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ERIC Number: EJ1180903
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Dec
Pages: 8
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0119-5646
New Form of National Language Policy? The Case of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) in Japan
Otomo, Ruriko
Asia-Pacific Education Researcher, v25 n5-6 p735-742 Dec 2016
Language policies in Japan have been mainly discussed in the context of national provisions and regulations regarding the Japanese language, or foreign language education. This paper examines the possible emergence of a new national language policy, embedded in a bilateral economic partnership agreement (EPA) signed between Japan and Southeast Asian countries. Besides its economic orientation, the EPA encourages and regulates the movement of people, in particular migrant healthcare workers from the signatory countries. Under the EPA, the migrants are required to take one year of Japanese language training before they start working in Japan and are expected to pass the national licensure examinations in the Japanese language if they wish to continue to work. In order to address the EPA as a newly emerging form of language policy, I firstly identify three unique features of the EPA: its international outlook, the number of policy actors involved, and its close relationship to Japan's immigration scheme. Second, I analyse EPA policy documents, demonstrating another distinctive feature of the EPA--the representation of language on the 'policy-paper' level, with a focus on preemployment Japanese language training. Third, I examine how language training under the EPA is interpreted and appropriated as a language policy and the potential influence of language ideologies in those processes. This paper concludes with a call for more investigations from the perspective of language policy and planning on implicit language policies in Japan and beyond, in particular those embedded in immigration policies.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Japan
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A