Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on Wednesday that the government will consider measures to address inequalities in opportunities to take private-sector English tests under a new unified entrance exam system.
At a House of Representatives Budget Committee meeting, Abe said the government will develop a system that does not cause regional or economic inequalities after delaying the use of private English tests previously scheduled to begin in fiscal year 2020 in amid concerns about these disparities.
"I will have the matter fully considered by Education Minister Koichi Hagiuda, and we will clarify the problems raised so far," said Abe.
The postponement came after Hagiuda himself fueled the inequality controversy, saying on television that students hoped to make efforts based on their origins. He withdrew the remark and apologized for it.
During the Diet meeting, Hiroshi Ogushi, a member of Japan's main Constitutional Democratic Party, argued that the prime minister should dismiss Hagiuda from the cabinet post.
But Abe said, "I want him to keep doing his duties."
Meanwhile, the prime minister has pledged to strive to restore public confidence affected by the layoffs of two ministers over money scandals late last month, less than two months after his latest cabinet reform.
Abe was speaking before the Diet for the first time since Economy, Trade and Industry Minister Isshu Sugawara and Justice Minister Katsuyuki Kawai resigned on October 25 and 31, respectively.
“I feel deeply responsible for who named them,” said Abe. “We will make efforts to restore public confidence by solving problems one by one in each administrative field.”
Source: Jiji Press