The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) is working to create a system that will partially finance school tuition for households with annual incomes of less than 5.9 million yen whose children attend private primary and secondary schools. The subsidy program is expected to provide aid ranging from 100,000 yen to 140,000 yen a year, depending on annual income. MEXT is planning to earmark about 1.3 billion yen in its budgetary requests for next fiscal year.
MEXT is aiming to provide subsidies of 140,000 yen for households with annual incomes of less than 2.5 million yen; 120,000 yen for those with annual incomes of less than 3.5 million yen and 100,000 yen for those with annual incomes of less than 5.9 million yen. As of May 2015, an estimated 40,000 children from households with annual incomes of less than 5.9 million yen attended private elementary and junior high schools. The tuition aid scheme is estimated to cost approximately 4.3 billion yen a year if it covers all of these households. MEXT seeks to introduce the aid program gradually, starting with children who will enter elementary schools and junior high schools next April. It will discuss the matter with the Ministry of Finance to draw up budgets for next fiscal year.
As part of a program to make high school tuition free of charge, households with children attending private senior high schools are eligible for up to about 300,000 yen in aid a year, but no subsidies are available to children going to private elementary and junior high schools. In April, the Liberal Democratic Party’s Headquarters for the Revitalization of Education submitted to the government a proposal for reducing the tuition payment burden on households whose children go to private junior high schools. (Abridged)