Hi, this is Al coming to you from Kobe Japan.
You know japan is a great country. It’s very safe and clean and the people are very polite and orderly. Japan has a lot of potential and in the past has proven that its products are superior on the world stage.
But times have changed and more young people are going to find that they need good English writing and speaking skills. This is because the Japanese market is shrinking and Japanese companies are finding that hiring people who already have good English skills is essential to expand their business. Also, despite the fact that most young people in Japan are extremely satisfied with their life in Japan and are not interested to travel or work abroad, that is what they need to be doing more and more. They need to learn something from the late, great Steve Jobs of Apple Company. He said it you want to be creative, you need to have a wide variety of experiences. (That does not mean only in one country, in one place or talking to one kind of people.)
Unfortunately, just living in Japan does not provide a wide enough experience base for people who want to be creative on the world stage. Japan’s future depends on its young people being more ambitious to travel overseas and learn first-hand about the cultures and people outside Japan. Also, they need to be challenged to think and apply what they have learned and not just tested on the facts that they have memorized. So the Ministry of Education and Science needs to work hard to help them achieve the skills and thinking ability they need. Start by dumping he Center Exam’s English and replacing it with a requirement to take IELTS or TOEFL. Find a way to reward those young people who are willing to step outside of their comfort zone. That is the best for Japan’s future.