This policy might help introduce enough material that junior high/middle school EFL could be made a bit more ambitious. That is about the only hope for its 'success'.
Experts weigh import of elementary school English
Most of about 25,000 public elementary schools across
Japan have introduced foreign-language education,
mainly English, during a three-year experimental period.
This will be followed by once-a-week compulsory lessons
set to start for fifth and sixth graders at the beginning of
fiscal 2011 this April. English teaching will be introduced in
the form of ‘‘foreign-language activities,’’ not as a formal
curriculum with evaluations given for pupils.