Abe Ready to Study Sept. School Enrollment; Lower House OKs Extra Budget


Tokyo, April 29 (Jiji Press)--Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe suggested on Wednesday his readiness to consider a proposal to introduce a school year starting in September, in the wake of the novel coronavirus pandemic in the country.

"I would like to study various options at a time when our country faces major changes" amid the virus crisis, he said at a meeting of the Budget Committee of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the Diet, Japan's parliament, in response to Yuichiro Tamaki, head of the major opposition Democratic Party for the People.

At the same time, Abe said, "Some people are cautious about the September enrollment system, arguing that it would have major impacts (on society), and I'm fully aware of such opinions," while pointing out that the school year starts in September in many other countries.

Under the current system, Japan's school year starts in April, but the epidemic is now forcing many schools in the nation to remain shut. Some opposition parties and the National Governors' Association are calling for the adoption of the September enrollment system.

At the Budget Committee meeting, education minister Koichi Hagiuda said that introducing the system to begin the school year in September is not easy as many relevant laws will be involved, while noting, "It could be one of major options if it is widely recognized among the public as an issue for the whole of society."

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