What's the Latest Development?
Starting in fiscal year 2014, Japan's education ministry will begin offering "Internet fasting" camps to young people "ranging from primary school to high school" to help forestall and counteract signs and symptoms of Internet addiction. Students will work with psychiatrists and therapists in counseling sessions and participate in outdoor activities that will, according to the ministry, help them "recognize the importance of face-to-face communication."
What's the Big Idea?
According to estimates, more than half a million young Japanese between the ages of 12 and 18 are heavy Internet addicts, and the effects are showing in their school performance and their physical health. In addition, "barely any" institutions exist that are equipped to deal with this group. By creating a nationwide program, Japan is following in the footsteps of South Korea and other countries that seek to manage the impacts of technology on young people. The government's task is especially urgent considering that another long-term goal of theirs is to provide each student with a computer by 2019.
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