Numerous studies have strived to describe the characteristics of pragmatic ability including Japanese EFL / ESL learners. Most of them were cross-sectional studies and described only temporal characteristics of learners' pragmatic competence. Since they were not dealing with learner's pragmatic development, longitudinal studies on pragmatic ability have been called for in the field of Interlanguage Pragmatics Research. However, this trend from cross-sectional to longitudinal studies seems to be a swing of the pendulum --in other words, a dichotomous view. Some researchers do cross-sectional studies and others longitudinal. They have not interrelated or complemented with each other. In this paper, we did not look at these previous studies from the dichotomous viewpoint, but attempted to connect cross-sectional studies with longitudinal studies. First, we reviewed previous cross-sectional studies for Japanese learners and considered them as a hypothetical longitudinal study. From the hypothetical longitudinal study, we established a provisional pragmatic development of Japanese EFL / ESL learners. Secondly, we compared the provisional pragmatic development with the existing pragmatic development (Kasper & Rose, 2002) and showed its validity. Finally, we concluded that the hypothetical pragmatic development proposed in this paper will be a scaffolding to establish the pragmatic development of Japanese learners for further research.