September 3, 2009


'New Deal for Schools' Will Upgrade Facilities as Part of Japan's Economic Stimulus Package

Keywords: Government Others 

After proposing the "New Deal for Schools" in April 2009 as part of the officially titled "Policy Package to Address the Economic Crisis," the Japanese government earmarked approximately 490 billion yen (about U.S.$5.1 billion) for this initiative in the 2009 fiscal year supplementary budget, which was approved May 29, 2009. Moving forward, the New Deal for Schools will be implemented to upgrade public school facilities in line with three "pillars": structural reinforcements against earthquakes, "green" renovations such as increasing the installation of solar power generation systems by ten-fold from the current level, and improvement of information communication technology (ICT) systems -- all to be implemented in an integrated manner.

School facilities are among the most familiar of public facilities -- not only for school children but also for local residents. Promoting safe, secure, and environmentally friendly school facilities -- as well as addressing issues such as earthquake-resistance, energy efficiency, and improving the ICT environment -- will benefit the local community and society as a whole.

Taking present difficult financial conditions into consideration, the government established this supplementary budget to lighten the burden of local public agencies. For example, the government on average covers 95 percent of the installation cost for solar power generation systems at public elementary and junior high schools. The rest can be funded by municipal bonds, whose principle and interest can be partially subsidized by the central government's tax revenue allocations, reducing the actual cost to local public agencies to an average 2.5 percent.

The Japanese government expects the New Deal for Schools will have ripple effects that will invigorate local economies.

Conference to promote the School New Deal

Posted: 2009/09/03 06:00:15 AM