Japan's education spending lowest again among OECD nations

Japan spent the least on education in 2010 among 30 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development that had comparable data, an OECD report showed Tuesday.

The ratio of public spending on education to gross domestic product remained almost unchanged from 2009 at 3.6 percent for Japan, which ranked last in educational spending for the fourth consecutive year.

Noting that the ratio of private funding for kindergarten and college education is high in Japan, the 34-member OECD encouraged Japan to increase public spending by saying educational investment is beneficial to both individuals and society.

The average ratio of such public spending-to-GDP among the 30 countries was 5.4 percent, with Denmark leading the list at 7.6 percent.

Norway ranked second at 7.5 percent and Iceland third at 7.0 percent.

Meanwhile, the number of Japanese students studying abroad decreased to about 39,000 in 2011 from the 2005 peak of about 63,000, the report said.

The figure represents only 1.0 percent of all Japanese students, compared with the OECD average of 2.0 percent and 4 percent or more for Germany and South Korea.