Meetings on English education at a division of the education ministry will be conducted in English beginning in May on a trial basis, in an apparent move to both reflect and promote the trend in language education.

"We decided to use English in principle for our meetings, which deal with measures for English-language education, amid growing interest in the area," said Tsuyoshi Enomoto, head of the international education division, which is under the ministry's Elementary and Secondary Education Bureau and whose mission is to improve language classes at public schools.

Enomoto said holding meetings in English is in line with the division's daily work, which involves using English to welcome foreign guests and contact officials abroad, for example.

He noted the meetings to be conducted in English will be for officials of the bureau above the level of division chief and to be based around the theme of English education, adding the trial will last for about four months.

Separately, the ministry will hire a recruit from the private sector to assume the newly created post of "English education project officer" on May 1, in a bid to utilize external knowledge and experience.

"We will work with the new officer to enhance English-language education reforms at schools," Enomoto said.

The officer, who must have managerial experience at an overseas company among other attributes, will work part-time on a contract through next March and will become involved in assignments including planning English education at elementary and secondary schools and securing personnel for that purpose, according to the ministry.