On 7 June, RENGO’s Policy Committee, which was chaired by Japan Automobile Workers Union President Kato, welcomed Mr. Takeo Nishioka, an upper house lawmaker of the Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ) and DPJ’s Working Group Chair on Fundamental Law on Education
Mr. Nishioka introduced a DPJ-proposed Japanese Fundamental Law on Education as a counterproposal to the Government bill. He pointed out as advantages over the Government bill: 1) clear responsibility of the State for compulsory education; 2) the educational administration to be determined closed to schools and other facilities; 3) gradually free preschool and higher education and others. He also briefed on developments in Diet deliberations on the issue in question.
Mr. Nishioka described the DPJ’s bill as a brake on the ruling parties trying to get the revised Educational Basic bill passed by a steamrollering majority. “The crucial issue should be given a thorough discussion in a research committee of the Diet.” He emphasized the need to raise a public debate on the issue.