Regional gaps in academic results shrinking in Japan
Jiji Press -- Aug 26
Regional disparities are narrowing in the academic achievements of final-year students at elementary and junior high schools in Japan, reflecting significant performance improvements in low-ranking prefectures, recent national examinations revealed Monday.

According to the achievement exams conducted in April by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Okinawa Prefecture advanced to sixth place from last year's 47th of all 47 prefectures in the average score on basic understanding of arithmetic.

Part A of the exams evaluated basic understanding of the subject, while part B gauged the ability of students to apply knowledge in a practical way.

Sixth graders in Okinawa, the southernmost prefecture, raised their rankings by more than 10 places in all subjects, reflecting improvements in school classes.

47都道府県中、最下位だった沖縄県が大きく順位を上げました。 毎年、全国の小学6年と中学3年を対象に行われる学力テストの結果が発表され、小学生­は秋田県が7回連続のトップでした。前回、最下位の沖縄県は24位でした。
News sources: Jiji Press, ANNnewsCH
Jun 27
The poverty rate among Japanese children slightly improved in 2015 thanks in part to the country's better job market but one in every seven children remains poor, a survey by the welfare ministry showed Tuesday. (Japan Today)
Jun 27
Hokkaido Prefectural Police are investigating what is believed to have been a suicide after the body of a boy was found at an apartment building in Sapporo on Monday, report TV Asahi. (tokyoreporter.com)
Jun 25
Japanese newscaster Mao Kobayashi's blog on her battle against breast cancer was "groundbreaking," British broadcaster BBC reported Friday. (Jiji)
Jun 25
Confusion is spreading after teaching materials on the Japanese language brought in by four lecturers sent from Japan to one of four Russian-controlled islands as part of visa-free exchange activities were seized by Russian customs authorities. (the-japan-news.com)
Jun 24
Hanawa Hokiichi, Japan's revered blind scholar and Buddhist monk of the Edo-era, was born on this date a full 271 years ago. A Google Doodle appearing in the country Friday shows the savant seated next to a kneeling student, with dreams of books floating above his head - alluding to his reputation as a font of wisdom. (Time)
Jun 23
The Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry on Wednesday released a manual for the country's new curriculum guidelines, asking junior high school teachers for the first time to have students understand procedures for constitutional revisions. (the-japan-news.com)
Jun 22
A total of 249 music school operators in Japan have launched a group lawsuit against music copyright management body JASRAC's plan to collect royalties on music played in lesson time. (Jiji)
Jun 21
Around half of junior high school students have called the English skills they acquired in elementary schools "useless," according to recent findings by education services provider Benesse Holdings Inc. (Japan Times)
Jun 18
Osaka Prefectural Police have arrested a 31-year-old teacher in an alleged attempted arson case at a kindergarten in Miyakojima Ward last month, reports TBS News (tokyoreporter.com)
Jun 17
A government survey showed Friday that 55.9 pct of Japanese men took child care leave within two months after their wives gave birth. (Jiji)