LDP Discussing How to Widen Range of Free Education (News)


Tokyo, April 3 (Jiji Press)—Discussions have gained momentum in Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party over how to widen the range of education provided free of tuition, since a new proposal was floated last week.

An LDP group on a long-term economic vision, whose members include party agriculture affairs division head Koizumi Shinjirō, plans on April 5 to propose expanding the current social insurance system to make preschool education and child care services free of charge.

The proposal followed a call for issuing so-called education bonds to make a wider range of education tuition-free, including at universities.

The bond idea, put forward by Executive Acting Secretary-General Shimomura Hakubun and former education minister Hase Hiroshi, is being discussed at a special team that reports directly to the LDP president, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō.

Education bonds would not impose a fresh financial burden on current taxpayers, but the bill would be passed on to future generations. Another headache are the costs involved, which are seen reaching trillions of yen if all universities and other higher education institutes are covered.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

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