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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 October 17 - 23  > Efforts by parents and JCP lead to supplementary state budget of 81.7 billion yen for A/Cs in public school classrooms
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2018 October 17 - 23 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Efforts by parents and JCP lead to supplementary state budget of 81.7 billion yen for A/Cs in public school classrooms

October 21, 2018

The Abe government recently decided to include 81.7 billion yen in a supplementary budget for fiscal 2018 with the aim of encouraging public schools to install air conditioners in their classrooms. Efforts made by parents, teachers, and concerned citizens have bore fruit. The Japanese Communist Party has also worked in the Diet and local assemblies to have classrooms equipped with air conditioners.

Currently, 60% of classrooms in public elementary and junior high schools are air-conditioned.

During the summer this year, Japan sweltered under scorching temperatures reaching 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in some areas. Classrooms without air conditioners became a social issue after a 6-year-old school child died of heatstroke during class. In addition, several recent major natural disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons increased public awareness of public schools’ role as temporary shelters and of the need to install A/Cs there.

Eventually, the government announced that under the planned 2018 supplementary budget, it will spend 8.7 billion yen as extraordinary subsidies to local governments in order to install air conditioners in about 170,000 classrooms across Japan. This financial support can be used for the installation of A/Cs in classrooms and school gyms.

JCP member of the House of Representatives Hatano Kimie issued a comment on the government’s financial measure. She repeatedly took up this issue in the Diet based on discoveries from on-site inspections and demands from parents and concerned citizens.

Hatano in her comment recognized that efforts made by the JCP and parents were reflected in the supplementary budget. Hatano also stressed the need to equip classrooms and school gyms with A/Cs without delay and draw up a budget so that local governments will cover the cost of running air conditioners.

The JCP lawmaker pointed out that the installation of air conditioners in schools will not only protect children’s lives and health but also deliver spillover benefits to local economies, and expressed her determination to continue working on the issue of aged school facilities and the need to create better school environments.

Past related articles:
> Tokyo governor responds to JCP proposal to install more A/Cs in school gyms [September 28, 2018]
> JCP Tokyo announces ordinance bill to install air conditioners in public school gyms [September 13, 2018]
> Shinfujin to Education Ministry: Install A/C in classrooms to protect children’s lives [July 27, 2018]
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