A Japanese company is facing backlash after publishing the birth rates of its female staff members, with some concerned that the disclosure could be invasive or discriminatory.

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In April, Itochu Corporation announced that the total fertility rate—the average number of children born to a woman in her lifetime—of its female employees, aged between 15 and 49, had risen to 1.97 in the 2021 fiscal year, which ended in March .

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The trading house noted that the rate was well above the national average, which was 1.33 in 2020. Itochu Corporation said its employees’ fertility rate has been rising over the last decade as it has provided support to help those raising children while continuing to work.

Some welcomed the company’s disclosure of the birth rate on social media, while others raised concerns that it was becoming too involved in employees’ lives, according to The Japan Times,

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A company official told the newspaper that the disclosure’s aim was to show that female employees can continue with their careers after having children and have a work-life balance.

The company has been “actively promoting work-style reforms and striving to foster a corporate culture that allows employees to continue their careers while raising children,” it said in a news release.

Those efforts include allowing employees to have flexible work schedules so they can leave the office earlier in the day, work-from-home systems, and a ban on overtime after 8 pm

Masami Saito, a lecturer at the University of Toyama, called the company’s disclosure of employee birth rates an overreach, telling the newspaper that it isolates and alienates LGBTQ+ employees and those undergoing fertility treatments.

“The company is one-sidedly imposing on its employees its values ​​that having children is a good thing,” Saito said. “It should not incorporate birthrates into a drive to realize flexible work practices in support of child-rearing.”

Japan has been working to raise its birth rate for years as its population continues to shrink. The country saw a record low number of births in 2021, prompting the largest ever natural decline in the population.

There were 811,604 births last year—the lowest number since records began in 1899. Meanwhile, deaths climbed to 1,439,809, causing an overall drop of 628,205 in the population, Reuters reported.

In May, Tesla CEO Elon Musk claimed Japan would “ease to exist” unless it addresses its falling birthrate.

“At risk of stating the obvious, unless something changes to cause the birth rate to exceed the death rate, Japan will eventually cease to exist,” Musk tweeted. “This would be a great loss for the world.”