Central, Local Govts Apart over Costs for Free Preschool Program

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Nov. 21 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese central and local governments remained apart on Wednesday over the costs for covering a state program to make preschool education and nursing services free of charge, which is slated to start in October 2019.

At a meeting between relevant cabinet ministers and local government representatives, held in Tokyo, the state side proposed that it fully shoulder the costs for the first six months until March 2020.

But the proposal failed to win understanding from the local government side. The Japan Association of City Mayors is strongly opposed to local governments bearing any related financial burdens.

The central government also showed a plan to cover all of the related administrative costs for the first year with state funds.

But Hidekiyo Tachiya, mayor of Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan, and head of the city mayors' association, voiced frustration at the central government proposals, saying that they "conflict with" the position of the local side.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press