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Japan enacts legislation making preschool education free


May 13, 2019
Japan Times

Japan enacted legislation Friday making preschool education free as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s drive to expand child care support and stem the country’s falling birthrate.

The government will use revenue from the planned consumption tax hike in October to run the free education program that is expected to cost 776 billion yen per year.

The bill, which secured lower house approval in April, was passed by the House of Councillors on Friday, amid criticism from some opposition lawmakers that the government should first focus on reducing the number of children on waiting lists for nursery school places before making preschool education free.

Under the program, the government will make preschool education free for all children aged between 3 and 5. Day-care services will also be made free for children up to 2 from low-income households.