New Chinese Ambassador to Tokyo Will Improve Relations

Cheng Yonghua kicked-off a new diplomatic mission to Tokyo this morning. The new Ambassador arrived on Sunday and will be busy from the beginning. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is planning on making an official state visit to Japan in the spring. The announcement of Cheng as Beijing's representative to Japan is expected, in some ways to bridge the divide between the two major economies of Asia.

Open Thread: GEOS Discussion

Since there are more than 300 comments in the GEOS Rumours thread, I've decided to close the thread and start a fresh one here.

Japan: 

China Cautions Students About GEOS

This is going to leave a mark:

China's Education Ministry on Sunday warned students considering studying overseas against Australian schools run by the GEOS group after more than 40 Chinese students were left stranded with the group's collapse.

More than 2,300 students in GEOS group schools across Australia were affected after the college closures. The schools were scattered across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Cairns.

Eikaiwa: 
Japan: 

The End of ALTs

Forget about the popularity of eikaiwa online, it's iPods for everyone!

An elementary school in Wakayama has recently had an open English-language lesson using iPod Touch, with students watching video images of a native speaker on the small display of the digital handset.

Japan: 

Japanese Police Getting Slightly More Proactive

Police in Japan are remarkably reactive and don't spend much time or energy working on crime prevention. Besides stopping the occasional cyclist and verifying ownership of said bicycle, offering directions or taking a spin on their scooters, they remain very low-key, but they are a constant presence. The officers are largely relegated to their small community police boxes that are centrally located close to train stations all over the country. The policing approach has been one that is based on police officers maintaining a visible presence.

Consumer Affairs Agency Shuts Down Fortress Japan

It took the Consumer Affairs Agency long enough. From the Yomiuri Shimbun:

The Consumer Affairs Agency and the Tokyo metropolitan government on Thursday ordered a Tokyo-based English-language conversation school chain operator to suspend operations due to its coercive method of selling its services to university students and others.

Eikaiwa: 

Tweet Tweet; Hatoyama Gone Digital

In a bid to capture the attention of a cell phone obsessed nation and in order to appeal to younger voters, Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama has stolen from the political play book of successful American politicians including Barak Obama. Hatoyama's office recently launched his blog and a Twitter account to connect the Prime Minister with the public.

GEOS: Sorry, Have Some Free Lessons

As scheduled, GEOS announced the measures it will take for its students affected by the closure of the schools in Australia: free English lessons.

Japan: 

Interview on My TEFL Journey Part II

Part II of my interview on My TEFL Journey.

Where do you see the English teaching industry in Japan heading?

Eikaiwa: 
Japan: 

That Sucking Sound

Ahead of GEOS's Wednesday scheduled announcement of the measures they will take in response to the closure of its schools in Australia, will Tsuneo Kusunoki address the giant sucking sound that everybody is hearing?

Adelaide Now:

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