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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 July 18 - 24  > Shinfujin urges Education Ministry to increase subsidies for more air-conditioned classrooms
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2018 July 18 - 24 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Shinfujin urges Education Ministry to increase subsidies for more air-conditioned classrooms

July 20, 2018

Calling for measures to deal with scorching summer heat, the New Japan Women’s Association (Shinfujin or NJWA) on July 19 petitioned the Education Ministry to increase the amount of its subsidies to enable schools to equip classrooms with air-conditioning.

In the petitioning, Hadatsuki Chiharu, who came from Aichi’s Toyota City, stressed, “The national government should support the installment of air conditioners in elementary and junior high schools”. Recently in an elementary school in Toyota City, a first grader died of heatstroke at the school which does not have air-conditioned classrooms.

Iwatsuki Sawako from Chiba City said that she has been with a signature collection campaign that a local civil group has waged for four years to request the city to install air conditioners in classrooms. She said that so far, 20,000 signatures were submitted to the city government, but it declined the request by pointing to difficulties in obtaining funding.

Currently, only 40% of elementary, junior high, and special support schools in Japan have air-conditioned classrooms. In response to Shinfujin members, Education Ministry officials said that the ministry already finished this year’s allocation of its subsidies for school modernization, including A/C installations. The officials also said that many applications for the grant were rejected because the budget for the program was limited. They said that the ministry will work to obtain a larger budget.

Another Shinfujin member asked the education officials whether municipalities will be able to receive the grant if they buy air conditioners for their schools this year at their own expense as an emergency measure. The ministry officials replied that the ministry unfortunately cannot do so.

Shinfujin Vice President Nishikawa Kyoko said that the Education Ministry should see this extremely hot summer as a kind of a natural disaster and take necessary measures urgently.

Past related articles:
> JCP Okinawa protests gov’t policy to cut subsidies for schools near US bases [May 13 & 14, 2016]
> A/C for 100% of US base schools, 22.5% of Tokyo schools [December 22, 2010]
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