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Absenteeism for compulsory schools in Japan rose in fiscal 2013 for the first time in six years, according to a recent report from the education ministry.

Nationwide, 119,617 students in elementary and junior high schools were absent for 30 days or more for reasons other than health or economics. This extraordinarily high number of absent students is a terrible loss to those individuals and to society, and points out again the need for changes at schools.

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