Two-thirds of high schools planning school excursions abroad in fiscal 2001 opted instead for domestic destinations in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States.

The information was gathered by the Japan School Tours Bureau in a recent survey of public and private schools.

The survey covered 893 trips by 821 schools nationwide. It found that schools had changed their foreign-destination plans for domestic ones on 609 occasions, about 68 percent of the time, after Sept. 11.

The Osaka area was the most popular destination domestically, with 106 trips. Universal Studios Japan, the Hollywood-style theme park that opened in March last year, was cited as a major reason for schools choosing Osaka.

Tokyo, Kyoto and Nagano were also popular spots.

Only three schools chose Okinawa, the site of the heaviest U.S. military concentration in the country.

Meanwhile, in a survey on the school excursions of private high schools in fiscal 2002, 127 schools, about 62 percent of the total, responded that they will conduct trips abroad as scheduled.

“The decrease in the number of school excursions outside the country is temporary,” the bureau said.

The bureau said that of 955 schools with planned trips outside Japan, 821 had answered the survey.

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