Japanese schoolchildren's eyesight worst on record, health ministry finds
Japan Times -- Dec 21
From elementary to high school, children in Japan are breaking records for bad eyesight, an education ministry health survey showed Friday.

According to the survey results, children with uncorrected vision of less than 1.0 on the Japanese acuity scale account for 34.57 percent of elementary school students, 57.47 percent of junior high school students and 67.64 percent of high school students — all record highs.

A score of 1.0 is equivalent to 20/20 vision in the United States and elsewhere.

“Looking at smartphone screens at close distances and reading books may be having some effects” on children’s eyesight, the ministry said.

The preliminary figures came from samples collected from the results of medical checkups nationwide for children between 5 and 17 from April to June. A more detailed investigation covering several thousand students will be conducted for the first time in fiscal 2020.

The fiscal 2019 survey also found record high ratios of nasal or paranasal sinus conditions, such as allergic rhinitis, in 12.10 percent of junior high students and 9.92 percent of high school students.

The share of high schoolers with ear problems aside from hearing impairments also hit a record high at 2.87 percent.

News source: Japan Times
Jul 09
About a third of parents in Japan postponed vaccinating their children during the coronavirus pandemic amid fears of catching an infection, a survey by a nonprofit organization showed Monday. (Japan Today)
Jul 08
In a move that will affect Japanese studying in the U.S., the government there said Monday that international students attending American universities will have to depart the country or transition to another college if their classes are moved entirely online for the fall semester amid the coronavirus pandemic. (Japan Times)
Jul 05
Major Japanese wireless carriers recently launched a service to provide foreign tourists with disaster relief information via mobile phone short message service in the event of an earthquake or typhoon. (Kyodo)
Jul 04
Single mothers and women with less secure jobs in Japan have seen their employment opportunities upended as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage. (Japan Today)
Jul 03
More than 3,400 elementary and junior high school students and teachers have contracted food poisoning at 15 schools near Tokyo due to school lunches, local authorities said Thursday. (Kyodo)
Jul 02
The Japanese government compiled Wednesday a package of policy measures to promote women's empowerment, including a possible law revision to address cases of unpaid child support payments after divorce. (Japan Times)
Jul 02
A day after China passed and enacted a new national security law to govern Hong Kong, Japanese lawmakers kicked off official discussions over ways to welcome financial talent that may be contemplating leaving the international financial hub. (Nikkei)
Jul 02
Immigration authorities have resumed processing of visa applications, in a move expected to speed up entry clearance for foreign nationals with applications stuck in pending. (Japan Times)
Jun 30
Two universities in Osaka Prefecture evacuated their campuses on Monday after a bomb threat was made criticizing the English name of their planned new merged school, the operator of the schools said. (Kyodo)
Jun 28
Japan has produced its first ninja studies graduate after Genichi Mitsuhashi spent two years honing his martial arts skills and absorbing the finer traditions of the feudal martial arts agents. (Japan Times)