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Japan's births fall below 900,000 for the first time on record

Despite government push, aging nation suffers population drop of over 500,000 this year

Births in Japan in 2019 were the lowest since records began despite government efforts to encourage couples to have larger families. (Photo by Wataru Ito)

TOKYO -- The number of babies born in Japan has fallen drastically this year, slipping below 900,000 for the first time on record.

The health ministry announced on Tuesday that Japanese births totaled 864,000 in 2019, a decline of nearly 6% from the year before. The tally is the lowest since the government began collecting data in 1899.

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