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HOME  > Past issues  > 2013 March 27 - April 2  > Gov’t should stop harsh collection of scholarship loans: JCP Miyamoto
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2013 March 27 - April 2 TOP3 [EDUCATION]

Gov’t should stop harsh collection of scholarship loans: JCP Miyamoto

April 1&2, 2013

Japanese Communist Party representative Miyamoto Takeshi on April 1 requested the government to create a grant-type scholarship system without delay by presenting examples of harsh scholarship loan collection tactics used by a government-funded organization.

In a House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting, Miyamoto introduced cases reported by users of the scholarship loan system at a rally, which was held on the previous day by a civil group seeking a better scholarship system.

Miyamoto first presented a case of a 30-year-old woman who is required to pay back a total of 4.5 million yen in a scholarship loan which was made through two types of loan programs, interest-bearing and interest-free. Soon after starting her career as a full-time worker, she developed depression due to excessively heavy workloads and quit her job. Now, she lives on a monthly income of 100,000 yen from a part-time job. When she took legal advice about how to pay back the loan, she was told to declare herself bankrupt.

Another case Miyamoto cited was about a female university student who got a loan of 648,000 yen with no interest for her university education. She, however, left university because of a physical handicap which resulted from a sudden cardiopulmonary arrest. Although she has a physically disabled first grade certificate, the government-funded organization, which offers scholarship loans to students, is pressing her to repay her loan. Her parents are making payments for her.

Citing her mother’s remark, “I wonder if Japan has a future with the situation that young people are forced to shoulder such heavy college loans,” Miyamoto urged the government to introduce a grant-type program in the scholarship system and make the scholarship loan system interest-free.

Education Minister Shimomura Hakubun replied that the ministry will make efforts to understand the situations of scholarship program users and consider flexible responses to those who have difficulty in making repayments due to financial reasons.

* * *

On March 31, lawyers and judicial scriveners held a rally to inaugurate a nationwide group to support those who suffer from financial burden associated with scholarship loan programs and work to improve the current scholarship system

The rally shed light on a situation in which more and more students use the scholarship system to fund high tuition fees for universities and an increasing number of college graduates have trouble paying back their college loans because they can only find a job with low income.

JCP parliamentarian Miyamoto also attended the rally.
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