Spending is low. Government spending is particularly low. Families/households have to compensate and bear a much larger share in Japan. That might be o.k. if the tax burden was lessened proportionately. At any rate, the new DPJ government has pledged to help, either through direct subsidy or indirectly.
See these two articles (excerpt below the links):
Japan 2nd lowest among 28 OECD nations in education spending
Japan had the second-smallest expenditure on education in 2006 among the 28 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in terms of the ratio of such state spending to gross domestic product, the OECD announced Tuesday. The nation’s ratio continued to hover at a low level, 3.3%, which has not changed much since 1992, while the survey also showed that spending by Japanese households with kindergarteners or college students is much larger than other countries.
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