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New Year cards are a tradition that won’t easily die out

23 0 1

In a nationwide academic aptitude survey of schoolchildren nine years ago, one of the questions asked was, "Where on a postcard do you write the addresses of the recipient and the sender?"

One of every three sixth-graders could not answer correctly.

The result so shocked Japan Post that it launched a program the following year to dispatch postal workers to schools and "educate" pupils upon request.

Elementary schools are the most frequent users of this program. Last fiscal year, postal workers taught the basics of letter-writing to about 3 million pupils around the nation.

"How much in postage do you need to send a postcard from Osaka to Hokkaido?" the instructor would ask. "One thousand yen?" a pupil would hazard a guess, and a classmate........

© The Asahi Shimbun