The average IQ of school-pupils in Japan is rising, according to one of the country's leading psychologists.

Shigefumi Nagano, a professor of developmental psychology, estimates that IQ levels have risen by about 10 points in the past 20 years.

Nagano reckons that increased exposure to television, computers, magazines and books has provided the sort of stimulation that helps to develop intelligence.

But other educationists attribute the rise in IQs to the increased use of problem-solving questions in school and university entrance exams.

At the same time Japanese parents are spending over a billion pounds a year on additional tuition, books, magazines and other education aids that develop children's problem-solving skills and boost their chances of winning places at top schools and universities.

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