Birth rates in Japan are at an all-time low, but the country faces what may seem an unlikely problem: a shortage of day care spaces. That has made the sector alluring to foreign firms looking to do business in the country.
Among 34 municipalities surveyed by Nikkei Asian Review last year, 16 saw their day care waiting lists grow from the year prior, though the overall number of children awaiting day care places declined.
Government data indicated in April last year that there were 26,081 children waiting for spots.
Japan has expanded day care in recent years, but still has work ahead of it. The issue has created problems for Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's plans to improve female participation in the workforce — and encourage further economic growth.