TOKYO (dpa) – A Japanese city is planning to help female residents with the cost of freezing their eggs as part of efforts to turn around declining birth rates, an official said Friday.
The city of Urayasu near Tokyo is considering legislation helping women aged between 20 and 35 have their eggs frozen for possible later pregnancies, said the local official, who did not want to be named because the bill had not yet passed.
It is one of a number of measures designed to counter a falling birth rate after the city set up a foundation to tackle the issue, he said.
Two years ago the city’s fertility rate fell to 1.04, much lower than the national average of 1.39.
Japan as a whole is facing an increased demographic burden, after decades of rapid aging of the population and low birth rates.
People aged 65 or older are expected to make up 40 per cent of the country’s population by 2060, according to the National Institute of Population and Social Security Research. Urayasu would be the first local government to launch such an initiative if its assembly approves funding.