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75% in Nikkei poll favor September start to Japanese school year

  • April 30, 2020
  • , Nikkei Asian Review , 8:31 p.m.
  • English Press

FRANCESCA REGALADO, Nikkei staff writer


TOKYO — More than half the 1,500 respondents to a social media poll by the Nikkei Asian Review on Thursday agreed with moving the start of Japan’s academic calendar to September.


Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told parliament yesterday that he would look into the change, as the coronavirus pandemic may further delay the start of the school year, which typically begins in April.


“Let the kids have summer off,” said Christopher Layton, a Facebook user in South Korea.


Meng Liang, a respondent in Singapore, commented another reason for the change: “Different holiday season will help [the] tourism industry.”


Postponing until fall would align Japanese academia with most Western countries, including the U.S., expanding opportunities for student exchanges.


Of Japan’s Asian neighbors, only Vietnam begins the school year in September.


Respondents on Twitter, however, were vocally opposed, pointing out that only 14 other countries — mostly in the West — follow the September start.


“Don’t fix what isn’t broken!” tweeted Tonianne O’Brien.

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