The education ministry urged prefectural boards of education in November last year to take into account business stability when selecting operators for school lunch and other services.

The directive followed the abrupt suspension of meal services at schools across the country by Hoyu, a cooking service company headquartered in Hiroshima, which later filed for bankruptcy protection.

The Hiroshima prefectural board of education has additionally encouraged schools within the prefecture to embrace alternative methods for selecting business contracting parties, such as comprehensive evaluations through general competitive bidding, in the new fiscal year that started this month. The approach takes into account management conditions and other pertinent factors, alongside pricing considerations.