I have experience as a volunteer teaching Japanese to foreigners in my community. Those who come to the Japanese class are very eager to master Japanese so that they can live here happily. Though the local government gives some assistance toward class management, there are hurdles in running the class, such as keeping up a regular classroom, providing students with enough textbooks and allowing for outdoor relaxation.

There are more than 70 classes run by volunteers in Osaka. But that is not enough. Each class is too small to take all applicants. If it expects an honored place in international society, the central government had better encourage such classes and activities and assist in setting them up before it introduces a new Japanese test for foreigners.

toshio nagasaka