Education material developers are racing to create English proficiency tests for high school students after the government's Education Rebuilding Implementation Council proposed in May that outside English tests be used for university entrance examinations.
With some high schools starting English classes taught in English this spring, the momentum is building for reviewing the form of English examinations for college admission.
The council originally considered the use of only TOEFL, an English proficiency test created in the United States to gauge English skills of foreign students and used by universities around the world. But it eventually decided to allow other tests after some council members pointed out TOEFL questions may be "too difficult."
Benesse Corp., a major education business operator, is offering a test called "GTEC for Students." Last year, 620,000 middle and high school students took the test, which meaures their proficiency in reading, listening and writing. The company plans to include questions to test their conversation skills sometime during the 2014 academic year.
A 16-year-old girl was sent to prosecutors Monday after she was arrested the day before on suspicion of killing a 15-year-old female classmate. (The Japan News)
A maternity clinic in Nagano Prefecture has overseen the birth of 118 babies to 79 married couples using sperm from the husbands' fathers, it has been learned. (The Japan News)
Japan will impose additional sanctions on Russia for failing to defuse the crisis in Ukraine, where the recent downing of a Malaysia Airlines jet killed all 298 people aboard, the government said Monday. (Kyodo)
Police in Iida, Nagano Prefecture, on Monday arrested a 71-year-old man on suspicion of slashing four family members at their home. (Japan Today)
Police in Tokyo said Sunday they have arrested the father of TV "talent" and model Rola for allegedly defrauding Japan's national health insurance system. (Japan Today)
During her first court hearing at the Tokyo District Court last week, Kasumi Tochinai, a former employee at staffing agency Pasona who has been charged with possession and use of stimulant drugs, came up with a few creative explanations for how she could have tested positive for illegal chemicals in her system. (Tokyo Reporter)
A series of anonymous murder confessions were posted on the popular 2channel Internet forum Saturday evening, prompting police to investigate their possible link with the death and dismemberment of 15-year-old Aiwa Matsuo in Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture. (Japan Times)
Eleven people died, one person remains unconscious and two are missing after water-related accidents across Japan over the weekend, police and Fire and Disaster Management Agency officials said Monday. (Japan Today)
The results of a poll to pick the 16 singers who will perform on the next single by SNH48, the Shanghai-based sister group of the hugely popular all-female pop group AKB48, were released over the weekend at an event that drew more than 3,000 fans. (Japan Times)
Residents have taken part in a horse festival that boasts a history of over 1,000 years in Soma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeastern Japan. (NHK)
The Metropolitan Police Department on Friday launched a special team to deal with stalking, domestic violence and child and elder abuse. (The Japan News)
Police in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, said Saturday they have arrested a 24-year-old man who tried to get a 9-year-old girl into his car. (Japan Today)
South Korea's War Museum has retracted its decision to cancel an exhibition of the popular Japanese manga "One Piece" after a court ordered that the event should go ahead. (NHK)
Police in Osaka said Friday that a reckless driving incident involving five vehicles left three people injured. (Japan Today)
Chinese authorities executed on Friday a Japanese man who had been sentenced to death in connection with stimulant drug smuggling, Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida said. (Nikkei)