WHITE PAPER ON YOUTH 2003 -- Part Two Administrative Policies on Youths
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(1) With the full-scale implementation of the five-day school week system in 2002, the "New Child Plan" was developed, under which a variety of support is provided for weekend activities programmed with the help of local communities, and voluntary services and interactive activities for children are comprehensively promoted, all in association with the relevant departments and private bodies. (Table 14)
(2) To increase opportunities for interaction and communication with children at home or in communities and to enhance the public understanding of its importance, a national campaign titled "Let's Speak To Children" has been carried out. As part of that campaign, the "One-day Study Tour of Kasumigaseki (government districts) for Kids" program was conducted to provide children with an opportunity to broaden their view of society.
(3) Following the Cabinet Decision on the "Basic Plan for the Promotion of Reading Activities Among Children" under the provisions of the "Law Concerning the Promotion of Reading Activities Among Children" in August 2002, relative measures will be enhanced to promote reading activities among children.
(4) Various efforts have been made to enhance voluntary and community services, nature experiences and other interactive activities in and out of school.
(5) Under the Basic Environment Plan (Decided upon at the Cabinet on December 2000), various measures have been taken to encourage environmental education and learning, promote specific actions for environmental conservation and share environment information through various opportunities including school education and social education.
(6) Grants have been made to the groups working for student development such as PTAs and mother (parent) clubs, the interactive experience opportunities (nature experiences and voluntary services) provided by nationally organized youth groups and projects carried out by research councils. In addition, training has been provided to leaders of such youth groups to promote their activities.
(7) Various measures have been taken to encourage better and closer communication among schools, local communities and cultural facilities to ensure opportunities for cultural experiences and appreciation in and out of school, so that children can partake in cultural activities, experience excellent arts, cultures and historical artifact, and develop rich humanity and individual uniqueness.
(8) In addition to promote the national campaign for physical strength as proposed by the government as a nation-wide movement in 1964, the Cabinet Office has been working on campaigns to encourage the general public to improve health and physical strength, such as the "Campaign Month for Building Up Physical Fitness" every October. Particularly, in consideration of the long-term declining trend in physical fitness among children and according to the report prepared by the Central Education Council on the "Comprehensive Measures for Improving Physical Fitness Among Children," the Cabinet Office will implement the "Campaign for Improving Physical Fitness and other projects" and will "prepare and distribute sports/health handbooks" so that children will do physical exercises more frequently and acquire an appropriate lifestyle or sports habit.
(9) Furthermore, efforts have been made to improve physical sports and athletic programs through "physical education" or "health and physical education" classes and extracurricular athletic activities, and to realize a "lifelong sports society" where the general public, including youths, can enjoy sports anytime and anywhere in the course of their lives.
(10) Continuous efforts have been made to improve social education facilities, sports facilities, welfare facilities for working youths, child welfare facilities, city parks, nature parks, and tourist and sightseeing facilities, all functioning as places for learning and working for young people, as well as to make school athletic facilities available to the public. The government has been also working to develop and recruit supervisors for youth affairs, such as for social education, sports, working youths, the sound development of children, agricultural and fishery businesses, as well as leaders and promoters for the national campaign for the promotion of youth development.
Table 14 Major Policies under the "New Child Plan" (2003) [PDF format]
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