The government will establish a program to send high school students from Okinawa to study in the United States, Education Minister Takashi Kosugi said Feb. 25.

At a press conference following a Cabinet meeting, Kosugi said that beginning in fiscal 1998, about 40 students will participate in the program annually. Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto and Foreign Minister Yukihiko Ikeda have explained the proposal to Okinawa Gov. Masahide Ota, Kosugi said.

The education minister explained that the program is being initiated so the government can help nurture talented individuals to lead Okinawa in the future. The Education Ministry will cooperate with the Foreign Ministry and the Okinawa Prefectural Government in working out the details of the proposal and its implementation and then incorporate the results into its fiscal 1998 budget proposal to be disclosed this summer.

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