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1.24 million are new adults in Japan this week

Date Posted: 2011-01-14

Events and ceremonies were staged across Japan Monday as the nation paid homage to its young people on Adults Day, or Coming of Age Day.

More than 1.24 million young people attained the age of 20 this year, and were recognized by municipalities, organizations and families, says the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. The ministry says the number of new 20-year-olds was down this year about 30,000, attributing the decline to the trend to smaller families.

The numbers were close to evenly matched this year, with 630,000 ales turning 20, compared with 610,000 girls. The 1,240,000 is down dramatically from the 1970 figure of 2,460,000 new 20-year-olds being feted.

Grown up celebrations were everywhere, including at Ohira High School for special needs education in Urasoe City. The 16 graduates of Ohira High School celebrated at a Naha City Hotel, with 150 family and teachers gathered round to make them feel special. Emiko Tamamoto, who was a deputy principal, talked about memories of students, saying "today is the celebration for becoming new adults. Everybody is wonderful and beautiful. Congratulations."

Eisa and performances by a teachers band filled the stage, enlivening the party through the evening, right up until Kachashi, the Okinawan traditional dance. Student representatives Hirotoshi Nohara and Yoshiko Kakazu said of the 20-year-olds' aspirations, "we greet Adults day peacefully. We're still young, but we're going to have the consciousness of adults, so please watch over us.

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