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The nonprofit Japan Foundation has announced it will hold the Japanese Language Proficiency Test twice a year in Japan, China, Taiwan and South Korea to cope with sharply rising demand.

The foundation, which currently conducts the examination only in December, will now also hold the test in July in those countries starting this year.

The JLPT is a proficiency certification test for non-native speakers. In December, about 660,000 people took the exam in Japan and in 145 cities in 52 countries and territories around the world. By country, China topped the list last year with 245,000 examinees.

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