Japan enacts legislation making preschool education free in effort to boost low fertility rate | The Japan Times
The bill, which secured Lower House approval in April, was passed by the Upper House 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 spots before making preschool education free.
While ongoing U.S.-China trade tensions have raised uncertainty about the outlook for the nation’s export-driven economy, Abe is expected to go ahead with the tax hike barring an economic downturn on the scale of the financial crisis triggered by the 2008 collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.
In addition, students from tax-exempt families will receive grant scholarships that can be used to buy textbooks, pay for transportation or cover living expenses. In an example case, the government said that if students come from a family of four with an annual household income of less than ¥2.7 million, they can take advantage of all the system’s benefits.