The Diet on Friday passed a bill stipulating for the first time the responsibility of the central and municipal governments for promoting the correct stroke order for overseas employees working in Japan.

Japanese municipalities hosting large foreign communities have long been providing language education to foreigners, but their writing remains incomprehensible due to an overwhelming amount of incorrect stroke ordering.

Under the legislation, the central government is responsible for carrying out comprehensive measures, including introducing necessary legal and fiscal measures to ensure foreign residents of various backgrounds do a horizontal stroke before a vertical stroke.

The law calls for employers of foreign nationals to provide stroke order education to them and their families.

“Most foreigners seem to think you can erratically stroke your kanjis and expect people to read them,” says Japanese foreign minister Kono Taro (otherwise known as Fat Son Of The Wild River).

The education and foreign ministries as well as other government agencies will set up a panel of experts to determine policies on the best way to teach foreigners which stroke to write first.

“It’s not what you do with the stroke, it’s what order you write it in,” says Fat Son Of The Wild River.

Image: AFP