Japan's total population shrank by 0.43 per cent or about 538,000 in 2022, official estimates showed Friday, amid the government's pledge to address the demographic challenge.
According to provisional figures released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the country's total population stood at 124.77 million as of Jan. 1, compared with 125.31 million on the same day in 2022.
The rate of decrease eased slightly from 2021 when the population dropped 0.6 per cent, reports Xinhua.
In the latest count, people aged 65 or over totalled about 36.21 million, accounting for 29 per cent, while the ratio of those under the age of 15 came to 14.45 million, making up for 11.6 per cent of the population.
With a declining birthrate and an ageing population, a shrinking workforce and a greater financial burden on the medical and social security systems are posing challenges to the country.
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is set to pledge to secure funds for policies to combat Japan's declining birthrate in his speech at the opening of a regular parliamentary session next week.
In a new year's news conference earlier this month, Kishida promised to focus on policies related to children this year, vowing to tackle the low birthrate through "unprecedented" steps.