Japan enacted legislation Friday that will make preschool education free as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's drive to expand child care support and boost the country's birthrate.

The government will use revenue from the planned consumption tax hike in October to run the education program, which is expected to cost ¥776 billion per year.

The bill, which secured Lower House approval in April, was passed by the Upper House on Friday, amid criticism from some opposition lawmakers that the government should first focus on reducing the number of children on waiting lists for nursery school spots before making preschool education free.