The number of children under 14 in Japan fell by about 190,000 to a record low of 14.9 million as of April 1, according to annual data released by the Ministry of the Interior.
This means the number of children in the world's third-largest economy has been shrinking for 40 years in a row. The proportion of children in the total population fell to a low of just 11.9 per cent.
More than a quarter of the population is older than 65.
In view of low birth rates and increasing ageing, the number of inhabitants in Japan could fall from its current level of around 127 million to fewer than 100 million people in 2053, according to official estimates.
The background to this is, among other things, a trend among young Japanese to marry later and later and also to postpone the birth of their first child.
In some sectors of the Japanese economy there is already an acute shortage of labour, also due to relatively low immigration.
Australian Associated Press