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Gov't to request American schools in Okinawa accept Japanese pupils

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Sure, dump your problem on the Americans, then complain even more if it doesn't work out. Bad idea

-3 ( +7 / -10 )

Good idea, Thinking outside the box for a change.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

Are the US bases considered US soil? The children would need student visas not being American I would imagine. Good idea but someone didn't think it through.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Interesting idea. However, I recall that young Japanese on overseas working holiday programs have had trouble finding work after returning to Japan. Japanese employers saw their broadened experience and education as a deficit, not an asset.

The jobless rate in my hometown way back when I tried to enter the labour market was way higher than Okinawa's, and the government did nothing, so I simply re-located to greener pastures. I guess it's too much to ask today's generation of young Okinawans to do likewise.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Will the Japanese kids be subjected to the same rigorous entry criteria as foreign kids are when they enter private Japanese schools?

9 ( +10 / -1 )

gogogo; If the rules haven't changed since I was in the military here, you do not need a visa to enter a military base. For non-US citizens, you need an invitation from personnel stationed on the base.

As for this idea, I like the idea of everyone helping each other and getting along. But....... On one hand there's a push/protests to close the bases on Okinawa as the US military is not wanted. On the other hand, now, there is a push to educated Japanese kids the same as Americans are educated. Confused. Also wondering how this would go over. Would the kids be able to get along okay? Are parents (who dislike the bases) okay with this? Would a new wave of bullying be started? One can only hope for the best FOR THE KIDS.

In addition, crime and aircraft incidences are not only by US military personnel. Native Okinawans and JP military also contribute to the said incidences.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Currently, Japanese children are permitted to study at the American administered schools if there is vacancy but few have been accepted.

I may have misunderstood but I met a number of Japanese people or J+non-American couples that told me their kids studied in schools with the US army children in Okinawa . For most, that was one of their reasons for relocating there as they had lower tuition and living cost, compared to Kyoto international schools. Maybe they were in independent schools outside the base ?

proposing Japanese students in Okinawa be given allotted places at American schools located in U.S. military bases

Why have they waited 2017 to consider it ? They should go further. Merge American schools with Japanese ones and offer to all the concerned children the opportunity to learn two languages and cultures and for the most motivated ones to get a double degree. In addition, that can be a good thing for military family kids to socialise with children of different backgrounds.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Are the US bases considered US soil? The children would need student visas not being American I would imagine. Good idea but someone didn't think it through.

The bases are owned and managed by Japan and considered Japanese soil. Visa's are not required to come on the bases and its a very seamless process with integrating Japanese citizens into DOD operated schools. It's a great idea, hopefully the US side agrees to the program. I think this should happen by next fall.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

What a good idea. The American schools are MASSIVE compared to the Japanese ones. A Junior High School recently built for children of US servicemen is five times larger than a local Junior High School for Japanese kids. American schools have sports facilities with showers and locker rooms that Japanese ones don't. There's going to be some complicated feeling when they find out.

8 ( +9 / -1 )

Being a graduate of a DOD school myself, I think it's an interesting idea. It's possible, but going to take a lot of commitment from all sides. Parent, teacher AND student. The Japanese parents are going to have to be able to understand the child's homework and realize that the parent is responsible for the child's homework to be complete. The parent must also realize the in many cases, there is no turning back to the Japanese education system. In the upper grades, the child will have no time for "juku" (cram school) in preparation for the Japanese entrance exams. For the teachers, they have to no time to "babysit" had child with a language problem. The number should also be limited to prevent the Japanese speaking kids from forming groups and avoiding having to speak English. This is done in some international schools.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Surprised to read this as Japan usually has a condescending attitude to American education as well as sovereignty concerns. Very interesting.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Japan usually has a condescending attitude to American education

Do they? Who exactly is this 'Japan' you are referring to, the government? The people? I can't say I've ever heard anyone express a condescending attitude towards American education. I've heard the opposite - people wishing they could put their kids in international schools that run American programs.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

'The level of unemployment in Okinawa, especially among young people, is relatively high compared to many other prefectures across the country. The unemployment rate for those aged 20 to 24 hit 8 percent in fiscal 2016, above the prefecture's 4.2-percent average.'

This must be a joke. Japan has a great shortage of labor. For 143 positions there are only 100 applicants. Businesses are closing for the lack of employees. Some businesses are cutting days and operating hours. In Okinawa businesses are desperate for employees, so where are the unemployed?

'The government is considering proposing Japanese students in Okinawa be given allotted places at American schools located in U.S. military bases to improve their English language skills and better prepare them for university.'

My question is how about others? Non- Federally(NFC) connected Grades 9 - 12 the cost for a non-sofa student is annually $26,532.00.

Who is going to pay this cost? There are non-Japanese students that would like to go to Okinawa DOD schools, but they cannot afford the high cost. These students have a greater need than Japanese students.

Prime Minister Taro Kono and Lt. General Lawrence Nicholson should be aware of this.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

“Currently, Japanese children are permitted to study at the American administered schools if there is vacancy but few have been accepted.”

Does this mean:

a. There have been few vacancies, therefore few were accepted.

b. There have been many vacancies, but most applications by Japanese students were rejected for some reason.

c. Not many Japanese students have applied.

d. Or?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Interesting idea, but I am sure that the Japanese students will have to pay.  I believe current tuition costs for a non-SOFA sponsored student is about $17,000 per student per year.  I am sure that that must be cheaper than some of the Japanese private schools.

But it seems interesting to me, that on the one hand the Okinawa government wants the bases to leave, yet they want to turn to them to help the unemployment rate with letting kids go to school in them.  What will happen when some of the bases do close and leave, and those jobs held onbases by the Japanese locals are no longer there, nor with the reduced numbers of US service members and families will not be contributing into the local economy.  Yet, it makes good news to stand there and protest the bases.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

As Bertie says, it'll be good for Japanese kids and parents to see another way of doing it. Good facilities, no need to pay $1000 at a crusty old shop for the world's most overpriced uniform and gym gear, alternative forms of discipline like detention, etc. It should be interesting when it's time for history lessons too....

Due to cost, I guess there will be very few places and that this is mostly a PR exercise.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I doubt this idea will go over well with the already US military adverse Okinawa people. This is typical of the top down logic of Tokyo bureaucrats.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

on the one hand you have abe's revisionist education system, on the other hand the american propaganda machine. education is the most important thing for children. i feel sorry for both parents and students.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

One big problem of this is there is no room for other students but Military and Civilian employees get. As A contractor for me to send a child to the US Base schools is on a space available and a cost of $2500.00 per month or 250,000 Yen per month. The fact that Japan has failed to educate their kids in Foreign studies and languages is not the fault of the US Military but a Japanese Government that refuses to be like China who educates their children in English and foreign studies. They employ by the many thousands of English speakers to teach their kids in Public Schools. They send their children to teh best and most expensive colleges in the USA and Europe for the best educations. That is not happening in Japan. Japan still believes in isolationist practices and that everyone should speak Japanese. Even North Korea educates their kids in English more than Japan does. Singapore you need to speak English to live there. Japan will need to pay for US educated teachers and more schools. In the USA there are no tests for students to attend High Schools and all children are equal and have the opportunity to attend any public school. So japan should look in the mirror as they are the source of their problem. If Japan wants more English schools why don't they let these schools build here in Japan and pay the same wages that US teachers get. It is not the the US Govt. and Populations taxes that are paid for US schools for the sake of English illiterate Japanese students whom are not educated by the Japanese Govt.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

annual tuition for non-military US students at DODDS schools is approx $20,000, if Japanese students are permitted entry for any amount less there'll be hell to pay

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Educator60Today  10:31

Does this mean:

a. There have been few vacancies, therefore few were accepted.

b. There have been many vacancies, but most applications by Japanese students were rejected for some reason.

c. Not many Japanese students have applied.

d. Or?

Bingo. This is the issue that the article misses. It's an idea that is so logical on the surface that it seems to be a journalistic failure to not report the key information that explains why it's not happening already.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

on the one hand the Okinawa government wants the bases to leave, yet they want to turn to them to help the unemployment rate with letting kids go to school in them.

The they isn't the Okinawa government nor the Okinawa people, it's Tokyo. As the article states, The idea ... could see a backlash from islanders.

 

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The better idea is to use the money the Japanese government plans to spend on education to send students and teachers to the mainland. Send the best students to American schools. The US government wastes billions of dollars providing housing and services to military dependents. The best idea is to build an island similar to Kansai and move the US military off Okinawa.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Educator60Today, it’s not because of vacancy or lack of vacancy this hasn’t occurred before. It’s because Japan and the US schools operate in two different curriculum and the desire from the GOJ to deepen the alliance ties is stronger than ever before. I bet it’s likely that this will solely be an English focused class that takes a portion of the school day with a return to the usual school for their remaining studies

The they isn't the Okinawa government nor the Okinawa people, it's Tokyo. As the article states, The idea ... could see a backlash from islanders.

it most definitely is the Prefectural Government. Ive lived here for years and the average Okinawan has a positive view towards the American military. I bet you the only backlash comes from the minority who has never liked the presence and the majority will support and take advantage of the program.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

“Foreign Minister Taro Kono will unveil the education plan during his two-day trip to Okinawa from Dec 1. He will request cooperation with Okinawa Gov Takeshi Onaga in person and separately with Lt Gen Lawrence Nicholson,..”

Shouldn't those two instances of “with” be “from”? My understanding is this is a national government idea. And Kino is going down there to meet separately with Onaga and with Nicholson and ask them to cooperate with the plan. He needs to get a promise of cooperation from both of them before the program can be started.

And if that is correct, then cleo’s comment that “they” is the Tokyo government is correct. This is not a plan originating from the Okinawa Prefecture officials, regardless of whether the locals will look on it favorably or not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It’ll be a status symbol; my kids go to school at the US military base. Response will be the desired envy and look of admiration.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wonder if this may harm the English teaching schools in Okinawa ?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

There are already provisions for Local National dependents to attend as a Category 4 tuition paying student, so why is Minister Kono making such a great fanfare to request something which essentially already exists?

This appears to be political posturing with little real benefit to those who Minister Kono are pledging to assist - Okinawan children and ultimately the Okinawan economy. 

http://www.dodea.edu/enrollment-categories.cfm

This may sound like a feel good story, though in practice it is counterintuitive to the proposed goals ... For any Okinawan or Japanese family who can afford to send their children to a DoDEA school at $27,000.00 USD / year, they can receive a comparable English language immersion experience from a school such as AmerAsian School Okinawa (AASO), Okinawa Christian School International (OCSI) or Amicus at any where from 1/10th to 1/2 of the cost of DoDDS. While DoDDS offers a top notch English only education, is not accredited for Japanese children who attend for their grades to be recognized in Japanese public schools. The National or Prefectural government would do much more for the community by supporting the local Okinawa international schools who actually need the financial support (DoDEA is well funded) and can give the children a much broader education experience with both English and Japanese immersion. If it is the intent for the GOJ to subsidize the cost, the money would go much further, help more children (up to ten fold!) and ultimately benefit the Okinawan economy by supporting local International schools by either paying tuitions for needy families, or subsidizing teacher salaries and school programs. As a US Government employee, I have free access to DoDEA schools, yet we elect to pay out of pocket to instead send our children ages 10 and 14 to AmerAsian School of Okinawa (AASO) as they receive complete English and Japanese immersion, fully accredited by the Japanese board of education, which permits them to attend Japanese or American public High schools. They are at peer level in Japanese language arts, and well above peer level in English language arts.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

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