A Japanese language speech contest was held at the Japanese embassy in Seoul, Korea on June 22nd. Twenty-five high school students who won the qualifying regionals talked passionately about their dreams and why they decided to learn the Japanese language. Many expressed their interest in Japanese culture. According to Korean educators, despite the rocky Korean and Japan relations politically, Korean high schools are seeing an increasing number of students choosing Japanese in their foreign language classes in recent years.
An 18-year-old student talked about how he was influenced by the Japanese game developers who created Super Mario. He also began an interest due to watching Kamen Rider since he was 9-years-old. In the future, he hopes to work in Japan as a game creator.
Another 17-year-old student mentioned a recent homestay experience. Though he was nervous at first, he opened up to conversation and learned more about nature. “I was only thinking about my grades, but was exposed to a bigger world.” In the future, he wants to work at a trading company.
The event is co-sponsored by the Embassy and the Korean Japanese Language Education Study Group. The event is an opportunity to test the results of Japanese language education. This is the eighth event since it began in 2012.
The group mentioned that Koreans learning the Japanese language has been rising in popularity over the past several years. Many students take an interest in Japan through anime and video games, but their interest in moving and working in Japan is only increasing.
Article Sources Asahi