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Japan's births set to fall below 800,000 as decline hastens

Population could shrink to less than 100 million earlier than 2053 projection

The recovery in births since the start of the pandemic has skipped some rich countries such as Japan. (Photo by Wataru Ito)

TOKYO -- Births in Japan are on pace to reach a record low of below 800,000 this year, according to the latest official statistics, raising the specter of its population falling below the 100 million threshold much faster than anticipated.

For 12 months through May, births among Japanese nationals totaled 798,561, according to data released by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare in October. This is the first time the 12-month figure has dipped below 800,000 births, based on available data.

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