Schools forced to close as Japan faces aging population

Chichibu (Japan) (AFP) – The Ashigakubo primary school in Chichibu, just west of Tokyo, lies empty. With its corridors still decorated with faded photos and pupils’ displays, the school is one of thousands forced to close over the past two decades as Japan struggles with an ageing population. The country’s education ministry says 8,580 public schools have closed their doors. Over a thousand of those have since been knocked down, but many have found new uses, including as an aquarium used by a non-profit looking after turtles and as a vinyl record shop.


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