Japanese government reported that the country's population has shown a marginal rise for the first time in three years. The population of Japan rose 12,707 to 127,066,178 as of the end of March, according to the home affairs ministry.
A total of 1,096,465 Japanese were born in the year to March, the second straight year that the figure rose, the government said.
The Japanese government has forecast its population will fall to 60 million -- half its current size -- by 2100 unless it can persuade citizens to have more children.
Many young people have chosen to put off starting families, viewing children as a burden to their lifestyles or careers.
Japan, which accepts few immigrants, fears a future demographic crisis as a smaller working population supports a mass of pensioners.