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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 September 25 - October 1  > Joint efforts of JCP and parents contribute to air-conditioning of almost all public school classrooms
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2019 September 25 - October 1 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Joint efforts of JCP and parents contribute to air-conditioning of almost all public school classrooms

September 26, 2019

The installation rate of air conditioners at public elementary and junior high school classrooms will reach 90% by the end of fiscal 2019 while the rate at school gymnasiums remains at a 3% level. This was shown in Education Ministry data.

The installation of air conditioners in classrooms has long been demanded by parents, teachers, and concerned citizens. The Japanese Communist Party has also made efforts in the Diet and local assemblies to achieve this.

In 2018, during the summer, Japan experienced an extreme heat wave which was officially declared a “natural disaster”. The average summer temperature in the eastern Japan marked the highest since records began, and a heat-related tragedy occurred in July in Aichi Prefecture. A first grader at a public elementary school fell unconscious in her non-air-conditioned classroom after returning from a field trip and later died in hospital.

This incident increased calls for equipping school classrooms with air conditioners nationwide and the Abe government in the FY2018 supplementary budget earmarked 81.7 billion yen to subsidize the cost of installation of air conditioning units in public schools. Consequently, almost all classrooms in need will be furnished with air conditioners by the end of this fiscal year. In contrast, the number of school gyms without A/C stayed the same.

Regarding the government estimate that almost all classrooms will be air conditioned, JCP member of the House of Representatives Hatano Kimie said that the efforts made by parents, teachers, and concerned citizens forced the government to act. She added that the JCP in collaboration with these efforts worked in assemblies at both the national and local levels.

Citing the fact that only 3% of public school gyms have air conditioning, Hatano pointed out that to air condition these facilities is the most urgent task as they are required to play a role as temporary shelters when a natural disaster, such as typhoon or earthquake, hits.

Past related articles:
> Tokyo governor responds to JCP proposal to install more A/Cs in school gyms [September 28, 2018]
> Shinfujin to Education Ministry: Install A/C in classrooms to protect children’s lives [July 27, 2018]
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