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.
In the latest development in the gambling scandal involving Yomiuri Giants players, the Metropolitan Police Department on Friday arrested restaurateur Satoshi Saito, 38, on suspicion of running gambling operations for the purpose of gain and former Giants pitcher Shoki Kasahara, 25, on suspicion of assisting the operations. (the-japan-news.com)
West Japan Railway Co. opened the nation's largest railway museum to the public in Kyoto on Friday. (the-japan-news.com)
HAMBURG, Germany -- A giant cruise liner constructed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries opened its doors here Friday ahead of its entry into regular service. (Nikkei)
An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 4.5 rocked southwestern Japan on Friday afternoon, registering upper 5 on the seismic intensity scale of 7 in Yufu, Oita Prefecture. (Jiji Press)
The annual "Golden Week" holiday exodus has begun in Japan. (NHK)
This year's spring decorations will recognize 4,024 Japanese and 90 foreigners for their achievements in business, culture and the arts, the government said Friday. (Japan Today)
Police in Chiba City have charged a 29-year-old man over the murder of a 41-year-old woman who was found dead in her apartment on April 4. (Japan Today)
Police in Denenchofu, Tokyo, have arrested a 41-year-old man on suspicion of violating the animal cruelty law after he killed at least 10 stray cats. (Japan Today)
Dignitaries and celebrities joined Japan's Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko for the annual spring party at the Akasaka Imperial Gardens in Tokyo on Wednesday. (NHK)
Tokyo Metropolitan Police on Tuesday raided the headquarters of a gang affiliated with the Yamaguchi-gumi over the alleged handling of illegal drugs, reports TV Asahi (April 27). (Tokyo Reporter)
A 28-year-old nursery school teacher who forced a 4-year-old boy to eat fried chicken covered with wasabi and recorded it on her smartphone, has received a suspended sentence from the Tokyo District Court. (Japan Today)
A Japanese health institute says people staying in evacuation shelters in quake-hit Kumamoto Prefecture should be on the alert for possible outbreaks of flu and other infectious diseases.
Celebrity impersonator Ken Maeda died early Tuesday after he suddenly collapsed on a street in Tokyo's Shinjuku Ward on Sunday night. He was 44. (Japan Today)
A former Japanese chef for the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il says he met with current leader Kim Jong Un during his recent trip to the North. (NHK)
Japan's Supreme Court on Monday admitted the illegality of its approvals of special trials at isolated facilities for patients with leprosy conducted until the early 1970s. (Jiji Press)