Because English learning in Japan isn't about learning a language--like I eluded to above--it's about passing tests! The teachers, unfortunately, come out of the same broken system. But their poor English skills aren't the only thing interfering with their English education. In my estimation, their strict adherence to the MEXT mandates is another challenge. No teacher is willing to be a radical and start a rebellion of English learning. Indeed, with the issuing of Eigo Noto, the horrible textbooks meant for elementary fifth and sixth graders, the freedom of English education has been restricted even further. While teaching in Hiroshima I was using the wonderful English materials by the MPI (i.e., the Matsuka Phonics Institute). Regrettably, that all went away when Eigo Noto was pushed on us--and the English education has suffered horribly for it. Other places had not English education for elementary level learners, so Eigo Noto in many places is viewed in a positive light--but I wish to dispel this myth. Eigo Noto is horrendous and would be better suited as kindling to keep the fire going during the frigid Japanese winter.
Now we have teachers with almost no English education required to teach English from a textbook which looks like a team of illiterate monkeys typed it up. All this has become a total nightmare! The Japanese teachers are wondering how the hell they can teach something they don't know anything about, and all the native ESL instructors, such as myself, are wondering how the hell we are supposed to teach from something so horribly devised that it is actually working against our goal of improving student English ability!