Japanese language classes could be introduced in UAE schools

The new Japanese ambassador to the UAE said discussions have been held to roll out classes within a year

Japanese language lessons could soon be held in clasrooms in the UAE. 
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Japanese language courses could be taught in UAE schools within the next year as part of efforts to boost links between the countries.

The new Japanese ambassador to the UAE, Akihiko Nakajima, said talks are underway over the education initiative.

Last week, the UAE’s Ministry of Education announced that Chinese will be taught at 60 government schools in the country starting in September.

The ministry will recruit 150 Chinese language teachers for the programme.

Now education authorities are exploring a fresh education partnership with China's East Asia neighbour.

"To both countries, education is one of the most important policy pillars for our prosperous future, and I firmly believe that we can contribute to each other in this area," Mr Nakajima told state news agency, Wam.

"Until recently, our bilateral relations have always been centered around the economy, more specifically, oil business. My mission here is to further expand and deepen these existing fields of co-operation of both countries."

Last year, The National reported that increasing number of Emiratis were pursuing higher studies in Japan encouraged by a love of anime and rapidly advancing technology alongside traditional culture.

The Japan International Co-operation Centre said that since 2013, the number of Emirati students studying in Japan for degree and non-degree programmes increased by 62 per cent from 102 students in 2013 to 166 students in 2018.

Manga - Japanese comics - and the martial art Judo are becoming popular among Emiratis, Mr Nakajima said.

Mr Nakajima is excited about his first posting in the region, as he said it could be instrumental in introducing the Arab world’s values to his country.

More than 4,000 Japanese people live in the UAE with around 3,000 residing in Dubai and more than 1,000 in Abu Dhabi and other emirates.