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Controversial School Operator Made Pupils Support Abe (News)

Tokyo, Feb. 27 (Jiji Press)—A kindergarten run by the private school operator at the center of a controversial land acquisition deal made its pupils express support for Japanese Prime Minister Abe Shinzō, an opposition lawmaker said Monday. During a meeting of the House of Representatives Budget Committee, Fukushima Nobuyuki of the main opposition Democratic Party said the kindergarten in Osaka…
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English to Become Regular Elementary School Subject in Japan (News)

Tokyo, Feb. 14 (Jiji Press)—Japan's education ministry released draft revisions of the country's curriculum guidelines for elementary and junior high schools on Tuesday, including adoption of English as a regular subject for elementary school fifth- and sixth-graders. Under the curriculum revision plans, a teaching method designed to encourage students to independently find problems and soluti…
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Children’s Cafeterias: Filling the Void for Kids Who Can’t Eat at HomeKanazawa Masumi

A growing number of “children’s cafeterias” across Japan are offering meals at little or no cost to children, mainly from single-parent households, who are not sufficiently fed at home. Kanazawa Masumi, an expert on child welfare, reports on measures that are being taken to tackle the multifaceted problems of child poverty.
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How the JET Program Changed JapanMenju Toshihiro

The JET Program was launched in 1987 and is now celebrating its thirtieth year. Over the decades, more than 60,000 participants have contributed to Japanese communities through such activities as teaching English and working for local governments. They have also encouraged many Japanese people to think more about other cultures and their own place in the world.
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Australian Students Visit Nippon.com as Part of Media and Politics ProgramNippon.com Staff

On September 6, Nippon.com was honored to host members of the Australian National University’s inaugural Media and Politics in Japan study tour. ANU Associate Lecturer James Giggacher and nine ANU undergraduate students traveled to Japan on a two-week program to explore how Japanese media engages with national and local political issues. They were joined on the tour by a group from Ritsumeikan Uni…
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Forum Highlights Novel Approaches to Meeting Society’s Challenges

Nippon Foundation Social Innovation Forum 2016 brought together stakeholders from diverse sectors for three days in September to consider new ways of addressing the key issues confronting Japan, such as depopulation, loss of community, and growing economic disparities.
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“Voluntary” After-School Duties Mean Japanese Teachers Are Busiest in the WorldUchida Ryō

Japanese teachers have the longest working hours in the world. One reason is the effectively mandatory responsibility to oversee students’ extracurricular activities.
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Learning Japanese with Manga Author Umino Nagiko

Umino Nagiko’s bestselling manga Nihonjin no shiranai Nihongo (The Japanese the Japanese Don’t Know) was based on her experience teaching Japanese to international students. In an interview with Nippon.com, she gives learning tips and shares unusual words from the fringes of the Japanese language.
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Japan Glances Index

Discover Japan by picking a theme from the list below and exploring the related topics. Each short overview is illustrated with colorful photographs.
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How Japanese Children Learn KanjiRichard Medhurst

During their six years in elementary school, Japanese children learn over 1,000 kanji. In this time, they greatly increase their reading sophistication, moving from picture books to short novels and simple biographies. Characters are all around them and often graded to their level, whether they are taking lessons in social studies or other subjects, practicing calligraphy, or even reading manga …
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