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Hello.

B : May I have your name please?

My name is ....

B : Where do you live?

I live in Ibaraki in Osaka.

A : Now, I'd like to ask you some questions. Why do parents in Japan make their children go to juku?

Well, I think they feel pressured. Parents want their children to go to cram schools so they will get good jobs.

A : Do you know anyone who goes to juku?

Yes, my children's friend goes to cram school almost every day.

A : Almost every day?

Yes, she goes to cram school almost every day by train at the age of nine. But the number of children has been decreasing. So I don't think they will need to study hard. I don't think a good school will be synonymous with a good job in the future.

A : I heard that some children don't want to go to juku.

I don't know anyone who doesn't want to go to cram school, but I know someone who doesn't want to go to school. They're called "hikikomori", meaning truant. I was surprised to learn that it has become an international word. It's written "hikikomori" in roman letters. I think children are now surrounded by mobile phones, video games, and the Internet. This means they can live in a society where adults don't come in. So I think parents, teachers, and communities should get involved with children to shorten the distance between adults an children.

A : I've seen an advertisement that says "ekiben". What is that?

"Ekiben" is a box-lunch sold at train stations. Before you get on a train, you can buy an "ekiben" and then enjoy it on the train. "Ekiben" has a distinctive flavor depending on the region. So I'd like to recommend that you try different kinds of "ekiben".

A : Good. That's all.

Oh, is that all?

A : Yes.

Thank you very much. Goodbye.

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