Expressing concern over the rising number of children who are addicted to internet and handheld devices in the country, Japan's ministry of education has proposed holding 'internet fasting camps' where children cannot access the internet.
Akifumi Sekine, the spokesman for Japan's ministry of education, revealed that they could be more than 518,000 cases of internet addiction among children at middle and high schools in the country and said that the number will only continue to rise in the near future.
Proposing a comprehensive research project into internet addiction, the ministry has also requested additional funding from the government to conduct immersion programs through which children can get away from the internet and are encouraged to communicate more with their friends and adults in the real world.
The ministry also proposed holding 'internet fasting camps' where children will be encouraged to take part in outdoor activities, team sports and games while psychiatrists and clinical psychotherapists can provide help to those who may find the separation from the internet too traumatic.
"We estimate this affects around 518,000 children at middle and high schools across Japan, but that figure is rising and there could be far more cases because we don't know about them all. We want to get them out of the virtual world and to encourage them to have real communication with other children and adults", Sekine said.