There is a decline in the Japanese population and policy makers are worried about this problem. The baby shortage, as it is called, is now an urgent problem for policy makers, who fear a smaller workforce supporting a growing number of elderly will hurt the world's number two economy.
Figures released by the Health Ministry reveal that 50.3 percent of women born between 1971 and 1974 had had no children by the time they reached 30. This generation is called as the second baby boomer generation.
According to a Health Ministry official quoted by the Kyodo news agency, "That many women in the second baby boomer generation have few children could mean the birthrate will fall at a faster rate and the population will further decline."
Japan's fertility rate fell to a post-war low of 1.2888 in 2004 from 1.2905 in 2003. Demographers say a rate of 2.1 is needed to keep a population from declining.
Officials have said the next five years, while are crucial for efforts to halt Japan's population decline. Due to the Second World War and mass destruction Japan's population shrank.