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Nara Pref. to start program to allow its employees to study abroad

The Nara Prefectural Government headquarters building is seen in the city of Nara on Feb. 24, 2019. (Mainichi/Narumi Nakatsu)

NARA -- The Nara Prefectural Government announced on March 20 that it will establish a system in fiscal 2023 to allow its employees to study at graduate schools overseas.

    According to the prefectural government's personnel division, while Japanese ministries and agencies have systems in place to allow national public servants to study abroad, it is rare for a prefectural government to introduce such a system for local public servants.

    The personnel division said that employees selected through an open application process will be able to choose an English-speaking country and graduate school of their choice to study at. The program will be offered to one employee each year for a period of two years. A worker in their 30s has already been selected as a candidate and is scheduled to enroll in graduate school in the fall of 2023.

    The prefectural government will pay the travel expenses and tuition, and will also provide a salary during the program, but living expenses will be borne by the employee.

    The personnel division commented, "Studying abroad will broaden our staff's perspectives and personal connections. We want to nurture human resources who have a variety of ideas and can demonstrate their abilities in this prefecture."

    Meanwhile, the prefectural government will also begin dispatching personnel to private companies and conducting personnel exchanges in fiscal 2023. In the first year of the program, one employee each will be loaned to Mizuho Bank Ltd. and Mitsubishi Estate Co. In addition, the prefecture will accept one person each from Softbank Corp., the Development Bank of Japan Inc. and MUFJ Bank Ltd. as part of the program.

    (Japanese original by Satoshi Kubo, Nara Bureau)

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