Elementary schools to get English

| Jun 29, 2010

Elementary schools to get English

Starting next fiscal year, all elementary schools will be required to introduce compulsory English lessons for fifth- and sixth-graders. The scores of Japanese who take the Test of English as a Foreign Language are among the lowest in Asia, and thus their proficiency levels ...

Jun 10, 2010

Maehara still has Futenma, JAL, road toll vows to contend with

Former Democratic Party of Japan Secretary General Ichiro Ozawa should go before a Diet ethics committee to give a detailed explanation about his political funds scandal, land minister Seiji Maehara said late Tuesday. “Since I remember that he himself has been positive toward attending ...

May 22, 2010

Reference guide of Japanese 'useful phrases' released

An expert panel from the Cultural Affairs Agency has publicized a conversation phrase reference for Japanese-language teachers of nonnative learners that details the minimum necessary expressions in everyday life. The reference shows useful phrases with grammatical notes for 121 situations, including when people see ...

Greek crisis to hit Japan indirectly

May 13, 2010

Greek crisis to hit Japan indirectly

The Greek financial crisis is unlikely to wreak havoc on the Japanese economy, although a strengthening of the yen as a result of the euro’s depreciation will inevitably affect exports bound for Europe, according to some economists. But they caution that Japan shouldn’t regard ...

May 11, 2010

Tuna auction reopens to tourists

The tuna auction at Tokyo’s popular Tsukiji fish market reopened Monday to the public with new restrictions following a monthlong ban leveled after tourists obstructed business. Shortly after tourists started entering early in the morning, the new limit of 140 was reached. Several other ...

May 8, 2010

Busy auctions mask Tsukiji decline

Around 5 a.m., the opening bell signaled the start of the auction at Tokyo’s Tsukiji Central Fish Market. Lining the floor were hundreds of tunas, tagged with their point of origin — Guam, Australia and Katsuura, Chiba Prefecture. As the sellers called out each ...

Apr 24, 2010

Ishihara snubs SDP retraction request

Tokyo Gov. Shintaro Ishihara on Friday rejected a request from Social Democratic Party chief Mizuho Fukushima to retract remarks suggesting she may be a naturalized Japanese or a descendant of one. “I have not specified her at all (as being a naturalized person or ...

Apr 21, 2010

Are thicker textbooks the answer?

Faced with a drastic deterioration in academic performance, the education ministry is set to abandon a decade-old policy of relaxed programs and dramatically increase page counts of elementary school textbooks starting next year. But experts are split over the new policy, with some arguing ...