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Education Worldwide

Interview with Miyoko Hida

Characters Culture Promotion Organization, Japan


Miyoko Hida

Ms. Miyoko Hida is the Managing Director of the Characters Culture Promotion Organization. The Organization was established to perform operations to support reading activities in schools and local communities and to promote type-culture in local communities. Ms. Hida reports of the “Law to Promote Children’s Reading” and of an educational guidance that prioritizes language-related activities throughout all subjects.
Mrs. Miyoko Hida is also the Managing Director of the Japan Publishing Industry Culture Organization.

Are there any officially educational goals of reading promotion in your country?
After the “Law to Promote Children’s Reading” was enacted in 2001, reading has been actively promoted in educational institutes. The law’s goal is to properly facilitate the environment to let all children to intuitively read at any place at any time. The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technologies announced the new educational guidance to prioritize language-related activities throughout all subjects.

Is reading promotion mainly an element of native-language class or do you have any explicit classes for reading promotion?
There is a popular program called “Asa-Doku”, which literary means “morning reading”, to reserve the first 10 to 15 minutes every morning for free reading, although it is not a government assigned official curriculum. This program is implemented in 73% of all elementary schools, 73% of junior high schools, and 39% of high schools. In total, 9.5 million students in 26,000 schools implement this program.

Have you got any experience concerning the promotion of reading with children of low income families? Which kind of measures would you recommend?
We have not executed any project targeted towards specifically low-income families. However, the economic crisis is hitting Japanese society especially those foreign workers from Asia and Brazil. There is a concern about their children’s education, and we must seek a way to support those children through reading.

Would you please give a brief description (about 5 sentences) of the main focus of activities of your organization?
Our main activities include lobbying to the legislative and the administrative government, promote reading among children through various programs such as “Kids’ Reading Summer Camp”, develop human resources to support children’s reading through seminars, and to enlighten adults through symposiums and other activities.

Which measures of the promotion of reading addressed to pupils by Organizations of your country do you consider especially effective?
Other than “Asa-Doku”, there are Book Start, “Author Visits” program where famous authors visit schools to become a one-day teacher, “Town of Reading” by local townships, and book fairs. All these activities’ base their foundations in the Law to Promote Children’s Reading, 2001 and the Law to Promote “Characters Culture”, 2005.

Interview: Andrea Steinbrecher, Stiftung Lesen

See also: Promoting Reading in Japan