Japanese Language Education Committee (JLEC)

Recognizing that Japanese language education plays a vital role in introducing a new generation of students from the United States to the U.S.-Japan dialogue, the CULCON Japanese Language Education Committee (JLEC) explores policy recommendations to strengthen the field. Initial JLEC studies yield recommendations to explore of the following:

  • Expand programs, including study tours to Japan and grants that give students incentives to learn Japanese;
  • Strengthen programs to support Japanese language courses now at risk of being discontinued;
  • Strengthen efforts to raise awareness among local governments and local communities about the importance and benefit of Japanese language education and foreign language education in general;
  • Engage those who have qualifications and interest in or connection to Japan, such as former JETs, families of U.S. Forces in Japan and U.S. business persons in Japanese language education; and
  • Investigate the efficacy of utilizing IT to broaden and support Japanese language education including in remote locations.

The U.S. of JLEC members are:

  • Len Schoppa, Jr., Director, Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics, The University of Virginia; U.S. CULCON Panel/Co-Chair
  • Shinichi Hori, General Manager of Washington D.C. Office, Mitsui & Co. (USA)
  • Deanna Marcum, Managing Director, Ithaka S+R; U.S. CULCON Panel
  • Susan Schmidt, Executive Director, American Association of Teachers of Japanese (AATJ)
  • Motoko Tabuse, Professor, Department in World Languages, Eastern Michigan University; Immediate Past President of AATJ

The Japanese members of JLEC are:

  • Masako Egawa Professor, Graduate School of Commerce and Management, Hitotsubashi University; Japan CULCON Panel/Co-chair
  • Robert Campbell, Professor, Department of Comparative Literature and Culture, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, the University of Tokyo
  • Suzuko Nishihara, Executive Director, Japanese-Language Institute, Urawa, the Japan Foundation
  • Matthew S. Sussman, Executive Director, Japan-U.S. Educational Commission (Fulbright Japan)
  • Masayuki Suzuki, Managing Director, Japanese-Language Department, the Japan Foundation
  • Koichi Tanaka, Counselor, Mitsui & Co., Ltd.

JLEC will prepare a report for CULCON XXVIII, which is scheduled for June, 2018 in Washington, DC.