The Daily Manila Shimbun


Japan Finance Ministry opposes free higher education for all

October 29, 2017

TOKYO- The Finance Ministry has found it inappropriate to make higher education in Japan free of cost without exception, according to informed sources.

The ministry now believes that the proposed program, as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's initiative to support child-rearing families and cut households' tuition expenses to zero, should screen eligible institutions and students, the sources said.

Unless otherwise, the government's fiscal health, which has already been in the severe state amid ever-growing social security costs, will deteriorate further, they explained.

The ministry cannot give the nod also because any indiscriminative tuition-free program could end up a mere financial aid for private universities and colleges hit hard by the declining birthrate, the sources said.

The government needs to focus on measures to support low-income families, such as expanding scholarships, they pointed out.

The ministry plans to present its recommendations at a meeting Tuesday of the Fiscal System Council, which advises the finance minister. Jiji Press