As the number of children not attending school is estimated to be 300,000 nationwide, local governments are increasingly subsidizing fees for "free schools" and similar initiatives to ensure diverse learning spaces, a move welcomed by private support groups.

However, they are calling for uniform support nationwide, saying that financial assistance is still insufficient in rural areas.

In Japan, a "free school" refers to alternative educational institutions primarily for students who have left mainstream schooling. They offer flexible, or "free," learning environments where students can choose their activities and schedules. Free schools are recognized by the education ministry for attendance purposes but receive no financial aid.