Children no longer a menace

THE sound of children playing can no longer be considered noise pollution in Tokyo, as Japanese authorities try to remove legal barriers to building childcare centres and help parents get back to work.

A law designed to prevent noise over 45 decibels in residential areas of the capital was changed yesterday to exclude children’s voices.

“The ordinance was originally aimed at preventing pollution and environmental destruction, so we have revised only a small part of it to exclude the voices of young children and their caregivers,” a Tokyo official said.

The shortage of facilities for young children throughout Japan has been hampering efforts to tempt the country’s well-qualified but under-employed women back into the workforce.


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