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3 Fields of Cultural Exchange

Language [Japanese-Language Education Overseas]
Tailored Support and Promotion of Japanese-Language Education

We work in coordination with governments, local authorities, and educational organizations to provide effective support that meets local needs relating to educational organizations, educational policies, and the objectives and interests of learners. The support includes provision of funding to educational organizations, dispatching of Japanese-language specialists, and inviting teachers and learners to Japan to engage in various kinds of training.

  • Dispatch of Japanese-language specialists

    We dispatch Japanese-language education specialists and teacher's assistants to overseas educational organizations. We also send young Japanese teachers to elementary, junior high, and high schools in the USA.

    Number of personnel dispatched in FY2016

    Japanese-Language Senior Specialists: 30 posts in 21 countries/regions
    Japanese-Language Specialists: 69 posts in 35 countries/regions
    Japanese-Language Assistants: 16 posts in 13 countries/regions
    Japanese-Language Education Assistants: 22 posts in the USA

  • Training program for Japanese-language teachers and learners

    We invite Japanese-language teachers from overseas to the Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Urawa to engage in training to enhance their teaching skills. At The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai, we hold training programs for researchers, diplomats, and other specialists, as well as young Japanese-language learners.

    Number of trainees in FY2016

    The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Urawa: 409 people from 56 countries/regions
    The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai: 588 people from 99 countries/regions

  • Japanese-Language Education Projects by Japan Centers and JF overseas offices

    The Japan Foundation's overseas offices and Japan Center branches work to have Japanese-language lessons introduced in high schools and universities in ways that accommodate the local Japanese-language education environment. They also implement projects for Japanese-language teacher training, teaching material production, and popularization and expansion of Japanese-language education.

    Number of projects implemented in FY2016

    251 projects in 28 countries/regions (127,202 participants)

  • Funding and support of Japanese-language education organizations

    In addition to supporting the highly influential projects of JF Nihongo Network (Sakura Network) Members,* such as teacher training and teaching material production, we also fund the activities of educational organizations aimed at popularizing Japanese-language learning in countries that do not have Japan Foundation offices.

    Number of trainees in FY2016

    Sakura Network Member funding projects: 114 projects in 45 countries/regions
    Funding of Japanese-language popularization projects: 165 projects in 62 countries/regions
    *Sakura Network Members are core Japanese-language educational institutions/organizations located in each country. As of March 31, 2016, the membership included 287 institutions in 91 countries/regions.

  • Dispatch of interns

    We dispatch interns (trainee teachers) overseas in coordination with universities in Japan with Japanese-language teacher training courses.

    Number of trainees in FY2016

    274 interns from 47 Japanese universities were sent to 82 organizations in 15 countries/regions

  • Selection of tailored support measures
  • Provision of effective support

The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Urawa

The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Urawa, was established in 1989 to comprehensively provide support and cooperation for Japanese-language education overseas. Overseas Japanese-language teachers are invited for training programs on the Japanese language, Japanese language teaching methods and Japanese culture. It also develops and provides teaching materials and carries out programs to disseminate the JF Standard for Japanese-Language Education (see)

Photo of teachers of the Japanese Language in short-term training program
Short-Term Training Program for Teachers of the Japanese Language (Summer)

The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai

The Japan Foundation Japanese-Language Institute, Kansai was established in 1997 as a Japanese-language training facility providing support to Japanese-language learners from overseas. Foreign service officers, public officials, and Japan specialists are invited to the institute from various countries to receive training in specialized Japanese that is useful for their work duties and research.

It also promotes the development of e-learning materials such as Japanese-language online courses, Japanese-language study sites and apps based on the know-how it acquires through the training programs.

Photo of foreign service officers and public officials participating in training, copyright Mariko Tagashira
Foreign service officers and public officials participating in training
(c)Mariko Tagashira

Sakura Network Member Japanese-language Study Tours in Japan

Japanese-language study tours were held to provide opportunities for real communication to junior high and high school students overseas who study Japanese but lack opportunities to use the language in daily life. Matching for visitations with schools in Japan was carried out through cooperation with the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO), an independent administrative agency, to offer exchange with members of the same age group. From January to March 2017, a total of 431 people in 17 groups visited from nine countries. Various synergistic effects have been seen after the participants returned to their home countries, such as a growing interest in studying Japanese, increasing numbers of applicants for Japanese-language classes, and new proposals from local overseas administrative organizations to conduct study tours for Japanese-language teachers in Japan.

Photo of a Sri Lanka student group on cultural exchange at Saijoji Temple
Cultural exchange at Saijoji Temple (Minamiashigara, Kanagawa Prefecture) with a Sri Lankan student group (12 schools)

Support for Secondary Education in Laos

Japanese language is one of the elective second foreign language subjects in the secondary education curriculum of Laos. Japanese-language education was started at a school in Vientiane in 2015, followed by two more schools in 2016. To support the introduction of Japanese-language education in secondary education, in FY2016 the Japan Foundation conducted short-term dispatches of Japanese-language specialists to the Research Institute for Educational Sciences under the Lao Ministry of Education and Sports to assist the development of Japanese-language textbooks and provide training for teachers at schools introducing Japanese-language education.

Photo of a class at Nongbone Secondary School
Group work and other activities are often conducted in Japanese-language classes (Nongbone Secondary School)

Popularization of Japanese-language Education in Turkmenistan

In recent years, the environment surrounding Japanese-language education in Turkmenistan is rapidly changing, with Japanese language becoming a compulsory subject in secondary education, and new Japanese courses being offered at universities. To support the rapid growth of Japanese-language education in the country, in FY2016 the Japan Foundation conducted short-term dispatch of Japanese-language senior specialist and Japanese-language assistant to Turkmen National Institute of Foreign Languages, named after D. Azadi and the National Institute of Education of Turkmenistan to help cultivate Japanese-language instructors and develop educational materials.

Photo of a class at the Turkmen National Institute of Foreign Languages, named after D. Azadi
A class at the Turkmen National Institute of Foreign Languages, named after D. Azadi