The government is considering creating a scholarship program for Okinawa Prefecture, Yosuke Tsuruho, minister for Okinawa and Northern Territories affairs, said Wednesday.
The government aims to increase the continuing education rate of Okinawan students as the proportion of children living in poverty in the prefecture is nearly double the national average.
At a meeting of a Okinawa promotion council, Tsuruho said that the central government hopes to launch an exclusive scholarship program for the prefecture that is separate from the student grant program the education ministry started in April for all 47 prefectures of the country. The island prefecture hosts the bulk of U.S. bases in Japan.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Okinawa Gov. Takeshi Onaga expressed hope for such a program.
According to the Cabinet Office, the budget for the scholarship program and other details, including funding sources, have yet to be decided.
In fiscal 2016, which ended in March, the Okinawa Prefectural Government established a grant-type scholarship program aimed at helping high school students with economic difficulties go to universities outside the prefecture.