Japanese police statistics show that over 80% of people who drown are fully clothed, even good swimmers. They were simply unprepared, never learned or practised swimming in clothes. However, Japan has responded with more realistic swimming lessons.
Swimming lessons are a crucial part of the education curriculum in Japan. Every school is usually equipped with a swimming pool, and even a kindergarten will not complete their day without giving children a dip during the summer.
Since school uniforms often consist of comfortable tracksuits, these are also used for swimming lessons. Early summer is still in the middle of annual rainy season so it’s often a bit too cold to enjoy the water, unless you dress up warm.
The public school pools are not idle even after the official curriculum ends. They will be opened to public during the summer holiday for free of charge. Lifeguards are dispatched from the local government to stand by for emergency.
Learning to swim in a swimming club is one of the most popular activities that parents arrange for their children, often for health purpose, as many parents claim that the children became tougher against cold after starting swimming lessons.