A group of non-Japanese and Japanese students at Nagoya University of Foreign Studies jointly published an English tabloid newspaper, called The NUFS Times, in September to deepen communication between the two communities.
The university in Nisshin, Aichi Prefecture, says it will support the effort with the intention that the newspaper will become a regular publication that can promote the institution.
The university says it takes in around 200 students from foreign countries each year, but since most only stay for about six to 12 months, they don’t get enough chances to communicate with Japanese people.
To create an opportunity for foreign and Japanese students to work together, Kazuhiko Kojima, 66, a former Chunichi Shimbun reporter who currently serves as press relations adviser to the university, called on a student newspaper club that publishes a newspaper a few times a year to create an English-language paper.
The project began in April with nine foreign students from five countries, including the United States, Britain and Italy, and eight Japanese members of the newspaper club.
They covered such topics as fair trade activities in Nagoya, Japanese food, and exchanges between Nagoya and the Italian city of Turin. The foreign students interviewed sources and wrote the articles in English, while the Japanese students helped them come up with questions to ask in Japanese and translate the interviews into English.
Cassandra Evangelista, 29, an American student, wrote about an established tofu shop in Kinshachi Yokocho, a shopping area that opened right outside the grounds of Nagoya Castle in March. She said she was surprised to learn about the numerous procedures needed to produce tofu and the passion of the workers dedicated to making it.
She said she enjoyed working with the Japanese students who helped her when she had difficulty understanding the language.
“I was worried whether the project would work out, but I was motivated by the foreign students’ willingness,” said Renya Hakamata, 19, a second-year student at the university and a member of the newspaper club.
The students printed 5,000 copies of the newspaper and distributed them free of charge at the university and at high schools in the Tokai region.
They hope to publish a second issue by the end of this year, and starting in the next academic year the university plans to make the project a part of English classes attended by both foreign and Japanese students.
“The project offers a great opportunity for foreign students to communicate with Japanese people outside the university, and for Japanese students to brush up their language skills,” says Hiroko Tokumoto, 58, an associate professor in the university’s International Institute for Japanese Language Education who supports the project. “It has a big educational effect on both groups.”
This section features topics and issues from the Chubu region covered by the Chunichi Shimbun. The original article was published Sept. 28.