Tuesday, September 24th, 2019


MEXT Minister, HAIGUDA Koichi, visited the city of Kimitsu in Chiba Prefecture on September 24th which suffered severe damage from Typhoon Faxai. The minister inspected the Akimoto Elementary School’s extent of damage, the recovery situation and the situation of the students. The minister also met with the Superintendents of Education of Chiba Prefecture and Kimitsu City, along with the education office managers from the Minamiboso area.

Akimoto elementary was severely damaged by the typhoon and was closed-down for a week. Its facilities were submerged from the drains clogging up which resulted in water accumulating under the classroom floors and about a ton of water accumulating behind the ceiling. The school also suffered a blackout, and a huge tree in the school grounds was uprooted and torn down.

Community members helped to drain water, and electricity was supplied by a power supply vehicle. Some classes resumed in special classrooms that were not severely damaged. The school has not fully resumed classes, however, as some of the rooms on second floor have damaged ceilings that remain peeled off.

The superintendents of Chiba Prefecture, SAWAKAWA Kazuhiro, and Kimitsu City, YAMAGUCHI Yoshihiro, called for the government’s support particularly in the following areas:

-Support for the swift recovery of school educational facilities and community educational facilities including community centers;

-Provide more school counselors to care for the children;

-Provide economic support to children from households suffering from the effects of the typhoon’s severe damages to the agricultural and industrial sectors;

-Provide support to restore damaged cultural properties;

-Provide education assistants to cover for the delay in classes due to the school’s closure.

Minister Hagiuda said MEXT will collaborate with the city and prefecture to restore the environment so the children can regularly attend school. The minister said MEXT will flexibly correspond to application procedures for subsidized projects and called on the education heads to swiftly process orders to normalize school classes for the children as soon as possible.  

In addition, the minister said MEXT will advance measures to create educational environments that are resilient to disasters. The school lunch program at Akimoto elementary remains closed due to damages suffered at the school lunch procurement center in Chiba Prefecture. The minister said countermeasures must be considered in the event the school lunch center cannot resume operations including transporting school lunches from other procurement centers or tying up with private companies.