• Kyodo

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Japan will promote its language in ASEAN member states by sending about 3,000 volunteers to local high schools over a seven-year period starting this year, a government source said Monday.

The ¥10 billion project is aimed at strengthening relations with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations not only through economic activities, but also education and personnel exchanges.

Japan will first send about 60 volunteers to countries such as Indonesia in September to help local teachers of the Japanese language, according to the source.

The volunteers, aged between 20 and 69, do not need experience as Japanese language teachers. Each will be dispatched for a maximum of one year.

Japan plans to send language volunteers to all 10 ASEAN member states, including 1,950 to Indonesia and 330 to Thailand.

Japan had sent language experts to government institutions and colleges in ASEAN nations before but has since determined that it will be better for those wishing to learn Japanese to start early.

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