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Wednesday, 2nd July 2008
In General Japan News,

Japan birth-rate 'needs to increase'

Japan must increase its birth-rate if it is to retain its position as a economic world power, government experts have claimed.

The panel of experts was commissioned to examine the trajectory of the country's economy over the next decade.

Concerns have been raised recently that, with the growth of China, India and Singapore, Japan is losing its cutting edge as a major Asian economy and world financial centre.

In 2007, the birth-rate in Japan was 1.34. The economic policy panel says this needs to be raised to 1.8 if the country's economy is to remain on track.

Japan's economics and fiscal policy minister Hiroko Ota stressed the need for the country to compete in the world economy and become a "stonghold of knowledge-building".

According to data from the Japanese Statistics Bureau, the nation's total population in 2006 was 127.77 million, compared to China with 1.3 billion, India with 1.1 billion and the US with 300 million.