Births in Japan fall to record low in 2018
NHK -- Jun 08
Government statistics show that Japan's population is shrinking at a faster pace as births hit a new record low.

The Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry says the average number of children a woman gives birth to in her lifetime stood at 1.42 in 2018. That's slightly down from a year earlier.

Okinawa was the prefecture with the highest fertility rate at 1.89. Tokyo had the lowest at 1.20.

Almost 920,000 babies were born last year. That is the fewest since statistics began in 1899.

About 1.36 million people died, the most since the end of World War Two.

The number of deaths minus that of births was about 444,000, a record high for an eleventh year in a row.

The number of male-female couples who married last year stood at 586,000. That's the lowest since the end of World War Two.

去年1年間の結婚の件数が戦後、最も少なかったことが分かりました。 厚生労働省によりますと、去年1年間の婚姻件数は戦後、最も少ない58万6500組で、初めて60万組を下回りました。初婚の平均年齢は男性が31.1歳、女性が29.4歳となっています。また、去年1年間に生まれた赤ちゃんは91万8400人で、調査を開始して以来、最少となった一方、国内の死亡者数は136万2500人で戦後、最多でした。全体の人口は約44万4000人減って過去最大の減少幅になりました。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
Jul 17
School-related matters led to more suicides last year among youth aged between 10 and 19 than any other issue, the government said Tuesday in its annual paper on the topic. (Japan Times)
Jul 15
Japan's Princess Mako has visited the ancient Inca city of Machu Picchu in Peru and a village that once had a Japanese immigrant as its chief. (NHK)
Jul 11
The population of Japanese nationals has fallen for the 10th straight year, while the ratio of foreign residents topped 2 percent for the first time. (NHK)
Jul 10
Princess Mako left Japan on Tuesday for Peru and Bolivia, where she will attend ceremonies marking the 120th anniversary of the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants. It is the first time for the princess to visit the two South American countries. (NHK)
Jul 09
Miyagi Prefectural Police have arrested a 30-year-old male middle school teacher over the alleged possession of marijuana in Sendai City, reports the Sankei Shimbun (July 7). (
Jul 08
A log boat set off from Taiwan on Sunday on a journey of more than 200 kilometers to Yonaguni Island in Okinawa Prefecture, southern Japan. (NHK)
Jul 07
A male junior high school student died Saturday after being stabbed the previous day by a fellow student in Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, according to police. (Japan Today)
Jul 03
The Japanese operator of TOEIC said Tuesday it will not provide its English proficiency test as part of the country's standardized university entrance exam system due to start next April, because the process is too complicated. (Japan Today)
Jul 01
A new Japanese law took effect on Monday to prevent the spread of passive smoke, and bans indoor smoking in public spaces. (NHK)
Jul 01
With Japan’s revised health promotion law, which includes enhanced measures against secondhand smoke, set to partially take effect at the beginning of July, universities across the country are divided over rules governing smoking. (Japan Times)