A 41-year-old working father of two recalled the frustration he felt when he was unable to get his younger daughter into any of the nursery schools his family applied to since moving to Tokyo's Koto Ward last year.

While the family found a nursery school for the elder daughter, the younger one, then 3, was forced to stay at home for the following six months. The mother, who was herself seeking work, was left with no option but to care for her daughter at home.

Although the family was able to withstand the financial strain, the father said he was surprised at the psychological damage the decision inflicted on his younger daughter.