伊藤塾おすすめリンク

  • お問い合わせ・受講相談
    伊藤塾各校舎へのお問い合わせ先、アクセスのご案内です。 お気軽にお電話・来校ください。
  • イベント
    ガイダンスや無料体験講義に参加して塾の特長や講座内容、担当講師、試験制度等をより深く知っていただくことができます。
  • メールマガジン
    定期的に学習に役立つ内容を発信しております。
  • 書籍案内
    皆さんの学習に、あるいは学習の合間に。本物の法律家になるために一度は読んでいただきたい書籍が揃っています。

伊藤塾校舎ブログ

05.英文公文書で力をつける Feed

2020年4月29日 (水)

Preparation tips for an English language test: Part Ⅱ

Event025l


In part I, we discussed the general points of advice such as studying the exam format, practice speaking with natives, listening to the news in English etc. Here I would like to present some more specific tips.

Start early. One of the frequent mistakes that test-takers make is not reserving enough time for preparation. Very often a candidate needs time to not just get familiar with the exam format, but also to improve their level of English. It would be a good idea to check your current English language ability, set a desired test score, and estimate the time required to practice exam topics. Sometimes the preparation and improvement will require several months of your time.

Read academic texts. The reading part often includes passages of text from scientific, rather than entertainment, sources. Reading this kind of texts, ranging from science news to university manuals, will make you familiar with both the academic vocabulary and the writing style. Once you get some experience reading and analyzing such pieces of text, you will need less time and effort understanding the passages of text that you get at the English test.

Improve your vocabulary. Regardless of the test that you are planning to take (Eiken, TOEFL or something else), you will have to show that you possess a high range of English vocabulary. Knowing many words, knowing their exact meaning of each and understanding which word to use and when, will make it easier to understand what you will read or hear at the test. A good vocabulary will also make it easier for you to express yourself clearly and effectively. You might wish to use the official vocabulary lists from the test providers, along with downloadable flashcards.

Use high-quality preparation resources. Most test providers, for example TOEFL, offer first-hand preparation resources, both paid and free of charge. The free ones include sample questions, preparation software, audio materials etc. and the paid ones include preparation books, course packs, online tests etc. Besides the official materials offered by the tester, there are many high-quality “unofficial” preparation books and courses. Finally, there are plenty free materials, advices from test-taker, first-hand impressions of different quality. (to be continued)                      Vitalie Ciubotaru (ヴィタリエ チュボタル)

2019年7月10日 (水)

Preparation tips for an English language test: Part I

Event025l


日本語訳はこちら


Taking an English language test can be quite challenging, especially for first-time examinees. The feeling of discomfort, anxiety or frustration before or during the test may lead to bad performance and low score. This anxiety often comes from insufficient information or bad planning. Below are some tips that can help you improve your learning strategy, use your time more efficiently and give you the confidence to get a high score on the test.

Stay in good physical condition. One might think that this is a very general advice, applicable to any situation and not related directly to test taking. In reality, however, there is a strong relationship between your physical condition and your ability to manage test anxiety. If you get enough sleep, healthy and regular nutrition and combine study with physical exercise, you will feel more comfortable and relaxed at the test.

Know your enemy. Do not only study “for” the exam, but also study the exam itself. Different English language tests have different sections, different number of questions and different time frame. It is important to get familiar with the format of the specific exam that you are planning to take.

Talk to native speakers. Each English language test includes a speaking section, and there is no better way to practice and improve your speaking skills than speaking to natives. Given a gradual globalization of Japan, the number of native English speakers who visit Japan or live here is increasing every year. This means a lot of opportunities to get acquainted with an English native, or to join an English language group.

Watch news in English. Watching BBC, or CNN, or any other English language news stations is a great way to improve your listening abilities. At the beginning, they might be too hard to understand, so you might wish to start with slower and easier audio clips or video podcasts for English-language learners. After you get used to English pronunciation, you can move to a higher level.

(to be continued)

2019年7月10日 Vitalie Ciubotaru (ヴィタリエ チュボタル)

2019年2月27日 (水)

An overview of Japan’s Diplomacy (4)

Event025l_3


Previous: An overview of Japan’s Diplomacy (3)


Let’s continue our discussion of Japan’s diplomacy. We are going to have a look at the latest version of the Diplomatic Bluebook (the 2018 edition is available for download from MOFA's website). This time we will focus on the key areas of Japan’s foreign policy in 2017. The Diplomatic Bluebook 2018 outlines six such key areas.

(1) strengthen the Japan-U.S. Alliance and promote the networking of allies and friendly nations; (2) enhance relations with neighboring countries; (3) promote economic diplomacy; (4) contribute to the resolution of global issues; (5) contribute to the peace and stability of the Middle East; and (6) the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy.”

The first key area of Japan’s diplomacy and security is the alliance between Japan and the United States. This alliance is becoming more important under a highly insecure environment surrounding Japan. Some of Japan’s diplomatic efforts in this area include a series of meetings between the Prime Minister of Japan and the U.S. President, the Japan-U.S. Extended Deterrence Dialogue etc. Besides the bilateral relations, Japan takes part in constructing an alliance network, including Japan-U.S.-Australia and Japan-U.S.-India initiatives.

The second key area is to enhance relations with neighboring countries. During the year 2017, Japan has been undertaking diplomatic activities in order to enhance its relations with neighbors. These activities include high-level talks between Japan and China and responses to China’s unilateral interventions in the East China Sea; relations with South Korea despite the disagreement on the comfort women issue; dialogue with Russia regarding the issue of Northern Territories, and so on.

The third key area is to promote economic diplomacy. The economic growth of Japan is largely based on international economic activity, which is why it is crucially important for Japan to maintain a global economic system based on free trade and investment. As the protectionist pressures are becoming more and more pronounced, Japan continues diplomatic activities to develop an open and free economic order.

The fourth key area is to respond to global issues. The challenges that international community is currently facing range from environmental threats (including climate change) to human rights, from peace-building (including anti-terrorism, disarmament and non-proliferation) to gender inequality. As the only country in the world that ever suffered atomic bombings, Japan is actively engaging in nuclear disarmament initiatives such as, among many others, submitting a draft resolution regarding the elimination of nuclear weapons to the U.N. General Assembly.

The last, but not the least, key area is to promote the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy”. The Indo-Pacific is a vast region, stretching from Asia and Pacific all the way to Africa and the Middle East, serving as a core transport waterway for more than half of the world’s population. In order to strengthen the rule of law in maritime transport, Japan has been pursuing the “Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy” with all the relevant countries in the region.

2019年2月27日 Vitalie Ciubotaru (ヴィタリエ チュボタル)

2018年8月29日 (水)

Replacement migration / 補充移民

After reaching its peak level around 2011, the population of Japan has been declining. Because of low fertility and mortality rates, the decline is likely to continue in the following decades. According to some projections, Japan is expected to lose about one third of its population by 2100, if the trend persists.

Another related social problem of Japan is population aging. It means that the population is not just shrinking, but also getting older. In present, every second person in Japan is older than 47, and one out of four is over 65 years old. It is said that Japan already has the highest proportion of elderly citizens in the world, and its population is aging faster than any other country. Population aging results in a lower "potential support ratio", i.e. the ratio between working age population and retired population.

A possible solution to the problem of declining and aging population in Japan is international migration. The inflow of new immigrants needed in order to stop population decline and aging is referred to as "replacement migration". For example, both European Union and United States suffer from aging, but due to high immigration the US population is expected to grow, while the population of EU, with its low inflow of immigrants, will probably become smaller. Without replacement migration, the decline of population in Japan seems to be inevitable.

Projection

Vocabulary:

  • birth rate (名) 出生率
  • decade (名) 十年間
  • [an] elderly citizen/person 高齢者
  • emigration (名) 移住
  • [total] fertility rate (名) 合計特殊出生率
  • inevitable 必然、必至、不可避
  • inflow (名) 流入、流入量
  • median age 年齢の中央値
  • migration (名) (人間の) 移動; to migrate from XX to YY ○○から△△に移動する
  • migrant, immigrant, emigrant 移住者
  • mortality rate, death rate (名) 死亡率
  • pervasive (形) 普及して
  • population aging 人口の老化、高齢化
  • projection (名) 予想; 投影
  • ~ refers to XX ~はXXを示す; ~はXXを意味する
  • ~ is referred to as XX ~はXXと呼ばれる
  • replacement migration (名) 補充移民
  • retired (形、名) 退職した(人)
  • retirement age 退職年齢
  • working age 生産年齢

2018年5月31日 (木)

An overview of Japan’s Diplomacy (3)

Previous: An overview of Japan’s Diplomacy (2)


This is the third part of a review dedicated to Japan's diplomatic efforts. It is heavily based on the Diplomatic Bluebook (the 2017 edition is available for download from MOFA's website). Today we will pick up another "pillar" of Japan's diplomacy – specifically, the relations between Japan and its neighboring countries. For Japan, it is critically important to ensure a stable regional environment.

Of all relationships of Japan with its neighboring countries, the bilateral relations with China are viewed as one of the most important. China is an important trading partner as well as a major source of tourists visiting Japan (6.37 million visitors from China in 2016, according to JNTO). Being close neighbors, however, China and Japan have some social and political differences, and they are a source of occasional frictions. Areas of concern include the increase of China’s military capacity and its actions in the East China Sea, around the Senkaku islands.

For Japan, the Republic of Korea is the most significant neighbor with shared strategic interests and a good relationship with Korea is viewed as a key to security in the region. During 2016 the two countries had frequently held meetings and had been working to implement the agreement on the issue of comfort women

Diplomatic relations with Russia in 2016 included reciprocal top-level visits (Prime-minister Abe visited Russia and President Putin visited Japan. The main issue in bilateral relations with Russia are the Northern Territories (four islands off Hokkaido, controlled by Russia and claimed by Japan), which is an obstacle to signing a peace treaty and formally ending World War II. A "New Approach" was proposed by Prime Minister Abe, but only a limited progress has been achieved.

While formal diplomatic relations between Japan and North Korea have not been established (i.e. the two countries are no embassies and sent no diplomatic missions to each other), their governments have been holding discussions on various issues, specifically on North Korea’s nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches, as well as on the abductions of Japanese citizens by North Korea in the past.

Besides the close neighbors, Japan has been maintaining diplomatic relations with other Asian and Pacific countries, with the purpose of enhancing security environment in the region. Japan has been cooperating with Australia in a number of fields, such as economy and security, within the framework of "Special Strategic Partnership" agreement. Diplomatic relations with India in 2016 included a visit of India’s Prime Minister to Japan and the conclusion of Japan-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement.

In a broader regional perspective, Japan has been maintaining ties with such international organizations as ASEAN in Asia, NATO in the Atlantic and EU on the European subcontinent, among others.


Next: An overview of Japan’s Diplomacy (4)

2018年5月31日 Vitalie Ciubotaru (ヴィタリエ チュボタル)

2018年4月13日 (金)

An overview of Japan’s Diplomacy (2)

Previous: An overview of Japan’s Diplomacy (1)


Today we continue the discussion of Japan’s diplomacy. Last time we talked about the pillars of Japan’s diplomacy and this time, we will have a closer look at one of them -- Economic Diplomacy. Again, we will use the 2017 edition of the Diplomatic Bluebook (available for download from MOFA’s website).

The goal of Japan’s economic policy in general, as it was stated in the “Japan Revitalization Strategy 2016”, is to stabilize economic growth and to increase GDP up to 600 trillion yen. In this context, the role of economic diplomacy is to both facilitate the entrance of Japanese companies into foreign markets and attract “people, goods and money” into Japan. In other words, economic diplomacy acts so as to turn world’s economic growth into Japan’s growth.

The efforts of economic diplomacy in the year 2016 can be grouped into three broad categories:

  1. Enhancing the world economic system

  2. Supporting Japanese companies abroad

  3. Promoting resource diplomacy

Japanese diplomats have been contributing to the global economic system by forging economic partnerships, negotiating to liberalize international trade as well as being an active member of high-level meetings and summits. In 2016 Japan signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, has been working on an Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union, has been holding negotiations to create the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership with another 15 countries and, among other initiatives, has engaged in negotiations over a Free Trade Agreement with China and the Republic of Korea.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with its overseas diplomatic missions has been offering support to Japanese companies that hold branches in other countries, providing them with information, venues and general promotion of the “Japan brand” (e.g. offering Japanese products during embassy receptions and exhibitions). MOFA has been successive in persuading four countries to remove and import restrictions of Japan’s agricultural, forestry and fishery products that were imposed in the aftermath of Fukushima nuclear accident.

Given the situation of energy and mineral resource prices in the world, as well as Japan’s high dependence on imported energy resources, the resource diplomacy remains an important tool in securing a stable supply of energy. For this purpose, Japanese diplomats have been strengthening bilateral ties with resource-endowed countries and improving technical collaboration in the resource sector. In order to secure maritime transportation routes, Japan has been sending its Self-Defense Forces and Coast Guard units to take part in escort operations in areas threatened by piracy.

2018年4月13日 Vitalie Ciubotaru (ヴィタリエ チュボタル)


Next: An overview of Japan’s Diplomacy (3)

2018年3月13日 (火)

TOEIC exam calendar

Last time we introduced the TOEFL test and test dates for Kanto area. This time, we will talk about TOEIC, another test of English, that can be used to complement your Civil Servant Exam score.

There are many TOEIC test centers in Kanto area. Each test-taker is assigned to a test center depending on his/her address. Please be aware that some sites are not available on specific test dates. For additional information, please refer to the test schedule on the ETS TOEIC website.

The closest exam dates for Kanto area are as follows:

  • Sunday, April 8, 2018 (registration closed)
  • Sunday, May 20, 2018

Scores will be available between 7 and 21 days after the test date.

You have to bring your score (original certificate and one copy) to
the Second Exam (第二次試験 人物). For more details, please consult the National
Personnel Authority website.

2018年3月13日 Vitalie Ciubotaru (チュボタル ヴィタリエ)

2018年2月27日 (火)

TOEFL exam calendar

If you are planning to take an English language exam and use the score to improve your Civil Servant Exam score, then please read the information below.

The closest exam dates for Kanto area are as follows:

  • Saturday, March 03, 2018
  • Saturday, March 10, 2018
  • Saturday, March 11, 2018
  • Saturday, March 24, 2018
  • Saturday, April 08, 2018
  • Saturday, April 15, 2018
  • Saturday, April 21, 2018

Make sure to take the IBT (internet-based test), not the PBT (paper-based test) version of TOEFL. To receive a hard copy of your score, add your own address to the list of recipients when you register for exam. Scores will be available online 10 days after the exam, and printed score reports are sent 13 days after the exam. They are sent by mail from the US, so please allow some time (ETS recommends 4 to 6 weeks). For more details, please consult the ETS website.

You have to bring your score (original certificate and one copy) to
the Second Exam (第二次試験 人物). For more details, please consult the National
Personnel Authority website.

2018年2月27日 Vitalie Ciubotaru (チュボタル ヴィタリエ)

An overview of Japan’s Diplomacy (1)

While there are many various jobs that a successful civil servant candidate can land, some of them are more interesting than the others. In this article, I would like to talk about a very exciting area of activity for Japanese civil servants, about international diplomacy.

Every year, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs makes an overview of international situation and Japanese diplomatic efforts during the year, and publishes it in "Diplomatic Bluebook". Let's have a look at the latest publication, "Diplomatic Bluebook 2017" (available for download from MoFA's website). Specifically, we will discuss the actual work that Japanese diplomats are doing on a daily basis. This work is described in chapter 3, titled "Japan's Foreign Policy to Promote National and Worldwide Interests". The book outlines "three pillars" of Japanese foreign policy -- they are (1) economic diplomacy, (2) security cooperation and (3) relations with neighbor countries (p. 287). These three large areas of diplomatic work are described below.

Because Japan is an open economy, its economic growth is heavily influenced by international trade and investment. For this purpose, Japan promotes economic diplomacy by concluding international agreements, participating in international economic organizations, supporting Japanese business abroad, as well as ensuring stable supply of energy and mineral resources.

While the security cooperation of Japan is centered around Japan-US security arrangements, Japanese diplomats are also working to strengthen relationships with other countries in the Pacific, or more recently Indo-Pacific, region. Specific achievements include defense cooperation, joint training, transfers of defense technology, addressing the concerns about expanding military capabilities of Japan's neighbors. Japan is a party to a number of international treaties on disarmament and non-proliferation.

As an active member of the international community, Japan has been promoting development cooperation policy. Japan has been providing support for stabilizing the Middle East region, for developing quality infrastructure in Africa, for tackling global health issues and promoting the worldwide empowerment of women, among others. Japanese diplomats have been addressing such global threats such as terrorism and disasters, global environmental issues including climate changes and greenhouse gas emissions, humanitarian challenges such as malnutrition, human trafficking and forced labor issues.

A successful candidate of the Civil Servant Exam has a chance to strengthen Japan’s diplomatic power and become a part of its intellectual base.

2018年2月13日 Vitalie Ciubotaru (ヴィタリエ チュボタル)


Next: An overview of Japan’s Diplomacy (2)