I had the opportunity to attend The 4th Annual Debate Competition in Gifu (this page is from the Nagano English Club League, and is in Japanese) as a judge. It was a great event, very well organized from the beginning (becoming less so as it progress, however).
One of the professors at this university was asked to attend as a judge, but he was busy, so he asked me. I have done some debate with some English classes, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to see some high school students debating in English. It was also good to go and see what was happening, since there is a Japanese langauge debate competition held at this university in December for high school students.
There were 36 teams from 25 schools from the following prefectures, Kanagawa, Shizuoka, Saitama, Gifu, Ishikawa, Nagano, Mie, Hyougo,Shiga, and Nagasaki.
My impression of the participants' language ability was that they were very capable students. Their ability to listen and organize arguments was nothing short of amazing. I was very impressed by their ability to listen, process information, and make arguments.