The Japanese government is looking to send around 3,000 Japanese-language teaching assistants to different ASEAN countries by the year 2020. The government hopes that by sending the people to different educational institutions in the 10-member group of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, it will help promote sports and cultural exchanges with the region.
A new center called “Asia Center” will be set up within the Japan Foundation, an organization affiliated with the government, to handle promotion of culture and sports with ASEAN. This would be the arm to launch teaching assistants and other activities and events that hope to strengthen Japan’s capability to convey its image and message to ASEAN in preparation for the 2020 Summer Olympics. The government plans to have 30 staff operating in the Asian Center. An estimated 30 billion yen, or US$296 million, will be allotted by the government for the center by 2020.
Chosen applicants will be sent by the center beginning this year. The teaching assistants will be picked from those who applied in Japan and must be able to stay in an ASEAN country for a maximum of one year to help in fostering and developing exchange-promotion events that aim to introduce the Japanese culture to locals. The Asia Center is looking for strategic locations to set foot on and is targeting Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos, among 10 others. Japan Foundation, on the other hand, currently holds offices in Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.