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3 Fields of Cultural Exchanges

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Thumbnail of [Language Japanese-Language Education Overseas]

Looking back on FY 2015
Projects aimed at creating educational environments that make Japanese easier to both learn and teach have been implemented around the world

We believe that carrying out Japanese-Language Education Overseas is an important activity that builds a foundation for greater understanding of Japan and leads to fostering people who can act as bridges between Japan and the world. We have implemented a wide range of projects in countries and regions around the world aimed at creating environments that make it easier for people to both learn and teach Japanese.

The Sakura Network, a network of core Japanese-language educational institutions, has doubled its membership to 284 institutions in 91 countries/regions. We are hoping to coordinate with Sakura Network member organizations to further enhance and invigorate Japanese-language education around the world.

One of the trends seen overseas in recent years is that of extending Japanese-language education to elementary and secondary schools. We have been coordinating with educational administrative bodies in the United Kingdom, Thailand, Vietnam, France, and elsewhere to produce textbooks, train teachers, invite specialists working in the field of education to Japan and so on, to support the introduction and enhancement of Japanese-language education in elementary and secondary schools.

We have also worked to foster human resources in a variety of countries/regions that are capable of supporting Japanese education and engaging in cultural exchange with Japan. As part of this, 993 people have received training at the Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Urawa and the Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai. We also held Japanese-Language Proficiency Tests in 264 cities around the world, including Japan, and these were sat by approximately 650,000 people.

The implementation of this diverse range of projects is expanding the Japanese-language education field around the world while also helping to meet newly arising needs. To further enhance Japanese-language education we are coordinating with people and organizations working in this field on the implementation of our project to promote Japanese-language education abroad.
(Masayuki Suzuki, Managing Director, Japanese-Language Department; Katsuma Doi, Managing Director, The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Urawa)