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Japan to help schools for foreigners with multilingual virus info

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Japan's education ministry is considering providing information on the coronavirus in multiple languages by email to unauthorized schools for foreigners, an official said Saturday.

The plan is part of preparations for a possible cluster of infections as schools not licensed by Japanese authorities could be left out from various forms of official support.

The ministry will seek help from embassies and support groups for foreigners to create a list of unauthorized schools and send information deemed necessary to them in multiple languages, including English and Portuguese, according to the official.

The government has not grasped the exact number of unauthorized schools for foreigners in Japan.

According to a 2019 survey conducted by the ministry, there were 124,000 foreign children aged between six and 15 in Japan and as many as 19,000 were believed to have stayed out of schooling.

Some of the 19,000 children might be receiving education through unauthorized schools, but the details remain unknown.

The ministry aims to use collected data beyond its response to the virus in the future to improve education support for foreign children, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

As of March 2019, there were 126 authorized foreign schools in Japan, according to the ministry, which provided face masks to them as part of steps to protect children and teachers from COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the virus. Such schools are eligible to receive subsidies of local governments in some cases as well.

But those not authorized, which apparently exist in all sizes across Japan, remain outside the scope of aid since it is unknown where they are or how many children attend them. It is said some children are taught privately in small groups in apartment rooms.

In the central Japan city of Hamamatsu, there are three schools catering for the Brazilian community of some 9,000, with one remaining unregistered and thus unable to receive Shizuoka Prefecture's subsidies.

The city provides up to 10,000 yen to each foreign family with students to cover expenses for textbooks, regardless of which school they attend.

Toyota, another central Japan city in Aichi Prefecture, supports two unlicensed Brazilian schools to conduct disaster drills and health checkups, in addition to assistance on precautions against the virus.

Noting that translating virus-related information is time-consuming work, a Toyota city official said, "If the government actively gets involved in the process, it will become easier for us to work together (with such schools)."

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Japan's education ministry is considering providing information on the coronavirus in multiple languages by email to unauthorized schools for foreigners, an official said Saturday.

Not accredited ok, but they are "authorized" as they are set up as educational businesses, and are LEGAL. By stating here they are "unauthorized" people will infer, in some cases, that they are illegal, and that is not the case!

The government has not grasped the exact number of unauthorized schools for foreigners in Japan.According to a 2019 survey conducted by the ministry, there were 124,000 foreign children aged between six and 15 in Japan and as many as 19,000 were believed to have stayed out of schooling.

Staying out of Japanese PUBLIC or private schooling, is not the same as making a blanket statement that they are not going to school.

Plus, if the government has no idea just how many schools are operating to educate these children, they are being negligent in their work!

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Aside from target foreign languages, simple, plain Japanese (straightforward phrases; fewer kanji with furigana added) should also be promoted as a language of instruction and intercultural communication. It helps kids' acculturation process.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

*Some of the 19,000 children might be receiving education through unauthorized schools, but the details remain unknown.*

This situation is possibly very ridiculous, but it remains unknown because this entire article is filled with pure speculation instead of actual facts.

9 ( +10 / -1 )

Wow, a whole 10,000 yen. That's just crazy talk. How can that expense be justified!

/s

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This situation is possibly very ridiculous, but it remains unknown because this entire article is filled with pure speculation instead of actual facts.

Yup! Not an unusual thing here either. Local municipal governments do not communicate well between themselves, and information regarding children and other social services, is not shared. Many of these so-called, unaccounted for children, very well may be in a school in another municipality, other than the one that they are living in, and the local government has never done anything about it,

I will give an example here of just how screwy things can get,

There is a family that has 3 children, 2 of which never once stepped foot into the local ES or JHS, they are "half", but anyway, they went to a so called "unauthorized" school here, and that school was in another municipality here on island.

Both of them received diplomas from the local ES and JHS, with ever attending even ONE day of classes. Their homeroom teachers were forced to maintain one desk in their classrooms, even though they knew that the students would never attend school there.

Both of them GRADUATED from these ES and JHS!

Oh and while they went to an "unauthorized" school, one went to University in the US, and the other one graduated from Keio University here in Japan!

6 ( +8 / -2 )

Ever heard of homeschooling? It is a thing you know we send our kids to a School for Foreigners and they do their homeschooling packs from their home country there. So it doesn't need to be registered/authorised as a School.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Japan's educational system has NEVER recognized the importance of foreigners understanding anything related to the Japanese language. This announcement, as far as I'm concerned (as an annual 6-8 week visitor, except for this year) means nothing. Squat.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Yup! Not an unusual thing here either. Local municipal governments do not communicate well between themselves, and information regarding children and other social services, is not shared. 

The lack of utilization of this internet thing for these purposes is shocking. Similar to the lack of an online sexual offenders list. It’s not as if these systems would create more protections for vulnerable individuals.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Surly if you live in japan you must have some basic communication skills? I can’t read kanji, but it is not impossible to understand the cute little pictures plastered everywhere of masks, washing hands, social distancing etc. also TV news says shingatta virus about a million times an hour with prefecture maps and number graphs.

what extra info do foreigners need? Apart from in Japan you can’t just go to a clinic and get a test unless you are on your deathbed.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

Noting that translating virus-related information is time-consuming work, a Toyota city official said, "

Yeah...it's just sooo hard to offer e decent wage and hire a fluent Japanese/ Brazilian Nikkei person to do the translation... undoubtedly amongst the whole community there isn't a single individual or two out there capable of doing this. Or here is a novel idea, how about making a call to Brazilian embassy and co operate with their translators....bet they,d prove much faster than any J bureaucracy suit.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

@Trevor

This announcement, as far as I'm concerned (as an annual 6-8 week visitor, except for this year) means nothing. Squat.

As someone who has lived here nearl 25 years continuously I need to disagree with you on this.

Inspite of other issues identified above I still see this as a good thing. Providing information, which was not provided in the past, seems positive in my humble opinion.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The MOE needs to understand that most foreign residents use the web far more effectively to gain information than it ever will.

Japanese knowledge often lags before the rest of the 1st world.

At the start of the outbreak I asked several doctors and surgeons whether they’d had any type of briefing from the MOH here-the replies were always in the negative...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

What a pity these small companies such as Toyota and Yamaha in Hamamatsu do not have the means to support a few schools. I am sure they would love to if they could, there hearts will be bleeding

4 ( +5 / -1 )

They should start by translating this page: https://www.fukushihoken.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/iryo/kansen/coronasodan.html (at least in English and Chinese to cover most foreigners).

It is the most important page during the coronavirus epidemic and it is shameful that it is only available in Japanese.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

They should start by translating this page: https://www.fukushihoken.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/iryo/kansen/coronasodan.html (at least in English and Chinese to cover most foreigners).

You link, at the top of the page, LANGUAGE............ Before complaining about something, do your own leg work!

You are welcome!

https://www.fukushihoken.metro.tokyo.lg.jp/english/index.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Apologies to those who've read part of this before, but I smell something strange in the air.

November 13, I took a 15 minute walk to a large public hospital here in Kanagawa-ken (Noborito) for my 'kenshin' — an explanation and advice regarding recent results of my annual health check.

Living in Japan for 37 years now, I speak Japanese, and am only friendly chatting and joking terms with at least a dozen nurses, doctors, and staff ... but noticed that consultations, directions, signs, and paperwork were only available in Japanese. And I am aware of some reports of clusters among immigrant labor communities.

Although the hospital seemed to be running smoothly, business as usual and under no unusual stress, as I was handing out some post-Halloween / pre-Christmas chocolate, I offered my services as a communication volunteer for foreign patients. Some forty years ago as a biology undergrad in the states, I had done similar volunteer work as a recreational therapist.

The head nurse thought it was a splendid idea, and immediately called her supervisor, who in turn, ordered her to relay a message to me, 'Thanks, but no thanks. Unnecessary' — in perfect Japanese.  

Even with our masks on, it was easy to see the nurse and I shared the same sheepish grin at the irony of the message.

The next day, Nov. 14, NHK's 7:00 news aired an announcement by the governor of Kanagawa prefecture (where I live) ... officially declaring the prefecture as now in a public health crisis.

Contrary to my doctor's advice, I popped the tab of another can of Asahi SuperDry, and switched to a movie channel. At least the fiction is more entertaining.

As stated in the article above ...

The government has not grasped the exact number of unauthorized schools for foreigners in Japan.

Maybe it's just the cynic in me, but I suspect that statement is more salient than any concern for public health, with 'grasping' and 'unauthorized' as euphemisms for 'bringing under authoritarian control'.

The plan is part of preparations for a possible cluster of infections as schools not licensed by Japanese authorities could be left out from various forms of official support.

The above claim rings more than a bit hollow. 'Official support' does not come from the noblesse oblige of government bureaucrats or politicians. Official support is tax-funded. I think we can be fairly certain those unauthorized foreigners have 'officially' been taxed at the same rate as Japanese citizens now under government authority and control. It is only by 'official' rules that taxes are not redistributed fairly to those who are taxed.

The Japanese national government has known about this virus since January — about a year now — implementing swift and austere economic measures on the working class — an economic strain causing a drastic rise in suicides to the point that even the government admits is a 'national emergency'. And meanwhile the Bank of Japan quickly followed the model of the U.S. FED, printing loads of unbacked Yen (fiat currency) to prop up faith in the stock market ... to keep the elite assured and playing the money game. And now nearly one year later, this ... ?

Japan's education ministry is considering providing information on the coronavirus in multiple languages by email to unauthorized schools for foreigners, an official said Saturday.

And from today, the same on-line newspaper ...

Shinji Ogura, a professor of emergency and disaster medicine at Gifu University, however, indicated there is no room for optimism.

"Medical resources, including workers, are close to collapsing, and the level of urgency is extremely high." he said. "I want people to take thorough infection prevention measures to also protect the medical system."

Yet hospitals, and as I found out through first hand experience elsewhere, schools, do not need communication volunteers? No wonder the good professor is not optimistic.

Time for another beer, another movie.

Maybe the 2013 film 'Elysium' is not Science Fiction after all.

Will file that one under 'Social Criticism'.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

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