Fluency in English is high on the agenda for Japan's education policy of fostering individuals who can play an active role internationally.
But a survey has found that more than 40 percent of the country's high school students predict they will rarely use English in their future life.
A private sector organization, the Benesse Educational Research and Development Institute, conducted a survey in March. About 6,300 junior and senior high school students responded.
It asked to what extent they think English would be needed in society when they become adults.
The largest percentage of both junior high and senior high students expected that English will be used at work although not constantly. 54 percent of junior high children and 58 percent of senior high schoolers picked that answer.
A little over 20 percent of both junior high and senior high students predict English will be used in daily lives to converse with foreigners.
New textbooks authorized for use in Japan's senior high schools from April next year contain more descriptions on foreign and defense policies undertaken by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government, such as the ability to engage in collective self-defense, according to the results of the education ministry's latest textbook screening disclosed Friday. (Japan Today)
A certified private nursery in Hyogo Prefecture that was found to be secretly accepting more children than its designated capacity had also been docking the pay of teachers who came in late by ¥10,000, according to the prefectural government. (Japan Times)
Japan is laying the groundwork for a free education programme for some households that will cover a student's costs from pre-school to college to ensure the country maintains a highly-skilled workforce. (dailymail.co.uk)
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has congratulated a graduating class at a junior high school in the city of Miyako in Iwate Prefecture in northeastern Japan. The region was hit hard by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami. (NHK)