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New education minister Tatsuo Kawabata says he will give more control of schools to local governments and increase practical learning, indicating a turn away from the conservative policies of previous administrations.

“The central government is there to maintain a certain level of education and an appropriate environment, but there should be plenty of freedom for local governments to execute policy,” Kawabata, 64, the new minister for education, culture, sports, science and technology, said in a recent group interview.

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