Do you agree with “Programming education first, prior to Japanese history?”

Hiroshi Mikitani, chairman and CEO of Japan’s biggest e-retailer, Rakuten, and Takeshi Natsuno, management director of Dwango, held a talk session on Japanese economy and social issues in March, 2015. During that session, Mikitani and Natsuno, worrying about the small number of engineers in Japan, insisted that we Japanese should teach programming with higher priority than history of Japan. Their comments are as follows;

Mikitani: Several years ago, we declared English our official in-house language. In addition, TOEFL has gotten more attention recently in Japan, and those changes have a big influence on English in Japan. Next, I’m thinking about launching a new project to improve the overall Japanese programming skills.

Natsuno: I agree with your opinion. I think that programming education should start in Junior High School. We could introduce it instead of teaching Japanese History. It’s because I was really shocked to hear that the well-known portrait of Minamoto Yoritomo ↓↓ is fake!


(After this remark, Mikitani gave some more examples of fake portraits of historical characters in Japan. )

I hope that their remarks will not make students think studying Japanese history useless…

Besides, this meeting makes me think that we Japanese should learn the skill of discussion…It’s unbelievable that this conversation occurred between two high class company officials in Japan, not students!


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