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With the leaves from the cherry trees growing on the grounds of schools across Japan now littering the ground, it means the end of the year has arrived, and with it an occasion to reflect on 2017’s most significant events in Japanese education.

This year saw twin school scandals threaten to bring down Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. Allegations the government granted favors to two school operators because of their connections to the prime minister finally scuffed Abe’s Teflon sheen and slashed his approval ratings.

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