Japan Enacts Bill to Create Agency for Children, Families

Politics

Tokyo, June 15 (Jiji Press)--The Diet, Japan's parliament, on Wednesday enacted a bill to set up a government agency for children and families, a signature policy of Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.

At a plenary meeting, the House of Councillors, the upper chamber of the Diet, approved the bill by a majority vote with support mainly from the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner, Komeito. The bill cleared the House of Representatives, the lower chamber, last month.

The agency will put together children-related sections and functions spanning several government agencies and eliminate bureaucratic walls to provide seamless support for children and effectively implement measures to tackle issues such as the country's low birthrate, children's poverty, child abuse and bullying.

The agency will be launched in April next year with approximately 300 members and be placed directly under the prime minister.

Currently, nurseries are overseen by the welfare ministry, certified "kodomoen" kindergarten-nursery hybrids by the Cabinet Office and kindergartens and compulsory education by the education ministry.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press