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Military to help with new school

Date Posted: 2006-08-25

A project initiated by a now-retired US three-star general will bring a new international school to Okinawa.

The US and Japanese governments are working together to bring an idea spawned by Marine Corps Lt Gen Wallace Gregson to reality. Gregson, while the senior Marine leader on Okinawa four years ago, conceived the idea of a military-supported English education program for Japanese students.

Gregson and local business leaders have formed a non-profit organization to make it happen, and a new international school is just around the corner. The project will use civilians working with the military to teach at the school. The first school, Gregson says, should open in 2008.

One thought is to have the new school offer an international baccalaureate degree, because it could open doors for graduates to attend foreign universities.

Officials say the central government is considering the new system, which will allow Japanese children to receive an American language education at “special education zones”, which could include classes on U.S. military installations. In a Spring special report, the U.S. and Japan reiterated the importance of creating new partnerships between the American bases and local communities hosting those bases.

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