More college students in the U.S. Midwest are taking Japanese classes because of the potential for future employment.

While the pace of growth in Japanese studies slowed across the U.S. after the 1990s, Michigan has seen a remarkable increase over the past couple of years, apparently because of promotional activities being undertaken by the government, academia and industry.

One of the main architects of the trend is Kuninori Matsuda, Japan's consul general in Detroit.