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School summer holiday begins

Date Posted: 2003-07-24

Vacation season is in full swing. The summer holiday for public schools in Japan started July 19, and will continue through the end of August. Sunday, the start of the holiday period, also meant that every beach, park, playground and other public place was teeming with children happy to forget the school and enjoy their freedom. But although the children were happy, many parents looked forward to the holidays with less enthusiasm, as they are obliged to look after the children all day, seven days a week.

That does not seem to bother the children. Hideo Nakama, an elementary school student swimming at Azama Beach in Chinen Village said that he had looked forward to the day when the school was out and he could come to the beach with his father. I love to come to the beach and I have been waiting for the summer vacation to begin. Im going to swim all day with my father today, as I cant come with him to the beach very often. Today is really special day for me. I hope that the summer vacation could continue forever, Hideo said.

The newly found freedom has its dark side too. According to Kyodo News Agency, nine children drowned on the first Sunday of the summer vacation nationwide, and one is missing and presumed drowned.

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