.com/cnbcindonesia.com/’Resesi Seks’ Makin Ngeri di Jepang, Banyak Sekolah Tutup
In a Reuters report last weekend, two students named Eita Sato and Aoi Hoshi became the only and last graduates of Yumoto Junior High School, in Ten-ei Village, Fukushima Prefecture, northern Japan. The school itself will be permanently closed, after 76 years of operation.
“We heard rumors about school closures in our second year, but I didn’t imagine it would actually happen. I’m surprised,” said Eita, quoted on Tuesday (4/4/2023).
The phenomenon of school closures is due to the birth rate in Japan declining faster than expected. This number has increased especially in rural areas like Ten-ei, a mountain ski area and hot springs in Fukushima prefecture that has experienced depopulation.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida has promised steps to increase the birth rate. Including doubling the budget for child-related policies.
He also said that maintaining the educational environment is crucial. But little has helped so far.
Births fell below 800,000 in 2022, a new record low. Government estimates suggest depopulation is also eight years earlier than expected.
This phenomenon has dealt a heavy blow to smaller public schools. Yet these are often the heart of towns and rural villages.
According to government data, about 450 schools close each year. Between 2002 and 2020, nearly 9,000 schools closed their doors forever, making it difficult for rural areas to attract new, younger residents.
Ten-ei, a village with a population of less than 5,000, has only about 10 percent under the age of 18. At its peak in 1950, the village had more than 10,000 residents thanks to agricultural and manufacturing support.