More than half of a Yomiuri Shimbun opinion poll believes that Japan is not an easy place to raise children. 64% of those who answered the newspaper’s survey said that raising kids in Japan is not as easy as it used to be. The results were 12 points lower than from the same number of respondents eight years ago. In the same poll, a high 93% of those who answered are concerned over the nation’s declining birthrate.
3,000 voters from all over Japan were chosen to participate in the survey conducted via face-to-face interviews with the respondents. Out of the 3,000, around 1,522 gave valid answers, which constitutes a 51% response rate on the survey. 54% of those who answered were female and 46% were male. The survey was conducted on Jan 18-19 and out of those who responded, 35% believes Japan is a good place to raise children, a 13-point increase compared to a similar survey done in 2006. Results indicate Japan’s increasing awareness and acceptance of working mothers in Japanese society. 59% of the respondents also believe that both mother and father should take turns in taking care of their baby, in contrast with the 23% who think that wives should be the one solely in charge of the baby. A small 8% voted that wives must resign from work to prioritize the baby.
When it comes to the matter of cutting social security expenses for the elderly services and pensions to use the funds for child day care centers, 55% do not agree with the idea while 38% agreed. The results differed greatly in the 2006 survey where those who agreed and disagreed were almost the same percentage, 47% disagreed while 46% agreed. On the other hand, 93% of the respondents expressed concern with the decrease of children being born in Japan and its effects on the nation’s future.