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Amami Oshima depopulation thretens schools

Date Posted: 1998-02-21

Amami Oshima, an island in Kagoshima Prefecture located north of Okinawa, currently has only three students attending the school. Officials would like to close the school, but as long as one student remains the school must stay open.

The island has two schools, Kudadon Elementary and a Junior High School. The community chairman of the island, who lives in Okinawa, is asking Okinawans' help to adopt children and bring them to his island. He is looking for volunteer foster parents for Okinawan children in need, to give the children a chance to go to school to keep it open.

As often the case with outer island communities, young people don't stay on the island and often elderly childless couples become the majority of population on the island,. The chairman would like people to come to this beautiful island, which is famous for its beautiful nature. Even though Amami Oshima is in Kagoshima Prefecture and not part of Okinawa, its music, language and lifestyle are extremely similar to Okinawa.

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