International

Computerized Tags Keep Track of Japanese Schoolchildren

By Kathleen Kennedy Manzo — October 26, 2004 1 min read
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Some school officials in Japan are getting help in keeping track of their students through the use of computerized tags.

The devices, which attach to clothing and backpacks, are being tested in several school districts throughout the country. They emit radio signals that can be read by scanners up to about 40 feet away, sending information on when a student enters or leaves a school building, according to marketing materials from Fujitsu Limited, a company that manufactures one such product.

Rikkyo Primary School in Tokyo is testing the Fujitsu devices. Other companies are testing similar products in other school districts.

The tags are identified by a number, and contain no personal student information that outsiders could obtain if the tags are lost or stolen.

The system can also alert school officials to unauthorized entries.

Japan’s crime rate historically has been low compared with the United States’. But several high-profile incidents of violence on school grounds have occurred in recent years, prompting Japanese officials to take greater precautions in monitoring students’ and visitors’ comings and goings on school grounds.

Fujitsu Limited hopes to expand to schools throughout Tokyo by next year.

Coverage of cultural understanding and international issues in education is supported in part by the Atlantic Philanthropies.

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