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The National Federation of UNESCO Associations in Japan has marked the 20th anniversary this year of its launch of “terakoya” schools to promote literacy and vocational education in developing countries around the world.

Since the introduction of the education facility modeled on that for illiterate children during the Edo Period, the federation has supported some 1.22 million people in 43 countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America by spending around ¥2.1 billion, financed mainly by donations and cashing in unused postcards contributed by the public.

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