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Internal Affairs Minister Noda hints gov't's measures to stem depopulation insufficient

Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Seiko Noda speaks at the Mainichi Forum in Nagoya's Nakamura Ward, on July 23, 2018. (Mainichi)

NAGOYA -- Minister for Internal Affairs and Communications Seiko Noda implied on July 23 that measures taken by the administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to stem the reduction of Japan's population are insufficient.

Speaking at an event organized here by the Mainichi Newspapers Co., Noda, a potential contender in the upcoming election of the president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said, "A variety of billboards are popping up, but I'm afraid that the disadvantageous truth is not conveyed to you properly."

Noda referred to an estimate made by a committee of the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism that Japan's population will decline to 105.69 million in 2040 from the current level of 126.59 million. She pointed out that the year 2040 will be "a time of fear when Tokyo, which is very active now, will melt down under the weight of the elderly population."

The internal affairs minister emphasized the importance of increasing the number of female lawmakers, saying, "Few women exist in places of policy decision making because mostly men have been elected as representatives." As a result, Noda pointed out, measures to support pregnancy, delivery and childrearing are not sufficiently implemented by male lawmakers "who are not good at dealing with them."

(Japanese original by Hiroyuki Tanaka, Political News Department)

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