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(5)The Evacuation of Pupils

In June, 1944, due to the deteriorating military situation, the Cabinet decided that steps should be undertaken to evacuate children in the third to sixth grades of National Schools to places of safety. Those in a position to do so were urged to stay with relatives while those with no one to go to be sent to evacuation centers established by the government; in the latter case, an application was required from the children's parents or guardians. The first phase of the program evacuated children from thirteen urban areas: Tokyo, Yokohama, Kawasaki, Yokosuka, Osaka, Kobe, Amagasaki, Nagoya, Moji, Kokura, Tobata, Wakamatsu and Yahata. About 200,000 children from the Tokyo area were sent to outlying districts and to fourteen neighboring prefectures; 34,000 children from the industrial and military complex of Yokohama, Kawasaki and Yokosuka were sent to Kanagawa Prefecture; 35,000 children from the Nagoya area were sent to Aichi, Gifu and Mie Prefectures; 70,000 children from the Osaka area were sent to Osaka Prefecture and to eleven neighboring prefectures; and 21,000 children from the Kobe-Amagasaki area were sent to Hyogo, Tottori and Okayama Prefectures. Altogether, some 360 000 children were sent to over 7,000 different evacuation centers in inns, temples, etc. throughout the country. In March, 1945, the government expanded these centers so that children of the lower grades might also be evacuated.

Life for the children living in these centers was difficult; the monthly allocation for an individual's food was only twenty yen and there was only five yen for rent. Parents and guardians were expected to assume a part of the expenses and the children in turn were expected to assist in the procurement of food and fuel, and the teachers performed the daily operation of the centers. The centers conducted their classes in such places as public halls, temples, dormitories, farmhouses and the like as well as schoolrooms with the regular staff of the schools from which the children had been evacuated. Along with the teachers, the centers also employed medical personnel and people to supervise the dormitories.

The funds required for the maintenance of the evacuation centers were provided by the National Treasury and from contributions made by parents and guardians of the children. The government budget for the 1944 was about 101,000,000 yen and it was increased in 1945 to about 140,000,000 yen.

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(C)COPYRIGHT Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

((C)COPYRIGHT Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology)

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