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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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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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Changing Career Goals for Female Students in JapanUehara Yoshiko

To follow up on my previous article about shūkatsu, Japanese students’ hunt for post-graduation jobs, in which I discussed this annual ritual in the context of the changes in Japanese society, here I would like to offer an overview of the job hunt for women students. The current generation of older people may still harbor an image of the students at women’s universities as taking jobs with top-…
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“Shūkatsu”: How Japanese Students Hunt for JobsUehara Yoshiko

Foreign tourists are now an everyday sight on the streets of Tokyo. One wonders what they make of the young Japanese men and women they see wearing uniform black suits, showing less individuality than even the typical “salaryman.” They are evidently not businesspeople, but what are they? The answer: These are Japanese university students suited up to hunt for post-graduation jobs. A distinctive…
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Child Poverty, the Grim Legacy of DenialAbe Aya

Foreign tourists visiting Japan see clean, safe city streets filled with neat, well-dressed people. They encounter almost none of the familiar signs of urban poverty, such as slums decorated with gang-related graffiti or homeless people begging in the streets. These outward appearances have helped maintain Japan’s international reputation for economic fairness and equality. It is an image the Japa…
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The Japanese School System

Compulsory education lasts for nine years in Japan, between the ages of 6 and 15. Most students continue to get a high school education at least, while there are various higher education options beyond that.
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