English-language education at public schools should shift in emphasis to verbal communications skills, and for that purpose, universities must adopt the Test of English as a Foreign Language for entrance exams, the head of the Liberal Democratic Party's education reform panel said.

If the TOEFL is introduced in line with the panel's proposal, it would drastically change public English-language education at junior high and high schools, Toshiaki Endo, head of the panel and a Lower House member from Yamagata Prefecture, said in a recent interview with The Japan Times.

The panel is currently putting together a policy recommendation on improving students' academic standards, including their English. Once it is finalized, the LDP is expected to formally propose it to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in the near future.