Higher Earners in Tokyo to Get Tuition-free High School for Children, with Subsidy Cap Removed

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The Tokyo metropolitan government building

Tokyo intends to remove the income cap on tuition subsidies for high schoolers living in Tokyo and make tuition for all high schools, including private schools, virtually free in fiscal 2024, according to sources involved with the metropolitan government.

The goal is to lower educational costs and make it easier to raise children.

According to the Tokyo metropolitan government and other entities, annual high school tuition is about ¥120,000 for Tokyo government-run schools and about ¥480,000 on average for private schools. Currently, households in Tokyo with annual income less than ¥9.1 million have tuition fully subsidized for public schools and up to the average for private schools.

However, as prices soar, households with annual incomes of ¥9.1 million or more are also facing increased financial burdens. Tokyo is also unique in that it has more private than public schools, and the metropolitan government has decided to remove the income limit to aid with the higher tuition costs.

In fiscal 2022, about 190,000 students were eligible for subsidies. With the removal of the income cap, more than ¥40 billion is expected to go to at least 120,000 students newly receiving subsidies. Komeito in the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly has been calling for high schools to be virtually tuition free.

The Tokyo government is also considering backing free school lunches for public elementary and junior high schools. It is expected to pay half the costs for those municipalities that offer free school lunches.