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May 06, 2005

Yokosuka Aims for English-immersion School

The city of Yokosuka, home to a large U.S. naval base, plans to apply for permission from the education ministry to open a combined elementary and middle school that teaches all classes in English. Public schools which combine the two levels of compulsory education are not officially permitted, and the proposed school would be a private institution. But it would effectively be operated by the municipal government, whose Urban Policy Institute is in charge of the plan. The city will provide the facilities of a closed public school, and plans to open the new school in 2007. Yokosuka has already been designated by the central government as a special education zone allowed to hire foreigners as full-time teachers in its public schools and hopes to extend the scope of the zone to allow English immersion programs. Isao Uenodan, a researcher at the Urban Policy Institute, said "We want to create an international education environment at the schools by accepting foreign students."

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