A bipartisan group of Diet members on Japanese language education for foreigners is to be established on Nov. 8, to improve foreign workers’ and students’ language skills and help boost the economy.
The ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP)’s Takeo Kawamura, a former education minister, will serve as chairman of the group.
The government is moving to accept more foreign labor to fill care worker positions and other specialized jobs. At the end of 2015, there were 2.23 million foreigners living in Japan, the most since records began in 1959.
The legislators’ group will aim to increase the number of Japanese teachers to help foreign employees perform better on the job. As part of this, the group will consider creating a basic law for the promotion of Japanese language education. As a lawmaker-sponsored bill, it is expected to require the government to create a basic plan for promoting Japanese language education.
Masaharu Nakagawa, also a former education minister who is set to become deputy chairman of the group, says, “It is necessary to put together a Japanese language education base to have (foreign workers) contribute to Japanese society.”