Greater Aid Eyed for Rural Experience Programs for Children


Tokyo, Jan. 22 (Jiji Press)--The Japanese government will strengthen its support for programs in which elementary, junior high and high school students stay in farming, forestry and fishing communities in the countryside.

It hopes that such experience will help urban children get interested in the country life and may encourage them to consider moving to rural areas for settlement in the future, an official at the Cabinet Secretariat said.

The experience program initiative was launched in fiscal 2008 jointly by the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry and the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry.

Currently, the central government provides tax revenue grants to local governments to help them cover accommodation and other expenses in experience programs for elementary school students. From fiscal 2019, which starts in April, it will expand the financial support to also cover programs for junior high school students, officials said.

For joint model programs conducted for elementary and junior high school students by urban municipalities that send children and recipient ones in rural areas, the state gives financial support to both sides. Programs for high school students will additionally become eligible for the assistance.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press