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Child Protection Conference has Okinawan people thinking

Date Posted: 2010-03-25

How to deal with divorces and families losing their livelihood was a key topic for more than 300 education specialists gathered this week at the 55th Culture Conference for Protecting Children.

The lack of support systems for education, and no structural support for children had panelists at the conference discussing ways to make things better. “There are not many after school places owned by municipalities,” said Akira Chibana, Okinawa Prefecture After School Care Communication Committee chair. “Some 83% of municipalities own after school care facilities in the mainland,” Akira says, “but in Okinawa there are only 7% of the municipalities owning such facilities.”

The conference also addressed planning for children’s future, and also discussion about how to deal with American military bases being returned to Japan. Seiki Arasaki, Director of Administration at Okinawa University, says “Okinawan history has followed the return of military base facilities and done only resistance to the bases movement, but nothing about education and welfare. We need to shift our focus.”

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