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September 26, 2003

New Man In Charge

The recently appointed new Education Minister Takeo Kawamura didn't come up with any surprises when he outlined his ideas on the future of education in Japan. Regarding English language education, he stated the obvious, that improving the school curriculum and teaching methods is an urgent matter, and that more people should be able to express themselves in English. "If we try to increase the number of fluent English speakers, we need to think whether it is necessary to start teaching the foreign language (as a compulsory subject) at elementary schools," said Kawamura, adding that the ministry has not yet reached a conclusion on the matter. Kawamura replaced Atsuko Toyama - who declined a request from PM Junichiro Koizumi to remain in the post - in the recent cabinet reshuffle. (From a Japan Times article. Photo: Kyodo Photo)

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