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Ten students from across the country had the opportunity July 15 to talk with Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto via a satellite television conference.

The students asked Hashimoto questions, including what major tasks he faces and why the consumption tax rate was raised to 5 percent from 3 percent. The students who spoke with Hashimoto were from three elementary schools, two junior high schools, a high school and a school for the deaf. Some of the children urged Hashimoto to take more measures to deal with problems related to Japan’s rapidly aging society, while others said that more government efforts are necessary to prevent disasters. Some 1,000 schools took part in the session.

The program was sponsored by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. and supported by the Education Ministry. An Education Ministry official said the program was intended to raise students’ interest in advanced communication technology.

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