Reinforcing Japanese-language education as well as teaching Chinese and Korean are just two of 140 ideas the central government has received from regional governments as part of a project to further deregulation and boost local economies.

Seiichiro Murakami, the minister in charge of the ongoing program, unveiled the latest batch of ideas Tuesday.

Of the proposals submitted during a 12-day period through last Friday, 101 were for setting up special zones in which there would be regulatory exemptions. The remainder were ideas aimed at reinvigorating local economies by methods such as making innovative use of public facilities.

Among the suggestions for special zones was a request from Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward to designate the community as a “special zone for Japanese-language education” to reinforce language lessons in elementary and junior high schools.

The city of Kyotango in Kyoto Prefecture is seeking to teach Chinese and Korean at junior high schools.

The government is expected to approve most of the proposals by late November, officials said.

These approvals will mark the sixth round of special zone appointments and the second round of regional rejuvenation plans, in a program introduced under Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.

Last June, the government approved 214 programs devised by local governments to reinvigorate their economies.

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