• Kyodo

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Toyota Motor Corp. has reached a basic agreement with Chubu Electric Power Co. and Central Japan Railway Co. to jointly establish a school for junior high and high school education in central Japan, company officials said Wednesday.

Under the agreement, they will set up a secretariat for the project at the railway firm, better known as JR Tokai, to decide on the location, size and other details of the school, the officials said.

No decision has been made on when it will open, they said.

The school will probably be an all-male facility for junior high and high school students, equipped with on-campus housing and modeled after British public schools like Eton, the officials said.

The number of students in each grade will be limited to 100, and the school may accept enrollment of female students and start elementary school education in the future, they added.

The school will place priority on shaping students’ character and skills, rather than just preparing them for entrance into prestigious universities, they said.

According to the officials, the idea was originally floated by JR Tokai President Yoshiyuki Kasai, who then proposed it to Shoichiro Toyoda, honorary chairman of Toyota, and Chubu Electric Power Chairman Hiroji Ota.

“I have long thought that we need an educational institution that can develop human resources with creative talents,” Toyoda told a news conference.

Last year, a group of prefectural governors, business leaders and academics proposed setting up schools run by a joint stock company. Toyota Chairman Hiroshi Okuda is one of the group’s members.

The group said such a school would provide junior high and high school education and on-campus housing in a bid to groom internationally competitive Japanese. The move reflected a growing interest in education issues within the business community.

But the officials of the three firms said the planned school will not be run by a joint stock company but by an educational foundation.

Other companies as well as operators of existing schools that have interest in the project are also welcome to join, they added.

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