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Michelle Obama Touts ‘Let Girls Learn’ Initiative in Japan

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United States First Lady Michelle Obama is continuing her trip to Japan, where she is touting an initiative aimed at helping girls in developing countries finish their education.

Speaking alongside her Japanese counterpart, Akie Abe on Thursday, Obama said the U.S. and Japan would work together on the White House’s Let Girls Learn initiative.

“My education was truly the starting point for every opportunity I have had in my life. But I now that for every girl like me, there are so many others across the globe who are just as smart, just as capable, just as hungry to succeed, but they have never had a chance to go to school,” she said.

The initiative, which aims to help educate the 62 million girls globally who do not attend school, was recently unveiled by Mrs. Obama and her husband.

The U.S. Peace Corps will work alongside the Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers and other international aid groups to help implement the program.

“And with this new partnership between our two nations, we are issuing a call to action to nations around the world. In the coming months and years, we will be reaching out to world leaders and asking them to deepen their commitment to girls’ education,” the U.S. first lady said.

The U.S. first lady also met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Thursday. She also plans to meet with the emperor and empress of Japan before heading to the tourist hotspot of Kyoto on Friday.

On Friday, Mrs. Obama will head to Cambodia, one of 11 countries initially included in the initiative. The others are Albania, Benin, Burkina Faso, Georgia, Ghana, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Togo and Uganda.

In Cambodia, Mrs. Obama will meet Bun Rany, the Cambodian first lady. It will the first time that a sitting U.S. first lady has visited the Southeast Asian country.

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