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Call to vote wins student speech contest

The Yomiuri ShimbunA second-year student from Kochi Prefecture has won the 11th All Japan High School English Speech Contest with her call for young people to exercise their right to vote.

Eighteen students participated on Sunday, having won regional tournaments held in nine blocs nationwide.

The first part of the day’s competition involved 13 high school students who have not lived in English-speaking countries for more than a year.

Rinako Komatsu of Tosa High School in Kochi Prefecture received the highest prize of the education, culture, sports, science and technology minister award.

Her winning speech was titled “Make Your Voice Heard.” Komatsu spoke about the recent lowering of the voting age to 18 or older, concluding: “So when you turn 18, experience your new right! Break the silver cycle, act locally to change what happens nationally, and remember the potential consequences if you don’t vote. So get out there and make your voice heard!”

Shina Hasegawa of Bihoku High School in Aichi Prefecture came second to win the Yomiuri Shimbun award, followed by Honoka Sato of the Saitama municipal Urawa High School in Saitama Prefecture, who won third place.

In the second part of the day’s competition, in which other contestants participated, Tucker Greer of Kobe municipal Fukiai High School in Hyogo Prefecture won the highest foreign minister prize. Greer was followed by Annika Higaonna of Okinawa Shogaku High School in Okinawa Prefecture, who won the second-place Yomiuri Shimbun award.

Held Sunday at the National Olympics Memorial Youth Center in Tokyo, the contest was organized by the National Federation of Prefectural English Teachers’ Organizations and supported by The Yomiuri Shimbun and other entities.Speech

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