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Friday, June 2, 2006 at 12:41 EDT

TOKYO - Japan's total fertility rate, or the average number of children that would be born to a woman from age 15 to 49, dropped in 2005 to a new record low of 1.25, the government said Thursday.

 The rate has been on the decline for decades in Japan since falling below 2.00 in 1975, but the latest figure showed that the pace of decline accelerated from the previous two years despite the government's efforts to turn it around. It is certain to increase pressure on the government, which is slated to compile a package of measures aimed at curbing the falling birthrate as early as this month, to review its social welfare policies. (Kyodo News)
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Japan Birth Rate
Fertility Rate Drops To Record Low 1.25 in 2005