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October 25, 2004

More English Special Zones

Of the latest batch of 101 municipalities that applied for government-approved special deregulation status, nine have plans to implement policies connected with English education. They include Oyama city in Tochigi prefecture, which wants to increase English lessons for first and second graders by 10 hours a year and to focus on English during the 30-35 hours (about 1 hour a week) allocated to "integrated study" for the upper elementary grades. Other cities, such as Iwaki in Fukushima prefecture and Kurashiki in Okayama, want to turn themselves into centers of international culture.
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