To further promote the Japanese culture overseas, it has been recommended to teach the Japanese language online for free. A panel from the Foreign Ministry bore the idea as a support for “Cool Japan,” the catch phrase for Japanese culture, from pop-culture to cuisine, promotion. According to the panel, setting up a website will help foreigners learn Nihongo. In addition, training courses for Japanese language instructors may also be provided.
Through Japan Foundation, the organization commissioned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for international cultural exchange in Japan, an “e-learning course” will be set up where beginners in the language can utilize free training software. Study materials are also suggested to be included for easier learning. Even anime, which is popular among young people, has been suggested to be added to materials with cultural elements.
It has also been considered to include free conversations with Japanese volunteers. Such interaction will encourage foreigners to further develop and improve what they’ve learned in the “e-learning course.” However, conversation lessons might not be offered for free. These interaction features are still being reckoned and may only be implemented in the future.
Besides training materials for Japanese language instructors, the Foreign Ministry recommended to invite foreign educational institutions to Japan. A job fair for foreigners learning Nihongo has also been proposed. The Japanese Government has set a goal of having 5 million foreigners speaking the Japanese language by 2020. In 2009, there were already 3.65 million foreigners who speak Japanese.
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