Education financial burdens rise among Japanese families?

This one a headline from the Japan Today. I just have a hard time believing the exact numbers, like these:

The average education cost of some 5,400 families with school-age and older children that gave valid responses to a survey in July was 1,982,000 yen, up 52,000 yen from the previous year, boosting their ratio to household income, which is declining amid a sluggish economy, from 33.7%, Japan Finance Corp. said.

Among families with income from 2 million to 4 million yen, the ratio is as high as 56.5%, it added.

So what this is saying is that the average family, with the 5.9 million yen annual earnings, is putting out close to 2 million of it for education? Is it going to the cram schools?

I can see where a private high school and private college together could be expensive–maybe on the order of 10,598,000 yen ($127,687) for the whole eight year package.

But I can’t see where public high school, which the Minshuto government claims is free now, and a public college would cost anywhere near that.

Japan pleads poverty, and in some cases, yes, things are really tight. Of course. But then, someone will come up with these facts and figures that make it seem like one of the reasons is that someone else is riding quite a gravy train. That would be whoever is on the other end of the 2 million a year . . .