314 Japan in Depth: School Closures

Speech Materals

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Japan’s leaders are in a race against time. The proportion of elderly is increasing faster than any other country and the birth rate remains low. Since 2007, the number of deaths each year has outpaced the number of births.

With fewer children, schools are closing across Japan. That’s having a big impact on local communities even in Tokyo.

More than 5,000 public schools have shuttered across Japan in the past decade. Education Ministry officials say the number of primary-school kids fell this year by 600,000.

It’s the same story in Tokyo. More than 240 schools have closed in the past decade in this city. Many communities are fighting the closures.

I – Word Understanding
outpaced – exceeded / more than
shuttered – closed for business
II- Have Your Say
1. Many communities all over Japan face the challenge of school closures, and many of them are fighting against it for the following reasons:
– children’s safety
– economic reasons
– disaster prevention programs

2. Japanese lawmakers have been struggling to find ways to solve the country’s population problem. Deaths are outpacing births and more and more women are putting off having children. What could be the best solution?

314 Japan in Depth: School Closures

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