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Home > Policy > White Paper, Notice, Announcement > White Paper > Japanese Government Policies in Education, Science, Sports and Culture1999 > Part2 Q45

Part2 Educational Reform Q&A
Q45: I have heard that there are more than17,000citizens' public halls throughout the country.What role do these facilities play in the community?

A:Taking various steps in accordance withlocal issues and characteristics,citizens'public halls play a role as a center of learn-ing activities for local people and are alsoused as places for local people to interactwith each other.Here we will introduce the distinctive ac-tivities of citizens' public halls throughoutJapan.

Increasing young people's understanding of science and technology and promoting ex-perience of craftsmanship

[lzumo City,Shimane Prefecture]

A citizens' public hall in Izumo City,Shimane Prefecture plans and offers a wide range of learning opportunities for children to experience the enjoyment and wonder of the natural envi-ronment and science which forms an intimate link with their daily lives.Activities for ele-mentary school children include experiment classes in making river water drinkable,classes in making charcoal and projects to survey the ecosystem of plants and animals in the nearby mountains.In the summer vacations,in addition to courses which investigate the wonders of sci-ence,such as observations of and experiments with mold,production of batteries using fruit and measurement of the weight of air with members of the city's inventors club and univer-sity teaching staff as instructors,there are also hands-on courses such as the excavation of ruins and makirig earthenware run by museum cura-tors.

[Tohaku Town,Tottori Prefecture]

A citizens' public hall in Tohaku Town in Tottori Prefecture divides the year into three terms and hold a full range of science and craft courses including model rocket making,making hand-made instruments and solar car models,water quality surveys of river water and Japanese pa-per doll making.In addition,the citizens' public hall holds the"Manabi Town Mate Festival"at the end of each term to demonstrate achieve-ments.

Providing Diverse Learning Opportunities

[Kawasaki City,Kanagawa Prefecture]

A citizens' public hall in Kawasaki City,Kana-gawa Prefecture holds Japanese language classes for foreigners with a daytime course mainly for foreign spouses and an evening course for peo-ple who work during the day and those who want to study more advanced Japanese.In addition to Japanese language instruction,it provides opportunities for discussing topical issues,gives advice on daily life,and holds classes in which former students of Japanese language classes are invited as teachers.

Otsu City,Shiga Prefecture

A citizens' public hall in Otsu City,Shiga Pre-fecture provides learning opportunities for adults with the aim of raising interest in and promoting knowledge about environmental issues.In order to develop ways to resolve environmental issues with a practical approach,the citizens' public hall takes an approach to dioxins and other local environmental issues,water quality surveys of Lake Biwa,observations of animals and plants in the surroundirrg area and other activities.

Civic development through the cooperationof residents,business and government

Niigata City,Niigata Prefecture

The public hall in Niigata City,Niigata Prefec-ture,has set up a study group comprised of gov-ernment,local universities and business and residents.Based on the proposals of the study group,the hall promotes the community devel-opment led by local people through projects related to daily life,projects to address social changes and projects that are related to local issues.

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