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On April 11, the public broadcaster NHK’s program “Close-up Gendai (Current Affairs)” took up the issue of the International Science Olympiads (ISOs) for middle- and high-school students. The competition tests knowledge in mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, informatics, astronomy and other areas of science. National rankings are based on average scores attained by students.

In the 2006 ISOs, China placed first in all subjects. Japan was far behind China and South Korea. China, South Korea and Vietnam are pushing policies of nurturing geniuses in sciences by providing economic aid and other benefits to participants in the ISOs.

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