In business, government, academic and other circles, when you try to use English for some transaction or negotiation with foreign counterparts, you may often feel hesitant or frustrated because you cannot effectively state your case or rebut their assertions, let alone persuade them. As a voluntary organization, The English-Speaking Union of Japan (ESUJ) has been working on its mission to help the Japanese foster the communication skills and mindsets they will need to be effective actors on the global stage.
|Parliamentary (impromptu) debate is a most effective means to foster the practical skills required of global communicators, in addition to English-language skills, such as the ability to think logically and flexibly and to identify problems by looking at problems from various angles and find solutions. Thanks to the trail-blazing role played by ESUJ for over two decades though hosting university as well as debate competitions, the circle of parliamentary debate has now spread to high school students and teachers, and is firmly taking its root in Japan today. We have formulated the Three-Year Program for Fostering Global Communicator Human Resources (for FY 2019-2021), with the focus on improving the English communication skills of the young, especially high school students, which was approved in April 2019 by the Council for Better Corporate Citizenship (a subsidiary body of Keidanren, known as CBCC) as an International Cooperation Project under its aegis, granting tax deductions to monetary donations by individuals and corporations to the Program. We will vigorously pursue these programs.
ESUJ also provides a place for learning and interaction. People across generations and professions get together for lectures, the “Roudoku (Reading Aloud) Club”, outings and embassy visits, and talk salons on various aspects of Japanese culture including Haiku, etc., and “enjoy” communicating in English.
We are also proactively disseminating a variety of opinions that exist within Japan through our column “Japan In Their Own Words” (JITOW) on the ESUJ website. This helps our readers abroad gain insights into the state of debate in Japan on contemporary political, security, economic, social and other issues.
We sincerely hope that you agree with our objectives and join ESUJ.