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【日本】Japan govt. to consider Sept. start of school year

Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzo says the government will weigh various options when considering whether to change the start of the school year from April to September. Abe commented on calls for the change at a Lower House Budget Committee meeting on Wednesday. Some governors and opposition parties want the start of the academic year to be pushed back to September as school closures have been prolonged amid the coronavirus pandemic. Abe said he is aware that some people are urging prudence, but indicated willingness to study a variety of options. Officials in the government and the ruling camp who support the idea say the revision would make it possible to make up for education disruption caused by school shutdowns and resolve gaps in opportunity in education. They also say it would make it easier for Japanese to study in foreign countries where the school year starts in the fall. Others who are against say the schedules of recruitment and certificate tests would need to be adjusted. They also note the revision would make the academic year and the government's fiscal year start in different months. The matter was also taken up in an online meeting of the National Governors' Association on Wednesday. Some prefectural leaders, including Tokyo Governor Koike Yuriko and Osaka Governor Yoshimura Hirofumi, expressed support, while others were cautious, saying introducing the change this year would be too hasty. The government plans to study the matter in a comprehensive manner as the revision would affect society as a whole. It also hopes to see whether the general public would support it.


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