English education to start for 3rd graders from FY 2018

The measure is aimed at realizing a smooth transition to curriculum guidelines that take effect from fiscal 2020, said Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister Hirokazu Matsuno.

During a two-year transition period through fiscal 2020, elementary schools will also be allowed to teach music and physical education classes under the new guidelines, the ministry said.

Japan revises curriculum guidelines roughly every 10 years, spelling out what must be taught to students.

A giant deepwater shark known as a megamouth has been found alive in a fishing net in the Pacific Ocean off Mie Prefecture, western Japan. (NHK)

Japanese elementary schools will be eligible to start English education in the third grade from fiscal 2018, instead of the fifth grade as now, the education ministry said Friday. (Japan Today)

A pair of melons produced in the northern city of Yubari, Hokkaido, sold for 1.5 million yen in the first auction of this harvest season on Friday. (Japan Today)

Outdoor theme park Legoland Japan on Thursday started selling one-day family tickets that offer discounts of up to 25 percent in response to complaints about higher fees compared with other parks. (Japan Times)

Pizza giant Domino’s will take full control of its rapidly expanding Japanese operations, after its minority partner, private equity firm Bain Capital, announced it would pull the plug on its 25 per cent stake in August. (smh.com.au)

An elderly man was arrested Friday on suspicion of starting a fire on seat aboard a shinkansen that was traveling through Okayama Prefecture, police and the train operator said. (Japan Times)

Tokyo police arrested a 21-year-old man on Thursday night for taking a woman, 55, hostage at her condominium in the Asakusa district of the Japanese capital’s Taito Ward and inflicting injuries on the captive with a knife. (Jiji)

Airbnb has joined hands with staffing company Pasona to train people in Japan to support the U.S. company’s signature business of offering private homes as lodging for travelers — a practice known as minpaku here. (Nikkei)

Foreigners on a two-week hunger strike over conditions at immigration detention centers in Japan have ended their protest in the hope their decision would bring better treatment, but an official said on Thursday there would be no change in policies. (Japan Today)

The last remaining unit of Japanese peacekeepers has left South Sudan, ending more than 5 years of Japan’s participation in a UN operation in the African country. (NHK)

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