Gov’t Responsible for Teaching Japanese Language to Foreign Residents

Since the government has opened its doors to foreign workers last April to help with Japan’s worsening labour crisis, more and more foreign nationals are entering and are expected to arrive in the country for work and tourism in the coming months.

Because of this, there will be a greater need for communication and instruction services to support the influx of foreigners in the country across a variety of sectors.

Gov’t to be Held Accountable for Teaching Japanese Language to Foreign Residents
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Proposed Law Cites Japanese Language Teaching as Govt’s Responsibility

On Friday, the Diet passed a bill stating the need for governments in the country to take responsibility for promoting Japanese-language education among foreign residents, as shared in a report by Japan Today.

In line with this, several Japanese municipalities hosting large foreign communities have long been providing language education and other support on their own, but the central government had been slow in its response and has been criticized for its lack of assistance or involvement.

According to the proposed legislation, the central government is responsible for carrying out comprehensive measures, including introducing necessary legal and fiscal measures, to ensure foreign residents of various backgrounds ranging from students to refugees, to receive language education according to their need and circumstances.

The law calls for the enhancement of the quality of education across various institutions, which is said to have major differences in standards, and improving the salaries of Japanese-language teachers. The law also requires employers of foreign nationals to provide language education to them and their families.

In order to establish comprehensive policies that will serve this purpose, the education and foreign ministries as well as other government agencies will set up a convention to be advised by a panel of experts regarding the matter.

The proposed bill, which had been designed by lawmakers, was designed as Japan introduced a new visa system in April to accept more foreign blue-collar workers, a move that is expected to further expand foreign communities in the country.

As per data from the Justice Ministry, the number of foreign nationals in Japan stood at a record-high 2.73 million as of the end of last year, up by 6.6 percent from a year before.

Under the new visa scheme, the government is looking at potential foreign workers reaching up to 345,000 to fill in vacancies in 14 labour-hungry sectors such as accommodation, nursing care, construction, and farming over the next five years.

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