowed "unprecedented" measures to boost births, while experts say the challenge goes hand in hand with improving the overall economy. (Photo by Ken Kobayashi)
Asia Insight

Japan readies 'last hope' measures to stop falling births

Experts say next 10 years are critical as Kishida eyes 'children first' society

KENTARO IWAMOTO, Nikkei staff writer | Japan

TOKYO -- After seven decades in business, Osaka art supplies company Tsuboyone is preparing to shut down next month. Japan's shrinking student population has gradually reduced the market for the palettes, pencil sharpeners, brush buckets and other products it sells to schools and art colleges.

The small company was founded in 1949 -- the same year Japan logged a record 2.69 million births amid the postwar baby boom. The estimate for last year was under 800,000, less than a third of the peak.

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