African Festival Yokohama

Serving as a bridge between the cultures of Africa and Japan, the African Festival Yokohama will be held from April 5 to 7 at the No. 1 building of Yokohama Red Brick Warehouse.

The popular event marks its sixth year and has allowed the forging of mutual friendship between the countries as more visitors attend each year. Supported by organizations including the Foreign Ministry, the city of Yokohama and African embassies in Japan, this big cultural expo is filled with entertainment and features from African countries.

Exploring the numerous shows, such as musical performances, exhibitions of products from various countries and the African games corner, people of all generations can learn many aspects of African cultures. Also, are many kinds of delicious African cuisine and beverages as well as an African arts and crafts market.

There will be an opening ceremony on April 5 starting at 10:30 a.m. on the third floor of the No. 1 building.

The festival will run each day from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (until 5 p.m. on the final day). Admission is free.

This June, the fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V) will be held in Yokohama. Japan and the African nations hope for an even deeper relationship between them.

For more information, visit www.africanfestyokohama.com.


Online Japanese course

Net Learning, one of the biggest electronic learning solutions companies, and Nichibei Kaiwa Gakuin Japanese Language Institute, a language school run by the International Education Center, are collaborating to offer the first online language training program in Japan, from April 15.

Net Learning has offered its services to 3,900 schools so far and Nichibei Kaiwa Gakuin has produced many quality graduates since it was established in 1967. With the combined educational knowhow of the two, this four-month-long e-learning program offers quality lessons on business Japanese taught by professional instructors.

The program consists of three parts: preparation, practice and brush-up, all of which can be all done online. Before taking a lesson, students can prepare on their own through the use of texts, audio and videos. Then, they can take a live lesson through the Internet, and after that, they can review the lesson with quizzes that let them reinforce the content.

In the age of globalization, more and more companies in Japan have an increasing need for foreign employees who have attained the ability to use business Japanese. Studying professional business Japanese has been one reason people attend language schools.

This new course allows people to study from anywhere at anytime. For now, the program is available only in Japan, though there are plans to make it available abroad.

The course costs ¥69,900. For more information, visit www.nichibei.ac.jp/njli or www.netlearning.co.jp .

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