1 April 2015 at 9:00 am

PM announces widened Game On English in Japan

During Prime Minister Key’s recent visit to Tokyo, he met with Tokyo Metropolitan Governor Masuzoe and announced the expansion of the Game On English edusport programme.

Shunsuke Hoshitani passes the ball to PM Key

Launched by Prime Ministers Abe and Key in July 2014 and piloted with two groups from Japan last year, the programme has now expanded beyond rugby to include rowing and golf.

Surrounded by past-participants and hopeful future participants of the programme, PM Key noted the importance of building both English language and sporting skills for Japan’s youth in the lead up to the 2019 Rugby World Cup and the 2020 Olympics. Tokyo will be a host city for the RWC and will also host the Olympics and Paralympics.

Ran Aoki, who participated in last year’s pilot programme, and Shunsuke Hoshitani, a hopeful for this year’s programme, greeted Prime Minister Key in English and welcomed him to Japan. They thanked Governor Masuzoe for the opportunity and said that they both aim to represent Japan at the 2019 RWC and 2020 Olympics.

Education New Zealand’s Senior Market Development Manager, Fiona Haiko, commented “At the moment there is a real appetite in Japan for fresh ideas and programmes that not only develop English language skills, but also develop a broader skill set, whether it be in sporting or other areas.  Initial feedback and interest in the programme is encouraging.”

Below: PM Key and Tokyo Governor Masuzoe with (L) Shunsuke Hoshitani and (R) Ran Aoki. Back row: Representatives of the Kanto Super League (KSL) teams who participated in the pilot last year and will participate again this year.


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