Japan Govt Adopts Bills for Free Education Program

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Feb. 12 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government at a cabinet meeting on Tuesday adopted bills to make preschool and tertiary education free of charge, a key policy of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's administration.

The government plans to finance the free-of-charge education program with revenue from the consumption tax hike from 8 pct to 10 pct in October.

Education and day-care services for preschoolers will become free of charge from Oct. 1, with related annual costs seen reaching 776.4 billion yen, including expenses covered by local governments. For the first six months, all of the costs will be shouldered by the central government.

Under a bill to revise the child care support law, fees will be fully covered for children aged 3 to 5 at certified nurseries and some kindergartens, regardless of their parents' incomes.

Zero- to two-year-olds of low-income families exempt from residential tax will be able to receive services at such institutions free of charge.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press