For a society embracing U.N. convention on rights of child -- Akahata editorial, May 5 (excerpt)

May 5 is Children's Day.

Parents' efforts to provide better education, welfare, and cultures are beginning to produce results in localities and schools in many parts of Japan.

For example, 29 out of 47 prefectures have adopted a class size of a maximum of 30 students. Free medical care for infants is provided by all municipalities. Parents' earnest wish to rear their kids and continue to work at the same time pushed some municipalities into establishing additional child care centers and after-school day-care centers.

Listen to them

In 1994, the Japanese government ratified the U.N. Convention of the Rights of the Child, which stipulates that all children have rights as human beings, and governments and adults have an obligation to guarantee these rights.

However, in 1998, the U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child alarmed that the Japanese government lags far behind in protecting children from excessively competitive education and cultural decadence.

The competitive education system is causing contradictory effects on children. A survey conducted last year by the National Institute for Educational Policy Research of Japan revealed that 65 percent of 10- and 11-year-old kids said they tend to get tired, and 54 percent replied they tend to get irritated.

We, adults, must listen to children in the community, at school and home, discuss with them with a view to establishing better welfare services, education, and environment that are in line with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Protect children from negative impact of economic recession

It is also an urgent task to protect children's livelihoods and future from negative impact of the present economic recession.

An increasing number of children have been forced to give up going to school for family reasons, including their parents' death from overwork or suicide for economic reasons like bankruptcies and job losses. The unemployment rate for high school graduates remains all time high.

It is a political duty to provide an environment in which children can learn and live without anxiety. The Japanese Communist Party, together with the people, aims to establish a society that implements the Convention of the Rights of the Child to take root in every field. (end)

Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved.