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Last year a research team at Nihon University, led by professor Takashi Oida, found out that about 8.1% of 100,000 surveyed junior and senior high school students in Japan may be addicted to Internet use. This development prompted education experts in Japan to suggest the launch of Internet “fasting” boot camps for kids. Basically, these camps would help break kids of their massive “addiction” to the web. A spokesman for the ministry, Akifumi Sekine, told The Daily Telegraph that Japan estimates Internet addiction may effect, “Around 518,000 children at middle and high schools across Japan, but that figure is rising.” Apparently The Ministry is not acting too quickly, as they feel the subject needs more research before camps are implemented. That said, there are plans being made such as holding camps in an outdoor venue sans Internet access with the goal of pulling kids out of their excessively virtual lives and helping them learn how to hold conversations and interact with real human beings. If you’re curious whether Japan is in the lead when it comes to kids and excessive screen time, think again. According to the New York Post, Japan does rank fourth in the world for Internet users, but that’s behind the United States, China and India.

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We’ve discussed Internet overuse and possible screen addiction often here at Inhabitots and it’s clear that many kids may indeed need a screen detox. Read up on our screen-free series, and vote in our poll above.