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March 19, 2009

The Prime Minister outlines guidelines for educational reform

japa_flag.jpgThe main government panel on educational reform has resumed work with six new members. Prime Minister Taro Aso addressed the first meeting and outlined four areas for the panel to focus on - a global strategy for education, 'relief for education' to help improve state schools and minimize differences arising from a widening of the income gap, improving creativity in science and technology, and raising achievement in sports.

By a 'global strategy for education', the Prime Minister meant improving communicative ability in English and increasing the number of researchers and students coming to Japan from overseas. He made a clear distinction between spoken English and more general English language skills saying, 'Reading, writing, math and English conversation are important. Note I said English conversation, not English.'

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