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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 September 18 - 24  > JCP promises to work to have Korean preschools covered by gov’t free preschool education program
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2019 September 18 - 24 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP promises to work to have Korean preschools covered by gov’t free preschool education program

September 20, 2019

A group of Korean residents in Japan on September 19 visited Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira and JCP member of the House of Representatives Hatano Kimie in the Diet building and asked for the JCP’s cooperation in urging the Abe government to include Korean pre-schools under a new program that provides free childhood education and free daycare services to preschool children.

The Abe government plans to launch the free pre-school education program in October. The government, however, does not include in the program 40 Korean pre-schools and 48 other facilities for foreign children on the grounds that they are categorized as miscellaneous schools like language schools.

At the meeting, an official of the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chosen Soren) said that shutting out Korean pre-schools and similar facilities for foreign children from the free pre-school education program ignores the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

An official of the school corporation Tokyo Chosen Gakuen (Tokyo Korean School) said that Korean kindergartens provide the same quality education as other pre-schools in Japan and that it is unacceptable to exclude these facilities from the government program. A parent of a child of pre-school age said that the exclusion of Korean facilities is unreasonable.

Koike in response said, “The JCP opposed the introduction of the Abe government’s free pre-school education program because it will be funded with revenues from the consumption tax. However, to discriminate against Korean pre-schools in implementing the program is unjustifiable under international norms.” JCP lawmaker Hatano noted that the government handling of the issue will give Korean children in Japan a negative impression of the country.

Past related articles:
> Government ordered to provide tuition-free program to Korean schools in Japan [July 29, 2017]
> Gov’t to exempt North Korean schools from tuition-free program [February 20, 2013]
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