(a) Ensuring the right of the child to education
(Measures against bullying)
249. Bullying is hard to identify and the bully tend to have only a tinge
of guilt even when such acts result in serious consequences. The police
protect victims and, with the intention of giving guidance to the bully,
make efforts to promptly identify bullying by improving child consultation
services and asking for the cooperation of the community. It also attempts
to provide appropriate treatment for the bully and follow-up guidance for
the victim in a very careful manner, considering the victim's character,
living environment, and level of psychological damage.
More specifically, it provides support to victims who have suffered serious psychological and physical damage, through on-going counseling services by juvenile counseling specialists and guidance officials and with the help of parents and/or guardians. Moreover, the police have been studying and promoting specific measures, for example, by providing reference materials to the relevant communities, such as background information on identified cases.
(Consideration and support for burden on families related with education of children)
250. See Paragraph 172.
Under the Japan Scholarship Foundation Law, the Japan Scholarship Foundation grants loans to qualified students who have difficulties attending school due to financial reasons. In addition, local governments and public corporations and others offer scholarship services. More over, national, public and private universities reduce or exempt tuition fees depending on the financial needs or other situations of students.
(Guaranteed access of children to quality education)
251. See Paragraphs 171 and 172.
(Ensuring the sufficient number of teachers)
252. A quorum of teachers has been ensured under the quorum improvement plan as has been repetitively carried out. For the 5 years from April 2001 to March 2006, the 7th quorum improvement plan of teachers and staff at public compulsory education schools will be carried out to increase the quorum for better academic achievement of the pupils and students and careful guidance, so that subjects in which pupils and students tend to show different achievement levels are taught to rather small classes of about 20 students.
(Non-regular education system)
253. Universities, colleges and junior colleges make active use of the "special register students" system, in which students can select certain subjects and get credit, to meet various learning needs.
(Changes in educational system)
254. In 1999, qualifications for the University Entrance Qualification Examination have been made more flexible in order to institutionally open up opportunities to enter university by publicly evaluating their individual scholastic abilities. In the same year, qualifications to enter graduate schools have also been made more flexible in order to open the road to graduate schools for those with research abilities by focusing on individual abilities.
(Education to non-Japanese pupils and students)
255. In Japan, non-Japanese students who learn at "schools" defined by the
School Education Law are basically educated in the same way as Japanese
children. In actually accepting non-Japanese students into Japanese schools,
each school is making the efforts and contriving the means to help them
adapt to the school, in consideration of their original language and
customs. Special lessons are provided individually to non-Japanese students
outside their original classes in accordance with their aptitude and
ability, and at general schools "team-teaching" has been carried out under
the cooperation of more than one teacher. The Government is also: preparing
and distributing teaching materials to study the Japanese language and
guidance materials about non-Japanese students; training teachers in charge
of education to them; sending those with knowledge of the students' native
languages as collaborators to schools; and posting extra teachers to schools
which admit them. The Government, moreover, designates some local
governments as "pilot local governments" to promote the study of methods to
accept non-Japanese children.
In extracurricular activities, no restrictions have been imposed in offering non-Japanese students the opportunities to learn their own language and culture. Such opportunities of learning are actually given in several local governments.
(Measures to establish proper educational facilities accessible to every child)
256. As a principle in Japan, founders (local municipalities in the case of public elementary and lower secondary schools) manage their schools and provide necessary funds. However, to ensure equal opportunities in compulsory education and to maintain and improve the national level of such education, the Government also shares the costs required to improve educational facilities as one of the fundamental conditions of education.
Specifically, school buildings and gymnasiums have been improved, ensuring educational facilities nationwide for students who are guaranteed a compulsory education. Furthermore, it has encouraged the establishment and improvement of various types of school facilities with characteristics and features unique to each region, rather than uniform school facilities.
(Kindergartens, Compulsory Education)
257. See Paragraph 215-217 of the Initial Report of Japan.
See Paragraphs 171 and 172 of this report.
As of 1999, about 60% of five-year-old children entered kindergarten (pre-school education) (If nursery schools are included, about 95% of them went to either kindergarten or nursery school).
(Promotion of the development of secondary education)
258. Secondary education had been provided only at lower and upper
secondary schools by 1998.
To promote further diversification of secondary education and to realize more individual-oriented education, the integrated course (of lower and upper secondary education) was introduced in 1999, enabling students and their guardians to choose opportunities to learn under the 6-year integrated curricula and learning environment.
Lower secondary schools and the lower division of secondary education schools are meant to provide general secondary education to students aged 12 to 15, based on the fundamental knowledge learned at elementary schools and depending on their psychological and physical development level. Upper secondary schools and the upper division of secondary education schools are meant to provide general secondary education and special education. At lower secondary schools or the lower division of secondary education schools, elective subjects have been expanded under the newly revised Course of Study. Upper secondary schools and the upper division of secondary education schools may offer various courses to respond to various abilities, aptitudes, interests, and future plans and to maximize individuality growth, such as through the general education course, specialized education courses (e.g., agriculture, industry, commerce, and fisheries) and the comprehensive course in which students can select from both general and special courses. Under the new Course of Study, selection-oriented curricula have been formulated.
(Provision of Secondary Education)
259. In Japan, every child aged 12 to 15 has to attend a lower secondary
school or its equivalent, or secondary school. The School Education Law
provides that graduates from lower secondary school or its equivalent and
those who are recognized to have equal to, or higher scholastic ability
according to the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and
Technology are eligible to enter upper secondary schools, regardless of sex,
race, nationality and any other factor.
The integrated secondary education school introduced in 1999 should be mostly established in the commuting range of an area. Approximately 500 schools will be established nationwide.
(Free secondary education, financial assistance, etc.)
260. Education at national and public lower secondary schools and the first half of the secondary schools are free of charge. In addition, Japan provides financial assistance for those who are unable to enter upper secondary school for economic reasons, through the Japan Scholarship Foundation, etc. whenever necessary. Japan is taking measures necessary to ensure equal opportunity for upper secondary education, and consequently, about 97% of eligible students entered upper secondary school in 1999.
(Opportunities to have higher education)
261. Graduates from upper secondary schools or those who are recognized to
have equal to them, or higher scholastic ability than the above-mentioned
students are eligible to enter universities, regardless of sex, race,
nationality and any other factor. In 1999, qualifications for the University
Entrance Qualification Examination have been made more flexible in order to
institutionally open up opportunities to enter university for non-Japanese s
tudents who are learning at schools for foreigners in Japan to enter
universities by publicly evaluating their individual scholastic ability. In
the same year, qualifications, to enter graduate schools have also been made
more flexible in order to open the road to graduate schools for those with
research abilities by focusing on individual abilities.
Furthermore, the University of the Air was established in 1983 with the objective of providing the people with greater opportunities to receive high-level education, by promoting a new type of university education through broadcasting, etc. The University offers higher education by effectively using diversified media, such as television and radio.
Moreover, in response to the development of information technology, classes provided via the Internet were recognized as regular classes in 2001. This revision enabled students at correspondence universities to take classes via the Internet and get all 124 credits required for graduation. It also enabled students at regular (commuting) universities to get up to 60 credits by taking classes via the Internet, and made higher education more accessible.
(Use of Information on Education and Occupation)
262. See Paragraphs 220 and 221 of the Initial Report of Japan.
In Japanese schools, guidance/counseling is given to students to help them have a clear objective for their way of life and future, and acquire the ability and attitude to determine their course of life according to their own will and on their own responsibility. The Government endeavors to enhance by specifying guidance/counseling system, in the general curriculum guidelines, called The Courses of Study, revised in 1998, the active adoption of the work experience.
In giving guidance/counseling, such activities as collecting and using information on future courses and carrying out educational events are conducted in an organized and planned manner. For this purpose, various measures are implemented including carrying out training activities, preparing guidance materials and promoting internship.
(School non-attendance and withdrawal)
263. Although the causes and background of pupils' or students' problematic behavior are different in each case, it seems to arise out of intricately interwoven factors such as their home discipline, the way schools are, and the ever-weakening sense of solidarity in local communities. Every school has been advised to carry out concerted efforts with all teachers and staff members involved and in cooperation with parents and the local community, under the leadership of the school principal.
(1) School non-attendance
In Japanese compulsory education, there is a growing number of students who do not or cannot attend school more than 30 days in a year, mainly due to psychological, emotional, physical, or social factors and backgrounds (excluding cases due to diseases or financial reasons).
To solve this problem, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has been taking measures, for instance, (i) to create lively schools by helping students feel a sense of achievement through "easy-to-understand classes," (ii) to improve the education counseling system by increasing the number of school counselors, (iii) to improve the adaptation assistance classes to help students who are absent from school for long periods return their school through the use of out-of-school environments, and (iv) to expand the Lower Secondary School Equivalency Test and the University Entrance Qualification Examination, and to give special consideration to students who are absent from school for long periods in upper secondary school entrance examinations.
(2) Withdrawal from upper secondary school
To deal with the problem of students dropping out of high school, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has been taking the following measures: the improvement of guidance/counseling in lower secondary schools and of school admission system, the establishment of schools which allow students to enjoy multiple options such as integrated schools and comprehensive courses, the promotion of more diversified and flexible curricula in upper secondary schools, personalized guidance, re-entry into high school and ensuring opportunities to enter universities through the University Entrance Qualification Examination.
Schools have been dealing with this problem by guiding students to strongly recognize that "we, as human being, must not allow bullying" and by promoting cooperation between families and the local community, with the basic understanding that bulling can happen to any school, any class and any child.
In July 1996, the expert committee established by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology published a report on comprehensive measures to be taken against bullying, and has been informing boards of education of the report's aims and contents.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology also has been working on several measures to promote education on human life and respect for human rights; the improvement of "kokoro no kyouiku (education of the heart)," including further reinforcing children sense of norm, the improvement of the education/counseling system by assigning school counselors and advisors in the classrooms for easing children's mind, training opportunities to improve the quality of teachers dealing with the bullying problems, and cooperation among schools, families and the local community.
(b) Ensuring that school discipline is administered in a manner consistent with the child's human dignity (School Rules)
264. See Paragraph 143.
265. At Japanese schools, disciplinary actions may be taken against
pupils/students when they are considered necessary for educational purposes.
In taking disciplinary actions against pupils/students at school, however,
the Government has been repeatedly instructing the boards of education and
other educational institutions to pay full attention to the circumstances
surrounding each student by listening to his/her explanation and opinions,
and ensure that such disciplinary actions have essential educational effects
instead of serving merely as sanctions.
On the prohibition of corporal punishment see Paragraphs 163.
(c) International cooperation in matters relating to education
266. See Paragraphs 37-39.
(d) Activities and programs to implement the international cooperation
267. See Paragraph 37.
(Prevention of stress and non-attendance at school)
268. With regard to the measures taken to prevent stress and non-attendance at school, the Government has been implementing the following measures in order to reduce non-attendance at school, and improve school admission.
(1) Non-attendance at school In 1999, as the percentage of students who do not or cannot attend school more than 30days in Japan was 0.1% among elementary school students and 2.5% among lower secondary school students but the number of students absent from school for more than 30 days in a year has been increasing. To solve this problem, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has been taking the following measures: (i) to create lively schools by helping students feel a sense of achievement through "easy-to-understand classes," (ii) to improve the education counseling system by increasing the deployment of school counselors, (iii) to improve the adaptation assistance classes to help students who are absent from school for long periods return their school through the use of out-of-school environments, and (iv) to expand the Lower Secondary School Equivalency Test and University Entrance Qualification Examination, and to give special consideration to students who are absent from school for long periods in upper secondary school entrance examinations.
(2) Improvement of the school admission system.
With regard to upper secondary school admission system, the government is making efforts to improve the current system which places a disproportionate emphasis on achievement tests, by introducing such systems as interview tests or admissions upon the recommendation of school principals, which allow schools to evaluate students, various abilities and aptitude from may perspectives. In order for students to enjoy the education free of pressure, the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology also makes efforts to improve the contents and methods of education by revising the general curriculum guidelines, called the "Courses of Study," selecting education contents, and emphasizing experience-oriented education.
Intensification of upper secondary school entrance exam competition became a social problem in accordance with the increase in the ratio of students going on to upper secondary school. Competition in high school admission, however, has been slowing down due to the decrease in the population of those under 15 years of age.
(In-service training for teachers)
269. Since it is important to ensure opportunities for teachers to
participate in necessary training throughout their tenure, such
opportunities are being organized systematically. Prefectural
administrations conduct various training programs, including training for
all newly-employed teachers, training corresponding to years of teaching
experience and special training on curriculum guidance and on student
The government also conducts training for teachers who are expected to play a leading role in training-offered by-prefectural administration as well as training to deal with urgent problems. Subjects of these training programs include "education on respecting human rights," "environmental education," "education for international understanding" and "student guidance."
(New Courses of Study)
270. The general curriculum guidelines, called the Course of Study, as
revised in 1998, stipulates that education with more consideration for human
rights should be further promoted throughout whole school education.
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology has conducted the Human Rights Education Seminar and other training programs about human rights education and projects about pilot schools designated for research into human rights education.
(Development of the child's personality, talents, and mental and physical abilities to the fullest potential)
271. Article 1 of the Fundamental Law of Education provides that "education
shall aim at the full development of personality, striving for rearing of
the people who shall revere truth and justice, esteem individual value,
highly regard labor and responsibility, and who are filled with independent
spirit and are sound both in mind and body, as members of a peaceful state
In order to further such purpose, the general curriculum guidelines, called the Courses of Study, were revised in 1998, with the aim of developing in a student (i) talents for and ability to learn and think by him/herself, judge independently, and solve problems in a better way, (ii) enriched humanity with self-discipline and sympathy for others, and (iii) health and physical strength to live strongly, in realizing education which makes full use of student's in a worry-free environment.
Toward the implementation in 2002, the Government makes efforts to let points of the new Course of Study widely known, for example, by preparing and distributing relevant leaflets.
(Development of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms)
272. Human rights are to be dealt with in a way appropriate to the specific stage of a child's development. More specifically, the Courses of Study specify that an elementary school student shall be guided towards treating others fairly and equally without any discrimination and prejudice and that a lower secondary school student shall be guided towards a deep recognition of respect for human beings by focusing on basic human rights.
(Development of the respect for civilizations different from the child's own civilization)
273. School education emphasizes the development of talent and ability required to live independently, being aware that it means to be Japanese in a global society. To this end, pupils and students are guided towards respecting culture and tradition in their own hometown or country, contributing to the creation of a new culture, respecting foreign persons and cultures, trying to befriend other people in the world, and contributing to world peace and human happiness through classes on social studies or moral education and all other school activities.
(Preparation for responsible life in a free society)
274. It is important for pupils and students to recognize that social responsibility and duty always accompany individual freedom and right. Japanese school education also attaches importance to this point. Therefore, guidance is given through moral education and any other school educational activities, to help students become more aware of their own responsibilities, respect their own and others' responsibilities and perform their own duties. In social studies at lower secondary schools, teachers are advised to take up the relationship between freedom and rights and that between responsibility and duty, through which pupils and students are expected to become aware of the importance of individual dignity and respect for human rights.
(Development of respect for the natural environment)
275. Environmental education should be provided so that such education will
fit the specific level of development of a pupil and student, in accordance
with the nature of each course of subjects, at each stage of elementary,
lower and upper secondary schools. As for the content of elementary and
secondary education, more environment-related contents are included in
social studies, science and other subjects. In addition, "a period for
Integrated Study" was created to enable students to deeply understand
environmental issues in an interdisciplinary and comprehensive manner
through hands-on experience and a problem-solving learning method.
In addition to this improvement of these educational contents, (some) policies have also been taken in the following aspects: the improvement of educational guidance ability; the arrangement and improvement of guidance methods; the promotion, penetration and development of environmental education in cooperation with schools, families and local communities.
(Ensuring the respect for the liberty of individuals and groups of people to establish and manage educational institutions)
276. In Japan, only state, local governments and school juridical persons may be school founders. As for school juridical persons, the Private School Law prescribes necessary conditions to guarantee the public nature and continuity of school education. As long as a school juridical person is established according to the Private School Law, it is possible to establish schools under the School Education Law, etc. Therefore, the liberty to establish and manage educational institutions has been ensured.
(Administration of educational institutions)
277. The Government has minimum standards for establishing and operating a university or college. Universities and colleges should improve the quality of education and research by the self-evaluation the publication of findings, and the presentation of information on their activities. The Government established an external evaluation organization to help universities to improve themselves.
(Ensuring appropriate number of teachers and staffs)
278. The number of teachers and staff members at public schools is to be decided in each prefecture, based on the standard number calculated by law, thus ensuring the proper number of teachers and staff members in each prefecture.
(Cultural activities by the police)
279. The police are teaching the Japanese traditional martial arts, Judo and Kendo, as sports activities to enhance the sound growth of boys and girls, using training halls (dojo) at police stations. The police also organize baseball, softball and soccer games, as well as social participation activities programs such as beautification activities programs and visits to institutions.
(Giving Opportunities to Appreciate Arts)
280. To help increase the opportunities for children to appreciate and participate in artistic culture and traditional culture, the Government sends excellent artistic and cultural groups to schools and cultural facilities throughout Japan to hold performances and workshops. In addition, National Theaters give children opportunities to appreciate performing arts such as Kabuki and Opera, accompanied by simple programs with that would arouse children's interest, at low rates. The National Museum and the National Museum of Art organize travelling exhibitions in various places so that children can have opportunities appreciate art masterpieces and cultural properties on-site. Moreover, the Japan Arts Fund also supports various artistic and cultural activities conducted by artistic and cultural groups for children and young people.
(Promotion of Cultural Activities)
281. National Cultural Festivals for Secondary High School Students is held annually to improve cultural activities and deepen mutual understanding.
(Promotion of Sports Activities)
282. In accordance with "the Basic Plan for the Promotion of Sports
Activities" developed in 2000, specific measures will be carried out to
promote sports activities in 2001.
The Plan is designed for a 10-year term from the year 2001 to the year 2010, and major measures for child's sports activities are described as follows.
At least one general regional sports club should be established in each municipality by 2010, so that the public, including children, can enjoy sports activities anytime, anywhere.
(1) To establish a system to develop talented young players in a systematic and planned manner under an integrated guidance principle.
(2) To make use of sports instructors in the region to improve physical education at schools and after-school athletic clubs
(3) To improve school gymnastic facilities including the establishment of
In addition, the National Sports Recreation Festival, the Marine Sports Fair and the Outdoor Sports Fair, in which anybody can join are held annually to promote sports activities to the general public.
(Improvement of cultural and recreational facilities)
283. In Japan, under the Social Education Law and other relevant laws and ordinances, the Government has been implementing comprehensive measures, including by promoting projects to provide children with ample experiences and activities, and by subsidizing social educational facilities, such as public halls, and by working on the improvement of sites for learning activities.
The following are the major recreation facilities:
(1) National Olympic Memorial Youth Center
This is the only youth education facility that functions as a national youth education center, which was established at the site of the former Olympic athletes' village. Reconstruction work was started in 1991, to build facilities for training, accommodation, sports, culture and international exchange. As a part of its projects, the center provides its space together with guidance, advice or cooperation services for such activities as training sessions, culture/sports or workshops/exchange activities, including international exchange, conducted based on the voluntary programs made by organizations or groups. In 1999, a total of 940,000 people used this center. In order to achieve effective and flexible management, the center was changed from a national organization to independent administrative corporation in April 2001.
(2) National Youth House/Children's Nature House
National Youth House and Children's Nature House are a youth education facility aimed at bringing up healthy young people through group training sessions, etc. As of October 1999, 743 national or public youth houses existed nation-wide. Out of these, 27 houses are state-run, located in bounteous nature, and equipped with sports facilities or accommodation with a capacity for 300-400 people, accepting youth for group lodging and training. In fiscal year 1998, a total of 14,520,000 people used national and public youth houses. In order to achieve effective and flexible management, the national youth house was changed from a national organization to an independent administrative corporation in April 2001.
(3) Child Cultural Center
See Paragraph 235 of the Initial Report of Japan. In 1998, a total of 2,420,000 people used this center for various group activities.
(4) National Youth Camping Site (South-Zao)
See Paragraph 236 of the Initial Report of Japan.
(5) Public Halls
See Paragraph 237 of the Initial Report of Japan.
As of October 1999, a total of 18,257 halls were in Japan.
See Paragraph 238 of the Initial Report of Japan.
As of October 1999, a total of 1,045 museums were in Japan.
See Paragraph 239 of the Initial Report of Japan.
As of October 1999, a total of 2,593 libraries were in Japan.
(8) Sports Facilities
See Paragraph 240 of the Initial Report of Japan.
There are about 258,000 sports facilities throughout Japan, half of which are school physical educational facilities. For the rest, Public sports facilities account for about 25% of the total, and private sports facilities, including those owned by private companies, account for about 12%.
(Children's Recreational Facilities)
284. Under the Child Welfare Law, Children's Recreational Facilities have been established to provide children with sound playgrounds, to promote their health and to develop their emotional maturity.
(1) Children's Hall/Center
See Paragraph 241 of the Initial Report of Japan.
As of October 1999, a total of 4,368 halls and centers were in Japan.
(2) Children's Recreational Grounds
See Paragraph 242 of the Initial Report of Japan.
As of October 1999, there were 4,143 recreational grounds in Japan.