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国は「中止していた特定技能の試験を外国でいつ始めることができるか考えたいと思います」と話しています。

Source: https://www3.nhk.or.jp/news/easy/k10012450361000/k10012450361000.html

At the end, the sentence says: 話しています but I don’t get why the continuous aspect is necessary here. Shouldn’t it be simply: 話します as in: the state “says”?

P.s.: Also, isn’t 考えたいと思います redundant? Unless it means “they thought about wanting to consider”? Because if the 考えたい which means “to want” + “to consider”?

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I'll attempt the 話しています part. Japanese's present tense sometimes carries a hint of future. For example, saying 行きます usually means that the speaker is about to do this action; 行っています on the other hand means that the action has started and is ongoing. In the article, 話しています refers to a quote, which in the context of a new report is like to be something that has already started before the news report was written. I believe this is why 話しています (ongoing) is used instead of 話します (about to happen).

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  • I don’t really understand but still, thank you for the explanation. Maybe this’ll become clearer as I’m exposed to the language. – Etienne Zizka Jun 5 '20 at 18:07
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    Is 行きています supposed to be 行っています? Or did you use the wrong kanji and mean a different word? – Leebo Jun 5 '20 at 22:50
  • It was a typo. Thanks for pointing out. Corrected. – Derek Jun 6 '20 at 2:22

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