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Tokyo public school switches to high-end Italian brand for uniforms; parents complain

/ 04:32 PM February 11, 2018

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Parents expressed dismay when a Ginza district public elementary school recently decided to have uniforms designed by a luxury Italian brand.

Taimei Elementary School, located in the well-off Ginza district, named Armani as the new designer of its students’ uniforms. Each set would cost 80,000 yen (about P37,000) and comes with a hat and a bag. However, students are not obliged to wear them, reports Kyodo News.

Due to the high price, parents raised their concerns to the school board. One parent asked “Why Armani?” The school told the board, “From the intention to make a uniform as a ‘school of Ginza,’ we went around department stores and Armani accepted designing it as a result.”

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Finance minister Taro Aso expressed concern regarding students who cannot afford the new optional uniform. He said, “Clearly it’s expensive. It would be severe if a student cannot afford to pay it.”

Aso may be referring to tension that the new uniform might create among students, which would identify those who can spend and those who can’t.

Lawmaker Manabu Terada also said that Taimei as a public elementary school should have a certain level of consideration to how much financial burden will be placed on students’ parents.

Huffington Post Japan reports additional expenses for summer pants and skirts as part of the new standard clothing. Pants are tentatively priced at 7800 yen and skirts at 10,000 yen (around P3,600 and P4,700). Alfred Bayle/JB

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TAGS: Armani, elementary school, Ginza, Japan, Luxury, public school, student uniform, Tokyo
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