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September school start in Japan shelved until 2021 or later

One proposal calls for 17-month transition year

A Tokyo elementary school holds its opening ceremony in April 2019. Japan will weigh major changes to its academic year. (Photo by Yoichi Iwata)

TOKYO -- Japanese schools will stick with an academic calendar beginning in April for now, putting off the much-discussed possibility of a September start to 2021 or later.

Government officials and ruling party lawmakers say shifting to a September start this year would not leave enough time for discussing budgetary and other considerations.

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