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“Scholarships” Are Driving Students into DebtIwashige Yoshiharu

Scholarships supported the education of one out of two college students, or 1.8 million students, in fiscal 2013. The scholarship system in Japan has, however, come to embody many contradictions since its assumption that wages rise over time no longer reflects current employment realities. There is a need to overhaul the scholarship system to better respond to today’s needs.

Japan Audit Questions Discount in Government Land Sale to Moritomo (News)

Tokyo, Nov. 22 (Jiji Press)—The Board of Audit of Japan on Wednesday questioned a huge discount given to scandal-tainted Moritomo Gakuen in the sale of a state-owned land plot in Osaka Prefecture, western Japan, in 2016. The move deals a blow to Prime Minister Abe Shinzō's administration, which has insisted that the land sale was appropriate. The administration should now admit that there w…

Japanese Students Second in Collaborative Problem Solving: OECD (News)

Tokyo, Nov. 21 (Jiji Press)—Japanese students ranked second in collaborative problem solving in a global academic achievement survey for 2015, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said in a report released on Tuesday. The triennial Program for International Student Assessment, or PISA, covered 15-year-old students from 52 economies. Japan was top among OECD's 32 member coun…

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.

Go Gateball! Enthusiastic High Schoolers Revive a Fading Sport

Most people think of gateball as a leisurely sport for the elderly to while away a lazy afternoon. Yet even as older Japanese turn increasingly to more diverse pursuits, the popularity of this “made in Japan” competitive game has been edging up among younger Japanese, particularly high-school students. We visited Aomori Yamada High School, known for its strong sports program and world-class alumni athletes, to look in on one of its most recent additions, the Aomori Yamada Gateball Club.

Syrian Refugees to Study at Graduate Schools in Japan from Autumn (News)

Tokyo, Aug. 22 (Jiji Press)—A first batch of 20 Syrian refugees will be admitted to graduate schools in Japan this autumn under a Japanese government initiative announced last year. In May 2016, Prime Minister Abe Shinzō pledged to invite a total of 150 Syrian refugees in five years to study in Japan, in response to the 2015 refugee crisis in Europe. The Japan International Cooperation Agency w…

Money Dreams: Foreign Students to Japan Face Growing RisksIdei Yasuhiro

Japanese language schools have been growing in number year after year, and there are now more than 600 in operation around the country. But many of their students have come to earn rather than learn, deceived by brokers touting high-paying jobs. They borrow heavily to come to Japan, where they find themselves struggling to pay off their loans while laboring for low wages at jobs shunned by Japanese.

Japan to Start English Lessons for Third-, Fourth-Grade Kids in 2018 (News)

Tokyo, July 7 (Jiji Press)—Japan will introduce class activities using English for elementary school third- and fourth-graders when the next school year begins in April 2018, the education ministry said Friday. In a special notification, the ministry said that it will implement some measures under new elementary school curriculum guidelines ahead of schedule, including the introduction of the E…

Opposition Hammers Claimed Abe Ties to Approved Operator of Dubious School

Scandal is swirling around Prime Minister Abe Shinzō as reports surface that he wielded influence through the cabinet organization to secure approval of a new veterinary school to be built in a specially designated strategic district in Ehime Prefecture. The proposed school would be operated by Kake Gakuen, an educational outfit in Okayama Prefecture headed by Kake Kōtarō, a personal friend of t…

Restructuring at National Universities: Implications for the Future of Higher LearningMatsuura Yoshimitsu

National universities are seeing a restructuring boom for the first time in decades, with many faculties being newly launched and others being reorganized. Two key concepts behind many of these moves—combining the humanities and sciences and contributing to the community—are responses to priorities set forth by the Ministry of Education. But could these changes jeopardize national universities’ presence as Japan’s highest institutions of learning? Matsuura Yoshimitsu, an expert in higher education, discusses the university reforms now underway and their implications.

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