The purpose of this study is to clarify Japanese attitudes towards foreign languages based on the kinds and changes of TV and radio programs that aired on the Japanese national broadcasting station (NHK) between 1955 and 2000. Foreign language programs are classified into three groups according to their content: 1) cultivation, 2) education, or 3) communication. For Japanese people, foreign languages are the measures of intelligence and intellect. Studying a foreign language is considered a sign of intelligence whether or not it is used for actual communication. The number of foreign language programs has increased tremendously since 1965 in part because the global economy has brought many countries in such close contact. Since 1990, programs for the purpose of communication have increased because of the necessity to communicate with foreign people. Japanese attitudes towards studying foreign languages have been changing gradually from an intellectual purpose to a communication purpose.