Japan to Make English Official Language

Wow, this is very exciting news in today’s Japanese press:

“After months of speculation, Tokyo this morning declared that English would indeed become an official language of Japan. Prime Minister Taro Aso gave reasons for the decision in a press conference late last night “Due to the economic competition from India and China, as well as the US and European Union, and to protect and promote a strong national Japanese identity we have decided that we should proceed with this decision.”

The news would mean law courts, official documents and examinations would all be made available in English. Every Japanese citizen would also be required to have a functional communicative ability in the language. Although surprisingly this stipulation won’t apply to foreign nationals resident in Japan. Due to the Japanese language merely enjoying a de facto status in Japanese law, English would in fact become the only official language in the land.

Given Japan’s past in English education, critics have been quick to dismiss the new plan, even with huge pay rises promised for Japan’s 250,000 foreign and domestic English language teachers. Early this morning an unnamed government official exclaimed that “this is something that we will achieve. Given innovative new teaching methods such as Phonics and Genki English we believe we can indeed have every citizen in Japan fluent in English in one year’s time, by April 1st 2010.”

Richard Graham

Hello, I'm Richard Graham. And when I was a kid I found school to be sooooo boring... So I transformed my way of teaching. I listened to what the kids were really wanting to say and taught it in ways they really wanted to learn. The results were magical. So I'm sharing it all with you now...

13 Responses to “Japan to Make English Official Language”

  1. sakura

    This is hot news Richard. Fresh from the oven.
    Congratulations again for the compliment from the official.

  2. チャーリー先生

    OH MY GOD!

    I AM SUCH AN IDIOT, I CHOSE NOT TO RE-CONTRACT WITH THE JET PROGRAM, AND NOW HERE IS TARO ASO PROMISING HUGE PAY RAISES FOR ENGLISH TEACHERS!!!

    LIFE IS A CRUEL JOKE!!!

    thanks for this, Richard. will use it in my eikaiwa class tonight to teach about the true meaning of april first.

  3. Joelle

    Hi Richard, is this something to do with April Fools Day? I haven’t been able to find this in the newspaper…?

    What is your source for this information?

  4. sakura

    What? A trick?!!!!!!!!

    I traveled with my husband from Gifu-ken to Nagoya Maruzen just to buy a copy of the said newspaper. I was informed that they only have Japan Today.

    Richard, you should give me free copy of CD 9!!!

  5. Rosebud

    Nice one Richard, I thought you were just about to become a multi-billionaire. LOL

  6. Joelle

    Oh, I get it… every April 1 we will get a bogus email from Richard! Ha ha ha, good one…

  7. sakura

    WOW!! I hope your offer is not a post April Fool’s trick!

    Thanks Richard for making us the “best” in our workplace.

  8. richard

    It’s been seriously considered twice before, once in the Meiji Resoration and again during the American occupation. So it’s not totally out of the blue!

  9. sakura

    I’ve been following all the news about English education in Japan. I have compiled news articles, research results (including the recent from Obunsha) and attending seminars to update myself.

    When I read your article, it never occurred to me that it was April 1st!!!

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