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Indonesian developer to open Japanese school

JAKARTA -- Lippo Group will open a Japanese kindergarten in a Jakarta suburb, tapping demand for schools among expatriates working in nearby industrial zones, a subsidiary of the Indonesian conglomerate said on Monday.

Lippo Cikarang President Meow Chong Loh, right, speaks at a press conference on Monday.

     Hikari Japanese School will open in April about 40km east of Jakarta, according to an announcement by Lippo Cikarang, which is controlled by Lippo's Indonesian property arm Lippo Karawaci. The 2,100-sq. meter school aims to enroll 100 students in the first year and will teach a curriculum in Japanese. Lippo Cikarang worked with a Japanese advisor to bring two Japanese teachers to work at the school, which will have a library, computer laboratory and a canteen that serves Japanese food. School fees are $300 per month.

     Hikari will be a part of Orange County, a township project that Lippo Cikarang launched last year which includes residential and office towers, a mall and a hospital. The company aims to accommodate and provide facilities for expats, in particular the Japanese, who work for companies operating factories nearby. The Bekasi Regency is home to some of the largest industrial parks in Indonesia but the lack of educational facilities has been a concern among Japanese expats.

     Hikari is in talks with the Japanese embassy for possible future cooperation, although it is not currently linked to any Japanese entity. Hikari also plans to extend its curriculum to high school levels in the future.

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