Japan Press Weekly
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Number of children waiting to enter childcare centers reaches second highest
The number of children on the waiting list for authorized childcare centers was the second highest since 2001, the Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry announced on September 6.
As of April 1, the number increased by 891 to 26,275. In 2003, it marked the record high of 26,383.
This shows that under the economic recession, although the need for childcare centers for working parents is growing, construction of these facilities cannot keep up with demand.
The number of new childcare centers only increased by 143 from the previous year. In contrast, the number of children accepted by childcare centers increased by 25,809.
This shows that because the shortage of day care centers for children continues, more and more such facilities have become overloaded.
Following the former Liberal Democratic Party government, the Democratic Party of Japan-led government is reluctant to build a sufficient number of childcare centers and is promoting a policy to ease the regulation on childcare centers so that these facilities can accept children without limitations.
The Japanese Communist Party in its proposal released in April calls for a solution to the issue of children waiting to enter childcare centers by having the government use a part of the five trillion yen military budget to construct new childcare centers in order to immediately accept 100,000 children.
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