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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 September 12 - 18  > Japan comes last in public spending on education among OECD countries for 2 consecutive years
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2018 September 12 - 18 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Japan comes last in public spending on education among OECD countries for 2 consecutive years

September 13, 2018

The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) on September 11 published its report on member countries’ public spending on education in 2015. Japan’s expenditure level stood at 2.9% of its GDP, down 0.3 percentage points from a year earlier. Japan ranked last among 34 comparable countries for two consecutive years.

The report indicates that in the average OECD country, public expenditure on education stood at 4.2% of its GDP, including spending by the national and local governments. The percentage was highest in Norway (6.3%), followed by Finland (5.6%), Iceland (5.5%) and Belgium (5.4%).

In Japan, 8% of expenditures necessary for primary and secondary educational institutions are funded by households and other private entities. However, the percentage exceeds 50% for pre-school and tertiary education.

An OECD official in charge of the report noted that the costs of tertiary and pre-school education are a heavy economic burden for families and that pre-school education, which contributes to providing the foundations for child development, should be covered by the state.

The Japanese Communist Party has long demanded that the Japanese government increase its education spending to at least the OECD average in order to reduce class sizes, expand free education programs, and implement other measures to improve the educational environment.

Past related articles:
> Japan, the lowest in public expenditures on education among OECD [September 15, 2017]
> Japan’s low education budget places financial burdens on students [September 17, 2014]
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