Similar to other countries around the world, in Japan there is only limited day care available for children. According to Yomiuri Shimbun in Japan most nurseries are run by local governments and social welfare corporations. Although since 2000 the Japanese government allowed public traded companies to enter the licensed nurseries business, presently less than 1 percent of licensed nurseries are currently run by stock registered companies.
The most recent example of a company newly entering the child day care business is Nipponkoa Insurance Co., a major nonlife insurance company. They are planning to start their nurseries from next April (new school season) with their first site in Bunkyo Ward in Tokyo with a capacity of 30 children. The number is for sure not overwhelming, but their plans to add two additional nurseries every year after that seems promising. For sure I do welcome any action that allows Japanese women to get back to work after giving birth to a child. On the other hand, I believe the major goal behind this company’s strategy is to diversify their investment and make their real estate more attractive for double earners, because the built nurseries are on real estate the company owns.
It will be the first time in Japan that a financial institution is operating day nurseries, which care for very young children. For sure a step in the right direction. Let’s hope other companies will follow.
Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (シビル伊藤)