Ex-minister Denies Ties To English Test Business

Ex-minister denies ties to English test business

Former education minister Hakubun Shimomura has flatly denied a media report that he is in a "cozy relationship" with a company that administers English tests.

Shimomura told reporters that no such ties exist with the firm in question. The Shukan Bunshun weekly reported the allegation in its latest issue on Thursday.

Ministry Delays Introducing Private English Tests

Ministry delays introducing private English tests

Japan's education ministry says it will postpone the introduction of private-sector English tests from next April as part of a new university entrance exam system.

Education minister Koichi Hagiuda told reporters on Friday that the decision was made because the planned system does not provide fair treatment for all examinees in terms of their economic situation and where they live.

Private English Tests For Univ. Exams Put On Hold

Private English tests for univ. exams put on hold

Sources say Japan's education ministry has decided to postpone the introduction of private-sector English tests as part of a new university entrance exam system starting next April.

Under the new system, applicants would take two private English tests between April and December.

Hagiuda Repeats Apology Over English Tests Remark

Hagiuda repeats apology over English tests remark

Japan's education minister, Koichi Hagiuda, has reiterated his apology over his remark on private English tests to be introduced next April for university entrance exams.

Under the new system, university applicants will take two out of several English tests from April through December before the entrance exam season. Scores will be sent to the universities the examinees apply to.

Children Try To Help Foreign Tourists In English

Children try to help foreign tourists in English

Elementary and junior high school students in Japan's northern prefecture of Miyagi have practiced helping foreign tourists visiting a popular cherry blossom viewing spot.

About 250,000 people visit the Hitome Senbon-zakura area every year, where there are many cherry trees along the Shiroishi riverside. More and more foreign tourists are visiting the cherry blossom spot from Thailand, Hong Kong and other countries.

Izumo Hopes New English Website Will Woo More Foreign Tourists

Izumo hopes new English website will woo more foreign tourists

IZUMO, Shimane Prefecture--It's "the land of the gods," and home to Izumo Taisha shrine, where all Japan's deities are said to assemble each October, but this city still isn't on the radar for most foreign tourists.

To convey the charms of the city connected to a myriad of myths and legends, Izumo's city government created "Ancient Japan, Izumo," its first English-language website, and enlisted two foreigners to write for it.

Emperor's English Post-abdication Title Announced

Emperor's English post-abdication title announced

Japan's Imperial Household Agency announced on Monday that Emperor Akihito will hold the English title of "His Majesty the Emperor Emeritus" after he abdicates on April 30.

The agency says Empress Michiko will be referred to as "Her Majesty the Empress Emerita."

Japan Draws Up English Text On S.korean Ruling

Japan draws up English text on S.Korean ruling

The Japanese government has compiled materials in English for the international community to present the facts surrounding the recent ruling by South Korea's Supreme Court on wartime labor.

Last month, South Korea's top court ordered a Japanese steelmaker to compensate 4 South Korean men who say they were forced to work during World War Two.

Japan To Use Robots In Schools For Improving English Skills

Japan To Use Robots In Schools For Improving English Skills

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In a bid to improve the English skills of both teachers and students, Japan is turning to robots and artificial intelligence. Japan’s Ministry of Education will launch a trial and put English-speaking AI robots in almost 500 schools across the country. This initiative will be launched in April next year.

Softbank Reveals American English Learning Ai Robot Musio X For Japanese Market

Softbank discloses American English learning AI robot Musio X for Japanese marketSoftbank Japan today uncovered the AI (computerized reasoning) prepared robot Musio X (Music Ex) for Japanese market. Musio X is a social correspondence robot outfitted with different capacities for American English learning. In the discussion mode, clients can chat with the robot for English interpretation of a word, which the robot scans from the web for the most proper response for the word.

Students To Learn English Earlier, Japan’s Position On Isle Disputes

Students to learn English earlier, Japan’s position on isle disputesUnder new education guidelines, students will start English-language classes at an earlier age and be taught that disputed islands around the nation are “integral parts of Japan,” the education ministry said.
The draft guidelines, released on Feb. 14, will be fully implemented at elementary schools from the 2020 academic year and at junior high schools the following year.

New Guidelines Call For Earlier English Learning

New guidelines call for earlier English learningChildren in Japan are expected to start learning English in their 3rd year of elementary school, instead of the current 5th grade, in 3 years.
The Education Ministry released new curriculum guidelines on Tuesday. They are to apply to elementary schools in 2020 and junior high schools in 2021.

Local Govts Creating Own English Vocabulary Workbooks

Local govts creating own English vocabulary workbooksIn an effort to improve the English skills of middle school students, some local governments have begun producing their own unique vocabulary workbooks.
“Lonely.” “He felt lonely.” Third-year students are taking a vocabulary examination in an English class at Konan Middle School in Nankoku, Kochi Prefecture, in mid-June.