Top students shunning Japan
Japan Times -- Jun 24
A student seeking to study at a graduate school in the United States must take two sets of test - the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and the Graduate Record Examination (GRE).

The GRE consists of three sections: analytical writing, verbal (assessing comprehension, critical reasoning and vocabulary usage in English) and quantitative (assessing basic-level math knowledge and reasoning skills).

The GRE is required of both American and foreign students, and those from outside the U.S. will need to achieve high scores in the analytical writing and quantitative sections because they cannot expect to do equally as well as Americans in the English-language verbal section.

Students from India, where English is almost a mother tongue, naturally do well in TOEFL and score high grades in the English verbal section of the GRE, compared with Americans. Those from countries like China and South Korea study so hard that they, too, get high marks in both TOEFL and the GRE.

Many Japanese university students do quite poorly in both TOEFL and the GRE, perhaps because the English language is taught in Japan primarily to pass university entrance examinations - a way that is not beneficial when it comes to taking TOEFL. The average TOEFL scores of students from 30 Asian countries show that Japan ranked 27th, with only Laos, Tajikistan and Cambodia trailing behind.

Lately the Japanese government appears to have sensed a crisis over the decline in the number of both foreign students coming to this country and Japanese students going abroad for study.

Source: Japan Times
Oct 23
The number of visitors to Japan in January-September totaled 9,737,300, up 26.0 pct from a year earlier, an estimate by the Japan National Tourism Organization showed Wednesday. (Jiji Press)
Oct 23
A Thai man has admitted killing a 79-year-old Japanese man who has been missing in Thailand since late September, according to local police sources. (Jiji Press)
Oct 23
With the Ebola outbreak swiftly spreading in West Africa, Tokyo Metropolitan Bokutoh Hospital opened to the press on Wednesday a special isolation ward for highly dangerous infectious diseases. (The Japan News)
Oct 22
A total of 74 people are believed to have died from January to September this year due to their use of so-called dangerous drugs, according to the National Police Agency. (The Japan News)
Oct 22
The operator of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has begun dismantling the cover of a reactor building to remove debris as part of preparations for removing the nuclear fuel from a spent fuel storage pool. (NHK)
Oct 23
A 15-year-old girl was assaulted by a man who stole her school uniform skirt in Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture, police said Thursday. (Japan Today)
Oct 22
Police in Hachioji, Tokyo, said Wednesday that a man suspected of fatally stabbing a 35-year-old woman at her home, apparently jumped to his death from the building roof. (Japan Today)
Oct 22
In possibly a legal first, a female civil servant on Tuesday sued the government over what she calls institutional sexism at the ministry she works for, citing almost two decades of blocked promotions and pay raises. (Japan Times)
Oct 22
A Tokyo court has ordered Facebook to disclose the IP addresses used by fake accounts that were posting revenge porn, a lawyer said Tuesday, in the first such case in Japan. (Japan Today)
Oct 22
Denenchofu, a quaint residential area of Tokyo's Ota Ward, is home to some of the richest people in the metropolis. (Tokyo Reporter)
Oct 22
The Shonen Tanteidan (Boy Detectives Club) series written by famed mystery novelist Edogawa Rampo (1894-1965) will be resurrected by current popular novelists. (The Japan News)
Oct 21
The man arrested on suspicion of killing a 6-year-old girl in Kobe has confessed to the crime, his lawyer said Tuesday. (Japan Times)
Oct 21
Google Inc. has started a service that allows users to get an offshore look at the latest recovery efforts in the Tohoku region devastated by the Great East Japan Earthquake and tsunami. (Asahi)
Oct 20
Osaka Prefectural Police on Friday arrested two male suspects for allegedly dumping a large quantity of adult video (AV) material inside a park in Nishinari Ward, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Oct. 17). (Tokyo Reporter)
Oct 20
A Japanese court has sentenced a former college employee to 2 years in prison for using a 3D printer to make handguns. (NHK)