Kindergartens are operated by national and public, corporate, and private institutions. Nation- al and public kindergartens primarily operate as elementary school-affiliated kindergartens. Var- ious types of private kindergartens with unique educational goals operate in areas with a large kindergartener population. National and public kindergartens are important for preschool educa- tion in areas with typically few kindergarten-age children.
Most elementary schools are national and pub- lic. Private elementary schools are concentrated in certain areas. The number of female teachers is
hree times that of male teachers; such imbalance in the gender ratio is consistent across the nation but is greater in urban areas than in rural areas. Many elementary schools have been closed in areas with declining populations, while a large number of schools have been newly established in newer towns that are experiencing a continuing population in ux. However, the sites of newly es- tablished elementary schools are generally small- er than those of the existing elementary schools because of the financial burden of purchasing a new site for the school.