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Taiwan seeks baby-boosting slogan

File image of a mother and son at a Taipei temple on 17 February 2010
Countries across East Asia are trying to find ways of increasing births

The Taiwanese authorities are offering a cash prize for a new slogan to boost the island's falling birth rate.

The interior ministry said that it wanted a creative slogan that would make people want to have babies.

It said the best submission would receive a prize of one million Taiwanese dollars ($31,250, £20,763).

Taiwan has already tried a number of measures to increase its birth rate, which is at a record low and still falling.

Last year, Taiwan's birth-rate stood at 1.0 births per woman, well below the replacement rate of 2.1.

In 2009, the number of births fell by 3.7% from the previous year to 191,310.

"We are seeking a creative slogan that would appeal to the public and make everybody want to have children," an interior ministry statement said.

Last month, the authorities announced plans to help finance fertility treatment for young couples struggling to get pregnant, in another effort to arrest the decline in births.

Taiwan is not the only country in the region trying to tackle this issue, amid fears that falling birth rates will cause social and economic problems.

On Wednesday, the Japanese lower house passed legislation increasing the amount of child benefit to be paid to families in an effort to make child-rearing more affordable.

And in January, South Korea's health ministry began turning out the lights early one day per month to persuade civil servants to go home and "get dedicated to childbirth and upbringing".



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