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Wednesday, 31st July 2013
In General Japan News,

Japanese language students near 4m mark

The Japan Foundation, which aims to encourage projects to promote international cultural exchange, has reported that the number of people learning Japanese has reached close to four million.

It is encouraging to hear as this number represents a significant increase in learners willing to take on the language.

Compared to when the survey was last conducted in 2009, there has been a 9.1 per cent increase in those studying Japanese.

The rise in students learning has also been reflected in the number of educational institutions which teach the language. Since the initial report in 2009, there has been a 7.5 per cent increase in places which coach Japanese outside Japan.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the number of people teaching Japanese has risen by over a quarter to 28 per cent no doubt to facilitate this growing interest in the culture.

The Foundation reported that the main reason for this surge in desire to learn the language was that students had expressed an interest in Japanese popular culture.

Japanese history, anime and Manga were all cited by learners as influencing factors in them becoming keen to know more about the country.

Being able to communicate effectively with Japanese students and wanting to move ahead in their careers were also cited by some students, although less than those who admitted to being attracted by the culture.

According to the statistics, Chinese students were the keenest to learn Japanese with pupils increasing by more than a quarter - 26.5 per cent - to reach a record high of 1.04 million.

Indonesia also became a bed of learning with an increase of 21.8 per cent in those choosing to take up the language.

There are now 872,000 Japanese language students in Indonesia.

Tadashi Ogawa, director-general of the Japan Foundation in Jakarta, has suggested that getting people to learn your language is an important step in economic recovery.

The Financial Times quoted Mr Ogawa as saying: "Nation branding is very important to promote our goods. South Korea had been very successful and we have also learnt from the Cool Britannia campaign."

Written by  Mark Smith