OSAKA--Osaka Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura will return his summer bonus following the paltry showing of Osaka city's students in a nationwide academic performance survey.

However, experts and others voiced opposition to the move, saying it puts unnecessary pressure on pupils.

Yoshimura, who pledged in August 2018 while serving as Osaka mayor to return his summer bonus if Osaka came in last again among 20 government-designated major cities, made the announcement at a regular news conference on July 31.

The city has finished at the bottom for several years in the annual survey, which targets elementary school sixth-graders and third-year junior high school students.

In the latest survey, Osaka ranked worst in Japanese for sixth-year elementary school students. However, it did manage to avoid last place in arithmetic for the same group and in three junior high school subjects for third-year students.

"Various efforts of ours have had positive effects, and the results show this. The schools also did a great job," Yoshimura said. "However, I will fulfill my promise, taking responsibility for the (overall negative) result."

Yoshimura added that he will donate the money to recovery efforts in disaster areas in Japan through Nippon Ishin (Japan Innovation Party), to which he is affiliated.

However, Osaka Mayor Ichiro Matsui, the party's leader, disagreed with the governor's action.

“I'd like him to stop doing this, as returning his bonus will put pressure on children in Osaka,” Matsui told reporters the same day.

Naoki Ogi, an education expert and TV commentator, echoed the sentiment, saying that Yoshimura should not say things that put pressure on children by having them think, "I have to try hard for the governor" or "I feel sorry for not doing my best," even if he is talking about his own bonus.

Ogi added that education for children should not be treated as simply training to get good marks on tests, saying that he wants Yoshimura to think about the big picture of academic skills development.