Fujitsu, Sony in blockchain trial to assess language skills


Sony Global Institute and Fujitsu are teaming up for a trial to see whether blockchain can be useful for managing language course records and test results. An increasing number of foreigners visit Japan to work and study. Previously it has been hard to validate Japanese language proficiency certificates before a visitor’s arrival. And if the language skills are not up to scratch, it’s a problem for the employer or educational institution.

Typically foreigners study towards the Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT). But a step above that is the Nihongo Kentei language proficiency test. The trial will involve students, prior to visiting Japan, taking a course on Fujitsu’s Fisdom digital learning platform, to get ready for the Nihongo Kentei test. During the blockchain experiment, study logs and scores for each student will be recorded on the blockchain as a certificate.

Human Academy which teaches international students in Japan will use the system to verify the students’ learning credentials. It will be able to compare language proficiency certificates provided by students with what’s logged on the blockchain. That will ensure that students are taught at the appropriate skill level.

The project will run from today until March 29th using a blockchain based on Hyperledger Fabric.

This isn’t the first blockchain to deal with certifying foreign workers. In the U.S. the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) has helped three million foreign health professionals to work in the U.S. Its new blockchain system has a slightly different purpose: to manage the qualification documentation uploaded by foreign nurses and enable sharing with third parties.

Fujitsu is involved in a wide variety of blockchain projects. It has a system to track data shared between different companies. Another project involves coupons and rewards for tourists. And most recently it’s been involved in a blockchain energy trading platform.