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Plan to urge breast feeding scrapped
May 11, 2007 / 3:09 AM / 10 years ago

Plan to urge breast feeding scrapped

TOKYO (Reuters) - Plans to urge Japanese mothers to breast-feed and sing lullabies to their babies and for families to turn off the TV during meals have been scrapped, Kyodo news agency reported.

Mothers were urged to look into their baby’s eyes while breast-feeding in a draft of a report by a government panel that was due out this week.

It had also warned that the Internet and mobile phones give children a “direct connection with the evils of the world.”

But the release of the report by an education reform panel was called off at the last minute in an apparent response to criticism that it went too far in meddling with people’s private lives, Kyodo reported.

Improving education has also been a priority in efforts to boost Japan’s faltering birthrate. The fertility rate -- the average number of children a woman bears in her lifetime -- hit a record low of 1.26 in 2005.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged when he took office last year to reform Japan’s education system by reviving patriotism in the nation’s classrooms.

The education system came under fire earlier this year after a series of student suicides linked to bullying, and parliament enacted a law in December aimed at encouraging schools to teach patriotism.

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