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Foreign Ministry Exam Dates 2012/4/27 07:12
Hi Everyone

This may seem like a rather odd question, but I would be most grateful if someone could provide me with an answer.

A few months ago, a close Japanese business associate of mine mentioned that his daughter was intending to sit an examination in order to become a secretary at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At the time, he spoke about it quite a lot, so I'd like to ask him something along the lines of "How did she get on?" when we meet again in a couple of weeks; in order show an interest in his affairs.
Unfortunately, despite the fact that he mentioned the examination date several times, I've forgotten it! I'd rather not ask "How was the exam?" if she hasn't taken it yet, since I rather think that would show I wasn't paying attention!

So, would anyone be so kind as to tell me when the exam is likely to be (or have been)? I've had a brief look online, but this information seems a little difficult to come by.

Thanks in advance
by Lindsay (guest)  

Re: Foreign Ministry Exam Dates 2012/4/27 10:42
If I look at the MOFA website, there is one exam for "professional/specialist" from June 16 - 17 (initial exam).

If he was already talking about a few months ago, it must have been a big thing for him that his daughter decided to sit for ministry exams instead of looking around for an employer among private corporations as many other students do...

T‚ˆere is another exam coming up on April 29, but this is for "full career path" applicants, for policy-making and all that - really depends on what he meant by "secretary at MOFA."
by AK rate this post as useful

Re: Foreign Ministry Exam Dates 2012/4/28 06:54
Thanks for answering AK.

Yes, he certainly did seem proud. That's a big part of why I'd like to ask him how his daughter got on.

I'm pretty sure he meant secretary in the sense of an administrative assistant (‘‹L), but I suppose I might have misunderstood.
Those exams don't really seem to be for secretarial positions, but, as I said, I may well have misunderstood, and it really depends on what a "professional/specialist" is.

Anyway, once again, thank you for taking the time to reply.
by Lindsay (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Foreign Ministry Exam Dates 2012/5/6 13:42
I have heard people in Japan use the word 'secretary' in English to cover all sorts of office occupations held by women). It's used in a generic sense for female office employees. She may well have been applying for a policy position or a clerical officer position. Rather than ask specifically how the daughter went in the exam, I suggest you just ask generally "how is your daughter?", that way if she didn't pass the test you will save embarrassing the father.
by Lisa (guest) rate this post as useful

Re: Foreign Ministry Exam Dates 2012/5/9 05:30
Thanks for your response Lisa. Actually, I seem to recall he did use the term ‘‹L specifically, so I assume he really did mean a secretary in the sense that an English speaker would use the word.

I like your suggestion to just ask "How's your daughter?" I think that's what I'll do since, as you said, it could potentially save him embarrassment, but also shows that I remember what he mentioned previously.
by Lindsay (guest) rate this post as useful

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