School Initiative Failure Signals Abe's Falling Leadership

Politics

Tokyo, June 1 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government’s shelving of a proposal to change the start of the school year from April to September at an early date has raised suggestions that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s authority is weakening.

The government had worked on the plan amid prolonged school closures due to the COVID-19 outbreak, but the proposal met with growing opposition from members of the ruling bloc.

Abe has long called for university enrollment in September. He explained the idea in a book he released in 2006, when he served as chief cabinet secretary of the administration of Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

In his first administration, in 2006-2007, Abe hammered out a plan at the government’s Education Rebuilding Council to allow national and other public universities to set up slots for September enrollment.

In March this year, the education ministry quietly launched a simulation to push back school enrollment from April to September, following the closures of elementary, junior high and high schools across the country to prevent the coronavirus from spreading.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press