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Japan’s daycare shortage worsens amid overwhelming demand

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13:13 2 September 2016

TOKYO, Sept. 2, Kyodo

The number of Japanese children on public daycare waiting lists rose in April compared to the previous year, with surging demand outstripping an increase in places, the government revealed Friday, casting doubt over its plan to resolve the shortage by fiscal 2017.

The number of children whose applications for places were unsuccessful stood at 23,553, up 386 from a year before, marking a second consecutive year of increase, despite the government creating roughly 95,000 more daycare slots in a year, according to a report by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry.

The ministry also reported there were 67,354 other children who were unable to get into daycares but were excluded from the official tally, because their parents took childcare leave or for other reasons. The figure was up about 8,000 from the year before.

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