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September 27, 2004

Survey of non-Japanese Children

The education ministry has announced plans to carry out the first exhaustive survey regarding the education of foreign children in Japan. The survey is seen as necessary to gauge the exact level of school attendance among those of elementary and middle school age. A 2002 survey of children in 14 cities in the Kanto and Tokai regions showed that one in four of the over 7,000 foreign school-age children were not attending public, private or international schools. Not being Japanese citizens, education is not compulsory - the issue is being considered from the point of view of the children's right to an education, but is also affected by a reported increase in crime and delinquency among such children. Monbukagakusho has requested a budget of ¥47 million to carry out surveys, as well as school and home visits, in over a dozen municipalities where many non-Japanese live.

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