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Public high schools to get aid for newspaper purchases

Jiji Press TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The government is planning to financially support libraries of public high schools across the nation to purchase newspapers, sources said.

The Education, Cultre, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry and the Internal Affairs and Communications Ministry will urge the schools to take four different newspapers as the lowering of the voting age from 20 to 18 in June made voters’ education at school increasingly important. The change made third-year students in high schools, many of whom are 18 years old, able to cast ballots in public offices elections.

The government will double the amount of annual tax revenue allocation to municipalities to about ¥3 billion over the five years starting in fiscal 2017, which begins next April, to help finance newspaper purchases by schools. The support will cover elementary and junior high schools as well as high schools. According to a survey by the education ministry, public high schools took 2.8 newspapers on average as of the end of fiscal 2015.

Since fiscal 2012, the government has been providing about ¥1.5 billion in tax allocation to municipalities a year to help elementary and junior high schools take at least one newspaper, to promote learning through the papers. High schools were not covered by the aid. Under the new plan, the ministries will call on high schools to take four newspapers, while junior high schools will be encouraged to buy two and elementary schools one.Speech

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