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Is Japan a good country to raise children?

by Thomasina Larkin

Tomas Castro
Account exec., 40
Children here are lacking parental role models. Fathers spend too much time at work and mothers are stressed with the running of the household. These responsibilities then fall to cram schools, peers and, lastly, grandparents.

Kazue Okada
Housewife, 36
There aren’t many places where I want to go that I can take my children along. Pre-school and kindergarten are very expensive. There are a lot of places to take children to play, but they all cost a lot of money.

Minako Samuta
Teacher, 40
Japan is safe, so kids can go anywhere alone, like to school by bus or train. But it’s really expensive to get a good education for kids, so that’s a big problem. The worst part is trying to find somewhere to take them to play outside.

Elizabeth Torres
Housewife, 50
Japan is a wonderful place to raise children. It is very clean and safe. Children are well disciplined. The way people speak to each other and to their children is very respectful, so I think this is a great place to bring up a family.

Hisashi Fujisawa
Clerk, 51
Japan is an excellent place to raise children. It’s a safe country, we have four seasons, and our mathematics is better than any other country in the world. Compared to France, for example, Japan can calculate very well.

Elliot Samuels
Editor, 32
The cost of raising kids here would make me think twice. If I’m expected to shell out loads of cash on health and education, I’m going to make damn sure my kid gets something in return, and doesn’t end up thinking like Shintaro Ishihara.