Toru Nakahara, a lawyer-turned-school principal who at 42 became the youngest head of a prefectural board of education, is a pal of controversial right-leaning Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto and a stickler for making sure teachers sing the national anthem at school ceremonies.

Nakahara, who took up the post of Osaka Prefecture's superintendent of education on April 1 and is now 43, said he aims to teach children so they obtain "the ability to remain confident and live in this globalized society."

He also said he plans to enhance English education in grade schools with a focus on communications skills. This is based on his own time at a U.S. law school, where he said he often felt frustrated during discussion sessions due to his lack of English skills.