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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 April 22 - May 12  > Opposition-drafted bill to halve students’ burden of tuition fees submitted
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2020 April 22 - May 12 [POLITICS]

Opposition-drafted bill to halve students’ burden of tuition fees submitted

May 12, 2020
Four opposition parties, including the Japanese Communist Party, on May 11 jointly submitted to the House of Representatives a bill aimed at supporting university/college students who are in financial difficulty due to the coronavirus crisis by granting a 50% tuition exemption to them.

The opposition-proposed bill comprises the following three pillars:
- Tuition fees for students at tertiary institutions, including graduate students, will be reduced by half;
- Cash benefits of 200,000 yen will be provided as urgent support to students working part-time jobs who experience loss of income; and
- Loan forgiveness will be applied to students whose scholarship loan payments come due by the end of March 2021 and who face a difficult situation making payments.

At a press conference after the submission, Kii Takashi, lawmaker of the Democratic Party for the People, explained the reason for the submission of the bill. He said, “Financial assistance encourages students to continue their studies. This is also important from the viewpoint of investment in Japan’s future.” Regarding measures to provide financial aid for students who suffer loss of income, Kii said, “By listening to students through an online hearing and exchanging views with the JCP, we designed a program that will cover as many students as possible.”

JCP representative Hatano Kimie reported on a student group’s survey results indicating that one in five university students said they may have to drop out of school. She said, “Many students have stood up to demand a uniform program to reduce tuition fees. A signature-collection campaign in support of this call has spread to more than 200 universities. Encouraged to act due to these efforts, we proposed the bill.”

On April 29, representatives of a student movement calling for cuts in tuition fees lobbied opposition parties to support their demand. In response to the student group, JCP Vice Chair Tamura Tomoko said, “In collaboration with other opposition parties, we will draw up a policy reflecting your demands and push the government to implement this policy.”

Past related articles:
>JCP submits proposal in order to stop explosive spread of COVID-19 and collapse of medical system [April 17, 2020]
>As demanded by JCP, corona-affected households can be exempted from tuition payments [March 26, 2020]
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