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HOME  > Past issues  > 2015 December 2 - 8  > JCP opposes plan to cut state subsidy to national universities
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2015 December 2 - 8 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP opposes plan to cut state subsidy to national universities

December 2, 2015
Japanese Communist Party lawmaker Hatano Kimie, at a House of Representatives education committee meeting held on November 1 while the Diet is in recess, demanded that the Ministry of Finance cancel its plan to cut state grants to national universities as it will lead to a drastic increase in tuition fees.

Education Minister Hase Hiroshi agreed with JCP Hatano and said that he will work to maintain government subsidies for national universities.

The Finance Ministry is requesting that national universities increase their revenues by 243.7 billion yen. If the national universities try to meet this request just by raising tuition, the average annual tuition fees will be 930,000 yen per student, up 400,000 yen from the current rate. Students receiving student loans have a debt of three million yen on average and sometimes as much as 10 million yen at the time of their graduation. Higher tuitions will impose further financial burdens on these students.

Hatano said, “The cutback in grant aid runs counter to the International Covenants on Human Rights calling for tuition-free higher education as well as to the Japanese Constitution stipulating equal opportunity in education.”

* * *

At a Dietmembers’ office building on December 1, 8 JCP legislators met with representatives in the Japan Association of National Universities composed of all 86 national universities in Japan, and agreed to work together to not necessitate an increase tuition fees following a planned reduction in state grants.

Both parties also agreed to cooperate in pushing the Finance Ministry to improve the government funding program. JCP member of the House of Representatives Hatano Kimie said, “The JCP will take a lead in launching a movement to fight this move together with other political parties.”

Yamamoto Kenji of the association, former president of Wakayama University, said, “All presidents of national universities consider this a crisis situation, and we will do everything possible to stop this plan.”

Kitani Masato, managing director and director-general of the association, pointed out that a total of 147 billion yen in government subsidies has already been trimmed from subsidies to national universities since 2004. Kitani also said that more and more young researchers have been giving up completing their studies and this is causing a negative impact on both education and university research.

The JCP Dietmembers who were present at this meeting were: Hatano Kimie, Ohira Yoshinobu, Kokuta Keiji, Takahashi Chizuko, Miyamoto Takeshi, Motomura Nobuko, Tamura Tomoko, and Inoue Satoshi.

Past related articles:
> JCP issues statement opposing gov’t policy causing higher college tuition [November 21, 2015]
> JCP Hatano talks with univ. president over gov’t plan to cut subsidies to national universities [November 13, 2015]
> Finance Ministry requires national universities to double their tuition [October 28, 2015]
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