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Prefecture schools root for Japan World Cup team

Date Posted: 2002-06-23

All public elementary, junior high and high schools in the prefecture had set up a TV set, usually in the gym, to allow students and teachers to watch the Japanese team’s performance in the ongoing soccer World Cup matches.

The Okinawa Prefecture Board of Education sent a letter to the schools prior to the start of the World Cup advising them to set up an opportunity for the students to watch the games. In the letter, the board advised that watching the games is an opportunity for the students to learn about sportsmanship and international friendship.

Before the letter arrived, some teachers had been concerned that parents and the board would be against watching the games, and would land them into trouble if they did so. They were specifically concerned about TV reports about hooliganism and crimes committed by the record number of foreigners coming to the country to follow the games. “The TV shows reports of hooligans, shoplifters, thieves and other criminals who are foreigners. But I think this is a good opportunity to teach children how bad local people feel when visitors cause trouble, and show them how important it is to behave when visiting other country,” an elementary school teacher from Uema Elementary School in Naha City said.

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