Japan is laying the groundwork for a free education programme for some households that will cover a student's costs from pre-school to college to ensure the country maintains a highly-skilled workforce.
The programme, still in its early stages, is expected to feature in the government's economic strategy due sometime around June, which is part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's economic agenda, commonly called "Abenomics."
The government invited Joseph Stiglitz, an economist and a Nobel laureate, to speak at its top advisory panel on Tuesday about investing more in education by introducing universal access to a college education.
A ruling Liberal Democratic Party panel is also debating the scope of the plan and how to fund it, with an eye on helping low-income families.
"Stiglitz has many ideas that agree with some of the things that we are trying to do in the second stage of 'Abenomics,'" Abe said after the panel met.
Stiglitz also recommended that Japan raise salaries for workers in education and healthcare to draw more workers into the services sector, raise minimum wages, raise public-sector wages and increase productivity.
These are all policies that Abe has adopted recently, but some economists say the pace of improvement in wages has been too slow.
Osaka Prefectural Police have arrested a 35-year-old man on charges of murder after his elderly neighbor was found stabbed to death, possibly the result of a feud over a pet dog, reports TBS News. (tokyoreporter.com)
Leading parcel delivery firm Yamato Transport Co. said Friday that it will raise its basic tariff for retail customers by ¥140-¥180 excluding tax in September, marking its first rate hike in 27 years. (the-japan-news.com)
As tension spikes on the Korean peninsula, a French amphibious assault carrier sailed into Japan's naval base of Sasebo on Saturday ahead of drills that risk upsetting China, which faces U.S. pressure to rein in North Korea's arms programs. (Japan Today)