National

India opens first training center for Japanese-language teachers

Kyodo

India’s first training center for teachers of Japanese was officially opened Monday in the capital, New Delhi.

The inauguration ceremony for the center, which is a joint project involving the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and the Japanese Embassy with the support of the Japan Foundation, was attended by Japanese Ambassador to India Kenji Hiramatsu.

The ambassador noted in a speech that demand for learning Japanese is growing significantly as the Japan-India relationship flourishes, leading to an increasing number of employment opportunities in Japanese companies in the country.

“The number of Japanese companies is increasing every year and is now about four times the number seen 10 years ago. These companies require Indians who can speak the Japanese language, in order to act as bridges between their Indian subsidiaries and headquarters in Japan,” he said.

The opening of the center follows a summit meeting last year between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, at which an agreement was reached to train 1,000 Japanese teachers and launch courses in the language at 100 educational institutions in India over the next five years.

Students on the courses will study for three months, with the first session to finish in October. The center also plans to introduce new courses in the future.

“We are not going to teach them the language, we are going to train them to think in their own way so that they are able to find for themselves the best method to teach the Japanese language,” said Shinako Sakemi, one of the teachers at the training center.

The first intake of students is being trained without any admission fee, with the cost of the course to be decided later.