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After the national disaster of the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant meltdowns in 2011 and amid the ongoing economic depression, a new report offers at least one bright spot for Japan. A record number of people — 4 million — are studying Japanese around the world, according to a survey released last week from the Japan Foundation, a public organization promoting international cultural exchange projects.

The number of students learning Japanese around the world rose 9.1 percent in 2012 from 2009 when the last survey was conducted. Around the world, the number of institutions outside of Japan teaching Japanese rose by 7.5 percent and the number of Japanese teachers abroad increased by 28 percent.

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