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Japan's birthrate plunge reflects would-be parents' income anxieties

Calls for workplace reforms mount as having children becomes a 'luxury'

Japan's fertility rate last year sunk past the record low recorded in 2005.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan's birthrate continues to decline with no end in sight, laying bare persistent concerns young men and women have about conditions for raising children.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare released official figures Friday showing the birthrate fell for the seventh straight year last year, hitting a record low. The fertility rate, the average number of children a woman will have her lifetime, stood at 1.2565.

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