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Gov't OKs cash handout to struggling students

37 Comments

The cabinet on Tuesday approved a program to provide cash handouts of up to 200,000 yen each to around 430,000 university and other students in Japan struggling financially to cover tuition and other costs amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The support comes as the pandemic has led to business closures in many regions, depriving students of part-time jobs and reducing parental income. Students from overseas will also be eligible for the program.

Students from low-income households that are exempt from residence tax will receive 200,000 yen each and others 100,000 yen.

The government has set aside 53 billion yen to finance the program covering students at universities, graduate schools, junior colleges, technical schools and Japanese language schools.

"It's most important for students not to abandon continuing and advancing their education. We'd like to quickly provide assistance to all," education minister Koichi Hagiuda told reporters.

The government will rely on the institutions to determine which of their students should receive the assistance and will disburse the payments through the Japan Student Services Organization, an independent body that provides financial aid to students.

But some students have criticized the program, arguing it should cover more of them and tuition fees should be reduced.

With only one out of 10 students covered, a student advocacy group, which has been calling on the government to provide advanced education for free, described the program as "insufficient."

Facing diminished incomes amid the pandemic, around 20 percent of students are considering abandoning their studies, the body said, citing its survey in April.

"The fundamental problem is that every student is negatively affected by the disaster but there is no attempt to financially support all students," it said in a statement.

© KYODO

©2020 GPlusMedia Inc.

37 Comments
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We'd like to quickly provide assistance to all

There is nothing undertaken by the Japanese government which to me, suggests any type of urgency...

15 ( +15 / -0 )

We are all still waiting for the ¥100000 that the Japanese Government indicated would quickly provide with any hesitation. So, Im not sure what this article is really intentioned for.

20 ( +22 / -2 )

Dear Mr. Abe,

Having the media announce approval of cash handouts to the taxpayers of Japan is great and all, however I am most positive your credibility would grow if we actual receive such announced cash handouts.

Kind Regards

A struggling taxpayer

21 ( +21 / -0 )

While I feel for these University students, I think there are far more families and workers who have no one to depend on who are really struggling to make ends meet. Maybe the universities could wave their fees for a while to help these students? I this Abe pandering to the young vote in hopes of swaying them to forget his disastrous Abenomics?

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Completely agree with MarX!

Those Yen 100.000 or even 200.000 won't help that much.

How much university fees do these students have to pay per month.

Add to this rent and other expenses .... it ain't enough!

Make universities (and other "education institutions") free for all students as can be seen in other countries.

But again, the government wants and does it the way they like it. They don't care and don't know about the struggles "normal citizens" experience day in and day out.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

We are all still waiting for the ¥100000 that the Japanese Government indicated would quickly provide with any hesitation. So, Im not sure what this article is really intentioned for.

The government did it's job, it allocated the funds and now instead of complaining about the government here, direct your complaints to the people charged with administration of allocating those funds.

YOUR local municipal office! Complain THERE,

This article is obvious! It's for college kids!

-9 ( +4 / -13 )

@Yubaru, I totally agree with you but would like to say that a leader is as good as the people he leads. Mr. Abe needs to put pressure on said municipal offices to speed things up.

In my company suffers because of my staff's wrong doings or lack of doing their duties, then that'll all be on me. My customers get what they get because I insure my staff are doing their jobs.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Presumably some university-aged non-students with arbeito-type jobs have also lost their incomes. Given that it is common for parents or low-interest loans to cover school fees, this begs the question of why only students should get assistance. Covid-19 will have affected all of the casually employed, regardless of age or whether they are in higher education.

fwiw, I believe in UBI and the government funding lots of things. This kind of spending makes more sense to me than funding white elephants like the Olympics, the maglev, and Star Wars weapons.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Awesome...with the J-govt speedy implementation record the students should be enjoying this extra cash ' as soon as ' summer of 2022. Very timely. How are the masks and 10man cash application firms going Shinzo?

11 ( +12 / -1 )

@Yubaru, I totally agree with you but would like to say that a leader is as good as the people he leads. Mr. Abe needs to put pressure on said municipal offices to speed things up.

If you have been here "since 1981" I am quite sure you know just how ludicrous it is what you wrote here.

Abe a "leader"? Not to mention that it's the bureaucrats and koumuin that run things here, and there is no way Abe can pressure them to do anything really.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

For an aging society that will be increasingly dependent on the young, these government types sure have their heads up where the sun don't shine. If they don't reduce or waive tuition, they're going to have a generation of students dropping out or in serious debt moving into an economy that will be concentrating on cutting costs. Then where is your tax revenue to support this aging society eh? It's a clear illustration of the government's priorities; as long as they get their perks and bonuses today the future be damned.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

@Yubara, again agree with you and I do know how things work here and know that he is nothing but a puppet but that doesn't change the fact that he was placed as the leader of Japan. He is the one telling the people of Japan what is being promised therefore giving the illusions that he is making the promises. Or is just a speaker for the LDP.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

since1981Today 07:26 am JSTDear Mr. Abe,

Having the media announce approval of cash handouts to the taxpayers of Japan is great and all, however I am most positive your credibility would grow if we actual receive such announced cash handouts.

Kind Regards

A struggling taxpayer

Talk is cheap. Show, don't tell.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Still waiting on the first promise ...... my 2 abenomasks!!!!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Still waiting for the abductees return, my premium Friday and a beautiful Japan where everyone shines, my masks, my ¥100,000. These students are in for a long wait that will eat up way ¥ more then they have been promised.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Students from overseas will also be eligible for the program.

Thats good news. I wonder how Kimi Onoda feels about this.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hope they get it before graduation

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The Abe mask jokes are getting old on here.

-4 ( +2 / -6 )

The Abe mask jokes are getting old on here.

might have something to do with their non-appearance and their uselessness to begin with. Can't hold a man to his word then what worth the man.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Let's see you give 1 individual person student or not 200,000 yen and a single mother and a child 200,000 man yen. According to my friend who works as a foreign advisor in a kuakusho said there are many single mothers eating once every 2 days and a child eating once a day and they are lining up at food banks. What is wrong with this picture? Yes, the government is promising 100,000 to even the rich, and as of yet they have not even sent out the paperwork to apply for it and so it will be a long while before my son and I will see any money.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

More waste of public money...... Is the pit bottomless?

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

I think accessing the ¥100,000 depends on your local administration. I recieved the application form and sent it off yesterday.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So my business is in ruins, my rent increased 20%, and I have a mortgage. it is a form nightmare to apply for my ¥100,000 promised and...up to ¥200,000 of my tax money will go to foreign students, who from my experience as a Japanese language school student, 70% are just here to grab as much dosh and take it back to their country (student visa).

The average cost to build a house in the Philippines is ¥25292 in Jan 2020. So a foreign student may get to build maybe 6 new homes with my tax money.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

There are a lot of students who shouldn't really be at university and they've just been let in for the institution to generate income and give them a rubber stamp.

All children should have equality of opportunity, but more needs to be done to raise standards. The universities are behaving unethically by taking their money in such a way, especially when they won't do much to improve their thinking skills. A university education helps graduates simply by getting them to meet the criteria of having a degree, but the way the system works now does not add an value to society.

This cash handout is not really for the students, it's to keep universities afloat and perpetuate the charade. The university system in Japan is in desperate need of reform to ensure it generates value for society by producing thinkers rather than just research

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Japan has too many colleges and universities-780. Burdens of students' parents are too much. Particularly for those who have to come to Tokyo and other big cities. While many are not deserved college educations.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My daughter graduated from university this past March (sans ceremony), and has yet to find a job other than part-time work, yet has all those student debts. Something tells me she will be told that she is on her own. Well, not really. I love my daughter and will do everything I can to help her.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

If the government would have focused on protecting the elderly and those with comorbidities and let the rest of the folks just go on with life, these payments wouldn't be necessary.

The fact remains that this virus has a very low mortality rate (much less than 1%), so closing businesses and forcing everyone to "quarantine" only caused more problems like weakened immune systems and depression/alcoholism/spousal abuse/suicide.

Japan isn't the only country to react this way.

What a pity it is that the gullible populace believed this lie that suddenly nobody has an immune system in 2020.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

So in reality some have not had income for many weeks, not just students but some workers with wife and children and they are struggling becuase the idiot govt continued to allow the infected across the border spreading this virus instead of closing the border in january to anyone from the infected area.

The govt should be shouldering the financial burden completely and should be paying everyone 1 million yen out of shinzo abe and taro aso's own pockets and pensions.

Why does the average person in the work force have to suffer because of the selfish greedy decisions made by these imbeciles in the govt.

A promise of 100,000yen and 2 masks does nothing towards helping a family with no income for two months or more.

These morons in the govt could not run a bath let alone a country.,

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Still waiting on the first promise ...... my 2 abenomasks!!!

You can buy masks in shops now!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It may just be my cynical thinking, but I’m guessing that they want students to have more disposable income because they know that they will likely go out shopping or to eat in restaurants right away. If they were to give more money to struggling families, workers or the elderly, it may not trickle back to them as quickly. I wish they would have stuck with the initial plan of helping those in need first. My heart goes out to all of those who have lost their jobs or have a very reduced income with no parents to help them pick up the tab.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

How much money have universities saved by not using electricity and heating and paper and all other costs that go into running a school. Use that money to help out your own students. If they have to quit it’s the university’s loss. You’d think they would be more proactive! Also, I don’t want to be miserly, but a lot of foreign university students are here on Jasso scholarships. Which pays them the handsome amount of ¥150000 per month, with their tuition paid separately. They really don’t need any more assistance.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

a lot of foreign university students are here on Jasso scholarships.

According to the Jasso outline of Japanese government support for international students, in 2018 there were a total of 298,980 international students in Japan, of which 285,824 were privately-financed, 9,423 received a scholarship from the Japanese government and 3,733 were supported by foreign governments.

I suppose it depends on your perspective, but 9,423 out of 298,980 (a little over 3%) is a long way short of being a lot.

Which pays them the handsome amount of ¥150000 per month

Across the board? No.

Financial support ranges from 80,000 a month for short-term exchange students to 117,000 yen a month for undergrads to 145,000 yen a month for research students on doctoral courses.

So no, there are not a lot of foreign students living the high life on 150,000 yen a month.

https://www.jasso.go.jp/en/about/organization/__icsFiles/afieldfile/2019/07/12/e2019_a4_0702s.pdf

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1 ( +2 / -1 )

This may be a good opportunity to rethink the approach to higher education and the cost. I recently considered getting an MBA in the US and tuitions are like 50,000 per year or higher, which is completely ridiculous. Now many universities are using recorded classes due to the virus but still keep the 50,000 dollar price tag. However, if Harvard can record lectures then everyone can take a class from a world class expert.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Many countries have already handed out their second and third stimulus payments. The Japanese still struggling to get the first one out. I'm wondering if they are making it difficult on purpose hoping many people just forget about it in a couple months.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

So no, there are not a lot of foreign students living the high life on 150,000 yen a month.

I don't want to get into a pissing match, and maybe my number was a little high, but the student here also get extra money for heat in the winter and other a few other things. So lets just say the amount is Y120 000 a month. That is still a decent amount of money to live on, even in Tokyo. Now, let's say that the mere 9428 international students you stated are being funded by Jasso are also paid the same Y200 000 that Japanese students are getting and you are looking at Y1.8 billion yen! That is a lot of money that could help either Japanese students, or those who have just graduated and need the help!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You can bet that banks and corporations have already fast tracked received their injections of Bank of Japan cash

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The Japanese government has set an additional criteria for foreign students hoping to receiving cash handouts of up to 200,000 yen ($1,900) for students in the country struggling financially amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, making only those in the top 30 percent of grades eligible.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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