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Annual Child Science Conference 2005

The Second Conference of the Japanese Society of Child Science
Participants: 300
Date: Sept. 3 (Sat) to 4 (Sun), 2005
Location: Tokyo University

The Second Annual Conference of the Japanese Society of Child Science was held on the theme of "Multicultural Society and Children-Coexistence and Support for the Future" with over 300 people in attendance. The conference addressed language acquisition and identity formation of multilingual children living in a multicultural society as well as the educational, health, social welfare, and legal problems of non-Japanese children living in Japan against the background of ongoing internationalization. The conference was a valuable opportunity to review the issues involved and to think about coexistence and support for these children.

Professor Judit Hidasi of Kanda University of International Studies presided at the symposium entitled "Developmental Problems of Children between Cultures" which concerned the ways in which children in multicultural societies experience culture shock in new environments differently from adults. Unlike adults who struggle with language, children overcome linguistic barriers quickly, but the clash of values often causes them to experience mental and physical distress. The symposium clearly indicated the need to incorporate intercultural communication in education. The next symposium entitled "Non-Japanese Children in Japan: Current Situation and Support" discussed the circumstances and support available to children of foreign nationality from health, social welfare, and legal perspectives. In his keynote address entitled "The Aphasic Brain," Professor Makoto Iwata of Tokyo Women's Medical University introduced the latest data on neurology and language function. Researchers from China gave presentations on early childhood care education in China, which stimulated lively discussion on preschool education in Asia.

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