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All trips for public schools in Tokyo's Minato Ward to take place abroad

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There's no other way to improve different cultures and improving language except by sending students to school trips using subsidy?

Minato is the richest city in Japan, with average salary for its citizens at over 12M. They have more money than they can ever dream to use, so why not use some of it for children?

15 ( +19 / -4 )

I'd say going on a trip to a foreign country with all your schoolmates together does not work toward the aim of this program. If they are serious about these goals, they can try sending children to stay with a host family for at least a month on at least two occasions to different countries.

12 ( +13 / -1 )

There's no other way to improve different cultures and improving language except by sending students to school trips using subsidy?

Japan hasn't found the other way after decades of searching. Most Japanese rarely go abroad, if ever.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Every year across Japan, third-year junior high school students typically take school trips for several days, often considered a highlight of their time in school. However, the trips are generally domestic, with historical cities like Nara, Kyoto and Tokyo examples of popular destinations.

Boy it REALLY gets annoying when writers of articles fail to research their articles properly and make generalized statements, which others then repeat as "facts", even though they are wrong!

2 year JHS, taking school trips, have increased across the board, from about 20 years ago, due to increased pressure on 3rd year students to get good grades and to study for their HS entrance exams. They dont have time in many schools for these trips!

Also, HELL no kids from Okinawan public schools, for the most part, DO NOT go to Tokyo, most go to Kyushu! Oh and countless numbers of kids from JHS and HS come to Okinawa as well, a very popular destination!

For once, wishful thinking I know, get things right the first time!

7 ( +9 / -2 )

Third-year students at all public junior high schools in a central Tokyo ward will go abroad for their school trips starting from April 2024, with subsidies of around 500,000 yen to be provided per student, according to the municipality.

> The costs of the overseas school trips for the students' parents and guardians will remain similar to what they would have paid for domestic trips at around 75,000 yen. The ward has set aside 512 million yen for the project in its supplementary budget for this fiscal year.

Geez, talk about the "haves" vs "have-nots"! Bet any money there wont be any choice on where they go!

That's a hell of a lot of money for a 3 day 4 night trip! Nearly 600,000.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Most of these Minato ward kids have already been abroad many times, we are talking about a minority ward full of embassies and where only rich people (Japanese or foreigners) can live.

But as someone said above, they need to spend the tax money so whatever.

It would be good if ALL the kids could have access to the same education and school trips.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

''The ward has set aside 512 million yen for the project in its supplementary budget for this fiscal year.''

Is this 'City Tax' funds they've been hoarding? I think residents wouldn't be too thrilled about it.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Ah_soToday  07:57 am JST

There's no other way to improve different cultures and improving language except by sending students to school trips using subsidy?

Japan hasn't found the other way after decades of searching. Most Japanese rarely go abroad, if ever.

2

will never happen as they travel in group with other Japanese.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

stupid waste of taxpayer money

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Seems to be another massive handout to JTB who will in all likelihood arrange these trips.

With fewer and fewer Japanese going overseas due to rapidly ageing or in the younger people’s case simply not having either the time or money JTB must be suffering.

Minato City is awash with cash. Last year they organised smart phone lessons for seniors in which all participants received a free iPhone and one-year mobile network contract.

Pity the money didn’t go to single parent families instead in less well off places in Japan.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

"Geez, talk about the "haves" vs "have-nots"! Bet any money there wont be any choice on where they go! That's a hell of a lot of money for a 3 day 4 night trip! Nearly 600,000."

I agree with your sentiments. Very overpriced for such a short trip. Could easily be done for less than a third of this figure. Wonder whose pockets will be greased most?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

From June to September next year, about 760 students at 10 public junior high schools will travel to Singapore for five-day school trips. The schools plan to hold exchanges with local students.

Not quite sure what 'exchanges' means here. Are the kids going to have face-to-face interactions or is this about sending Singaporean kids to Japan? It's not just going to a foreign country that makes these trips worthwhile, it's actually interacting with the people and understanding the local culture from the standpoint of a local. That is pretty hard to do in five days and I'd like to see the agenda for these trips to know just what goes on. Are they spending the 5 days doing verbal and cultural exchanges each day? Maybe the kids get to ask the usual scripted questions to one another. Just walking behind someone holding a flag and speaking in Japanese while visiting a few tourist traps, like the Merlion, is not going to enhance any kind of real knowledge about that culture so hopefully, there's some meaningful exchange of culture happening.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

But Singapore is so boring....and fines for everything including wearing a singlet where the public could see you.

An example of an auto didactic city state controlled by a small elite in Government, business and law.

A cautionary example to the students maybe.

English is widely spoken in the Philippines as well.....thats a better choice to understand other Asian cultures.

2 ( +12 / -10 )

Would save a lot of tax payers money to just have a day trip to Warabistan in Saitama.

But then the Education department heads wouldn't get their "fact finding" trips to Singapore.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Seriously doubt the huge amount of money used in the subsidies can be justified in the current situation, what other much more economical solutions that produce similar exposure were discussed and discarded?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Minato ward is the most expensive area in Tokyo. All of the families are very rich and most have been to foreign countries before. This will be no problem. Enjoy the free trip.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yobaru above... most of the Philippines is safe... send to kids to an island or country area.

Right, then pray tell why there are travel advisories out for foreign travelers to the PI?

Exercise increased caution to the Philippines due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping. Some areas have increased risk.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So rich kids, get to go on nice overseas holidays... what's new?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Yuburu above... most of the Philippines is safe... send to kids to an island or country area.

I'm not suggesting Sydney either.....

1 ( +3 / -2 )

English is widely spoken in the Philippines as well.....thats a better choice to understand other Asian cultures.

If that happened, I'd give it 2 weeks before we are looking at a kidnapping for money scenario. The Philippines absolutely loves and idolises Japan - but safe it is certainly not.

Singapore is a close and affordable nearby English speaking nation. If this program promotes an international outlook of some students it will be a success.

Good for Minato Ward - an area of Tokyo famous for foreign Embassies.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

few exchange weeks at Eton College right near Windsor castle would be fitting to the purpose. 

LOL. Eton College?!

I don't believe the nature of the trip is to start learning Received Pronunciation - that around 2% of the English population actually use! Singapore is fit for purpose.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

During my trip in 2nd year of high school we went to Hokkaido during summer. Went to look at a middle sized mountain and the Sapporo beer factor, where only the teachers were allowed to drink, all this in full school uniform glory, Great times.

I guess going abroad would be more fun, but I wonder how much use it is when they are very likely to just get dragged around like sheep between famous spots.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

So they are now basically saying domestic travel is so expensive they can go overseas for the same amount. Nothing like overcharging locally and losing the business. Domestic travel is insanely expensive. The huge profits travel companies get is amazing. And most hotels are at best 3 star over seas. Most hotels have no pool. Even a cheap hilton in kanas city has a heated indoor and outdoor pool for $50 a night. So I’m glad they are using the money wisely. Sadly local tourism looses out.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japanese English education was strategically designed to keep people from fleeing abroad while they could at least read and write papers in English. This had successfully kept talented young people in the country, compared to other Asian countries where the brightest young people head for the US. It was only after Japan lost its prosperity that everything went wrong.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I'm trying to imagine Japanese high school students interacting with non-Japanese in Singapore.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

In Germany we can choose from so many differing countries to visit with a simple train or coach trip. I went to quite a few countries, some I liked, others, not so much, and I have now finished in the UK, because my girlfriend lives there and I live with her and her parents. The UK is generally ok and my English is very good, I now speak with an Oxford accent with a tinge of German, altho UK people know instantly I am not British. I also loved Switzerland and Austria but not France so much. Also I loved Liechtenstein which is one of the smallest nations in the world and is completely surrounded by Switzerland and Austria and the Alps and has a population of less than 40,000.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Nezrly 600000¥.

At that price, going to Singapore for a 5 day-trip (so 3 day only of contact with local citizens at most), brown envelopes are flying too.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yobaru above... most of the Philippines is safe... send to kids to an island or country area.

Oh and just in case you forgot, ALL the PI are "islands"

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If the adult society is open-minded and able to think about issues on a global scale, that's much more inspiring than taking students overseas for a few days.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Mixed feelings. Japanese people definitely need to be more exposed to foreign lifestyles. I'm not sure what good taking a glorified vacation does for junior high schoolers, though.

I do however think it is incredibly important for them to study English as hard as possible, network with people in foreign countries online, and leave Japan as soon as they graduate University. Get a working holiday visa for a foreign country and get out of dodge quickly. This whole system of young post grads immediately hopping into a big corporation wherein they surrender the rest of their lives and their individuality is a truly sad affair. It needs to break, honestly.

If more Japanese people left the country at age 22, companies would need to be more competitive and also less conformist, elsewise potential workers might stay overseas indefinitely.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japanese English education was strategically designed to keep people from fleeing abroad while they could at least read and write papers in English. This had successfully kept talented young people in the country, compared to other Asian countries where the brightest young people head for the US. It was only after Japan lost its prosperity that everything went wrong.

Ohhh, so you think there was/is a conspiracy to keep the Japanese people down? Very interesting theory.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Very Smart Move, it will help this new generation better understand the world around them and get them out of the box, and I hope they go beyond Asia.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

We want to foster open-minded students who think about issues at a global scale.

Yes, they want to foster open-minded students from your taxes. It is one of the richest areas why we all have to pay for it?

For those who don't know and can't read Japanese, Minato-ku like any other ku in Tokyo gets subsidies from the Japanese government do called bonds.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Most Japanese rarely go abroad, if ever.

True but numbers can be deceiving.

As a whole only 14% have travelled outside of Japan but those under 40 that number increases to around 20% some age demographics are even higher.

But remember to leave Japan this requires taking an airplane.

So comparing to other countries with land borders and in the case of Europe multiple countries by land this becomes a unfair comparison.

Take just Canada and the USA, 65% of Americans and 75% of Canadians have "travelled abroad".

But again where? Well over 90% of Americans either went to Canada or Mexico and Canadians to the USA.

Basically they drove across the border an option not available in Japan.

On Europe the same thing applies,

So taking Japanese in their 20s with about 27% having travelled to another country, this is a big expense.

But in Canada, the USA that same age bracket probably just drove into Mexico or into the USA for a weekend on many occasions.

In Europe the same thing applies in Germany a drive or train ridein to France, Belgium, the Netherlands or even Poland isn't a big thing!

I find it encouraging that the number of 20 something are traveling at near twice the percentage what their parents did quite encouraging for a less isolated minded future generation.

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Malay, Chinese and Tamil are also spoken in Singapore. If the ward officials want to foster open-minded students with taxpayers’ money, they should send students to different countries, not just to a single destination. A school trip to Vladivostok might be fun.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Why not, better that than nothing, Singapore is surely safe and interesting. But learning English in 5 days, when not having learned it during 9 years of schooling? That's ridiculous. And the only places to learn correct English are where correct English comes from, in the city of Oxford and maybe for those young wealthy students also a few exchange weeks at Eton College right near Windsor castle would be fitting to the purpose. There they are taught what they need and of course the sightseeing spots near and directly in London and possibilities to practice are sheer unlimited and unforgettable.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

At public elementary schools in Minato Ward, students start learning English from their first year.

Oh hell, kids are going to hate English from ES and not JHS now!

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

English is widely spoken in the Philippines as well.....thats a better choice to understand other Asian cultures.

Yeah, but pray tell, from a matter of safety alone, what city in the PI would you send a bunch of Japanese JHS kids?

None.......

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Singapore is a great choice. Hopefully some of the kids will return to Japan with more determination to learn English (and other languages) so they have more opportunities as adults.

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

From June to September next year, about 760 students at 10 public junior high schools will travel to Singapore for five-day school trips.

In a rare case nationwide, Minato Ward said it hopes that all students will have the opportunity to learn about different cultures in order to better understand foreign countries.

There's no other way to improve different cultures and improving language except by sending students to school trips using subsidy?

-8 ( +9 / -17 )

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