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Japan Sets Date for Launch of New Agency to Unify Child Policies

Japan’s Children and Families Agency, which will unify policies across multiple government agencies to better deal with imminent issues concerning children, will begin operations on April 1, Jiji Press reported on Wednesday.

The new agency will adopt an integrated approach to tackling wide-ranging issues, such as supporting childrearing, alleviating child poverty, helping to prevent child abuse and tackling the falling birthrate, which are currently overseen by different government ministries and entities, the Japanese news agency said.

The administrative body will take over operations related to nurseries, child abuse prevention and support for children with disabilities from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, while operations regarding child allowances, the fight against child poverty, and certified kindergarten-nursery hybrids, known as kodomoen, will be transferred from the Cabinet Office, it said.

The organization will also launch a project to hear from about 10,000 people of elementary school age to their 20s on various issues including rules that adults draw up and impose on children, in order to reflect their opinions when deciding child-related policies in future, Jiji Press added.