Japanese language education is available in Japan and worldwide. Many major universities throughout the world provide Japanese language courses, and a number of secondary and even primary schools worldwide offer courses in the language.
International interest in the Japanese language dates from the 19th century but has become more prevalent following Japan's economic bubble of the 1980s and the global popularity of Japanese popular culture (such as anime and video games) since the 1990s. As of 2015, more than 3.6 million people studied the language worldwide, primarily in East and Southeast Asia. Nearly one million Chinese, 745,000 Indonesians, 556,000 South Koreans and 357,000 Australians studied Japanese in lower and higher educational institutions. Between 2012 and 2015, considerable growth of learners originated in Australia (20.5%), Thailand (34.1%), Vietnam (38.7%) and the Philippines (54.4%).
As of 2017, more than 267,000 foreign students study at Japanese universities and Japanese language schools, including 107,260 Chinese, 61,670 Vietnamese and 21,500 Nepalese. In addition, local governments and some NPO groups provide free Japanese language classes for foreign residents, including Japanese Brazilians and foreigners married to Japanese nationals. In the United Kingdom, study of the Japanese language is supported by the British Association for Japanese Studies. In Ireland, Japanese is offered as a language in the Leaving Certificate in some schools.
The Japanese government provides standardized tests to measure spoken and written comprehension of Japanese for second language learners; the most prominent is the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT), which features five levels of exams (changed from four levels in 2010), ranging from elementary (N5) to advanced (N1). The JLPT is offered twice a year. The Japanese External Trade Organization JETRO organizes the Business Japanese Proficiency Test which tests the learner's ability to understand Japanese in a business setting. The Japan Kanji Aptitude Testing Foundation, which took over the BJT from JETRO in 2009, announced in August 2010 that the test would be discontinued in 2011 due to financial pressures on the Foundation. However, it has since issued a statement to the effect that the test will continue to be available as a result of support from the Japanese government.
- Japanese language education in India
- Japanese language education in Russia
- Japanese language education in Thailand
- Japanese language education in Mongolia
- Japanese language education in the United States
- Japanese language education in Vietnam
- Beate Sirota Gordon commencement address at Mills College, 14 May 2011. "Sotomayor, Denzel Washington, GE CEO Speak to Graduates," Archived 2011-06-23 at the Wayback Machine C-SPAN (US). 30 May 2011; retrieved 2011-05-30
- "Survey Report on Japanese-Language Education Abroad" (PDF). Japan Foundation. 2015. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
- "Japan well on its way to 300,000 international students". ICEF Monitor. 11 January 2018. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
- "Leaving Certificate, Japanese Syllabus" (PDF). Department of Education and Skills. 2004. Retrieved 6 January 2019.
- "BJT Business Japanese Proficiency Test". Kanken.or.jp. Retrieved 2012-11-20.
- "Relaunching of the Business Japanese Proficiency Test in FY 2012 and Temporary Measures in FY 2011" (PDF). Kanken.or.jp. 25 November 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on 21 December 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-20.