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It’s not an exaggeration to say many Japanese have a complex about speaking English. Most Japanese study English for three years in junior high school as a requirement, and those who graduate from university will have studied the language for 10 years. Yet many Japanese say they’re not good at speaking English.

The blame in part lies with Japan’s university exam system and high school education program, which put too much emphasis on passing university entrance exams. The current unified English exams use computer-graded answer sheets and mainly measure reading and listening skills, and not speaking or writing.

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