1. The Japanese government received Observations by the Committee on the Rights of the Child in its finalized view issued in response to the Initial Report of Japan submitted in May 1996, that in light of Vienna Declaration and Program of Action of 1993, the Committee encourages the State its reservation to article 37 (c) and its declarations with a view to their withdrawal.
2. About a year after the World Conference on Human Rights in June 1993, Japan ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child in April 1994. Upon ratification, Japan has made a reservation to paragraph (c) of Article 37 as well as declarations to paragraph 1 of Article 9 and paragraph 1 of Article 10 of the Convention. At this moment of our submitting the Second Report, based on Paragraph 13 of the Initial Report and Answer 1 to the question from the Committee on the Rights of the Child for Reviewing the Initial Report, we have no plans to withdraw our reservation and declared interpretation.
3. See Paragraph 12 of the Initial Report of Japan.
4. In drafting the Law amending a part of the Child Welfare Law and other
relevant laws enacted in June 1997, full consideration was given to ensure
consistency of these national laws with the Convention and to reflect more
effectively the objectives of the Convention, such as the best interests of
the child and his/her right to express views.
Japan also established the Law for Punishing Acts Related to Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, and for Protecting Children on May 18, 1999, and this law took effect on November 1 of the same year. Through the introduction of this law together with the Child Abuse Prevention Law, which was established on May 17, 2000 and was effected on November 20 of the same year, we have been making sincere efforts to protect children against any commercial sexual exploitation as well as all abusive acts and secure the sound growth of children, while further aiming at the effective implementation of the Convention.
Moreover, in February 2001, we have developed the "Japan's Action Plan against Commercial and Sexual Exploitation of Children" which compiles the measures for the prevention of and law enforcement for the commercial sexual exploitation of children (e.g. child prostitution or child pornography) as well as measures for the rehabilitation of child victim of these acts.
5. In addition, in order to contribute to effectively realizing the Convention both domestically and internationally, we are planning to hold "the Second World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children" in December 2001 in Yokohama, Japan. We assume that we will have a large number of attendants to this Congress, presumably 1300 to 2000 persons from national governments, relevant international organizations and non-governmental organizations. The main topics will be child pornography including that on the Internet, prevention and protection of children against sexual exploitation and recovery for victimized children, child trafficking and others. We believe this Congress will surely contribute to the effective implementation of the Convention.
(Respect of rights provided for by the Constitution and other national laws)
6. See Paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Initial Report of Japan.
(Relationship between treaties and national laws)
7. See the Answer 2 to the question from The Child Right Committee for Reviewing the Initial Report
(Direct application of the Convention to judicial decisions)
8. As for the manner of how provisions of treaties should be applied to solution of domestic cases, we have no precedent of a court decision explicitly showing whether or not the direct application of the provisions of the Convention on the Rights of the Child is possible. The Japanese government considers that the manner of application should be determined case by case, while taking into account the purpose, content and descriptions of the provisions of the Convention.
9. See Paragraphs 4-8 of the Initial Report of Japan.
See Paragraph 4 for the law concerning a partial amendment of the Child Welfare Law.
10. There are several precedents where a claim was brought to the court in Japan by a person who allegedly suffered from a violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by a national law/ordinance. However, no court judgement has been ever made in our country to determine that application of a national law or ordinance led to violation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
11. Here is one of those precedents concerning the Convention.
The case concerns a regulation which stipulates that the governor is to designate some floppy disks as harmful materials if they contain computer software showing sexually obscene pictures and that those designated disks are prohibited from being sold to juveniles. A claim was brought to the court insisting that the regulation violates the provisions of the Constitution of Japan and the Convention on the Rights of the Child as well. (The court judgment was that the regulation in question cannot be regarded as violating the Convention on the Rights of the Child, for the reasons that (i) it is obvious that the Convention does not stipulate the guarantee of children's right to access any information, while disregarding such materials as are harmful to the sound growth of juveniles and children, (ii) it is also obvious that the Convention cannot be interpreted in a way that it prohibits States Parties from regulating children's free access to harmful information and materials regardless of presumable results thereof, while it leaves the decision on whether to allow children access to such harmful information/materials to their parents or legal guardians alone, and (iii) the regulation in question can be considered to be a "law" as described in Paragraph 2, Article 13 of the Convention, based on the interpretation that this "law" includes not only national laws established by the Diet but also regulations established by an assembly of a local government.) (Miyazaki Branch, Fukuoka High Court, 1995)
(a) Volunteers for Children's Rights Protection
12. As mentioned in Paragraph 15 of the Initial Report of Japan and the Answer 7 to the question from the Committee on the rights of the child for Reviewing the Initial Report, we have organized the Volunteers for Children's Rights Protection, as part of administrative measures to secure children's rights. Major activities of the Volunteers include; (i) collecting and arranging information about children's rights, (ii) investigating and dealing with cases of infringement of children's rights and providing counseling services for children, (iii) drafting plans of educational programs to raise people's awareness of the significance of protecting children's rights. Specifically, the Volunteers receive inquiries on children's rights in children's rights counseling rooms and through the "Children's Rights Dial 110." Furthermore, the Volunteers hold meetings for discussion on children's rights in cooperation with activity groups for children, and conduct surveys on people's awareness of and attitudes toward children's rights. When infringement of the rights of any child is suspected to have occurred, the Volunteers takes appropriate measures in cooperation with the Legal Affairs Bureau and the District Legal Affairs Bureaus.
13. The fiscal year 2001 budget for the activities of the Volunteers for
Children's Rights Protection is 14.449 million yen, which can be broken down
into 12.605 million yen for the traveling expenses to participate in
children's rights counseling rooms activities or training sessions, and
1.844 million yen for the expenses of buying books and materials to provide
Currently, there are a total number of 688 Volunteers nationwide.
14. The Volunteers for Children's Rights Protection are selected and appointed by the Director-General of the Human Rights Bureau of the Ministry of Justice from among Human Rights Volunteers, who have been selected through the following democratic, careful procedure.
(1) First, mayors of municipal governments select candidates for Volunteers taking into consideration the opinions of their assemblies, and recommend them to the Minister of Justice. Mayors should select such candidates from among residents in their municipal community who have suffrage for the community's assembly members. Also, those candidates should have a high-level of knowledge about human rights as well as other social issues in various fields, and have a deep understanding of the significance of the protection of human rights.
(2) Then, the Minister of Justice appoints Human Rights Volunteers from among the candidates, after hearing the opinion of the Bar Associations and the prefectural association of Human Rights Volunteers.
15. Some of the performances fulfilled so far by the Volunteers for Children's Rights Protection include the above-mentioned counseling services through the counseling rooms or Children's Rights Dial 110, surveillance activities about any infringement of children's rights through distribution of the so-called "no bullying" cards, investigation and relief activities upon occurrence of infringement of the rights of the child, and public awareness raising activities through bulletins and mass media as well as in cooperation with the board of education and other relevant organizations.
(b) Human Rights Volunteers
16. See Paragraph 16 of the Initial Report of Japan.
17. Japan established the national action plan in December 1991 in
accordance with Paragraph 34 (a) of the Plan of Action for Implementing the
World Declaration adopted during the World Summit for Children held in
September 1990. In July 1996, we made an interim review on the action plan
upon the request of then-Secretary-General of the United Nations
Boutros-Ghali, and made another interim review in October 1998 when the
Fourth East Asia and Pacific Ministerial Consultation on Goals for Children
and Development Toward the Year 2000 was held.
Moreover, in preparation for the Special Session of the General Assembly in September 2001 for follow-up to the World Summit for Children, we prepared the national report in order to review the actions taken after the World Summit for Children.
18. As mentioned Paragraph 5 of this report, in this coming December, Japan is holding the Second World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children. The first Congress, which was held in August 1996 in Stockholm, Sweden, adopted the Declaration and the Agenda for Action for eradication of commercial sexual exploitation of children, such as child pornography, child prostitution and sale of children for these purposes. The Agenda for Action calls upon all States to develop national agenda for action to set the measures against commercial sexual exploitation of children. Based on this Agenda for Action the Japanese Government developed the Japan's Action Plan against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children.
(a) Authorities responsible for respective parts of the Convention, coordination of activities proceeded with by each authority, and monitoring of the progress of all such activities
19. As mentioned in Paragraph 26-29 of the Initial Report, the measures
related to children cover wide-ranging fields, including welfare and
education, and many relevant administrative agencies are involved.
In our former administrative system before the recent reorganization, the then-Management and Coordination Agency conducted coordination of youth-related measures as enforced by relevant authorities, with the help of the Committee for the Promotion of Youth Policy composed of bureau chiefs of relevant ministries and agencies, in order to ensure the comprehensive and effective implementation of measures undertaken by relevant authorities when these measures were seen as part of government-wide efforts as a whole. On July 24, 1998, the Committee for the Promotion of Youth Policy welcomed its new members, who included chiefs of relevant bureaus of the then-Prime Minister's Office, then-Economic Planning Agency, then-Ministry of Finance, then-National Tax Administration Agency and then-Ministry of International Trade and Industry. At the same time, members of the liaison conference organized under the Committee have also been increased. Furthermore, the Committee's guideline which sets forth fundamental policy and priorities for the promotion of youth policy was revised during its meeting, explicitly indicate of how the Convention on the Rights of the Child should relate to the fundamental policy. Thus, efforts have been made to establish a government-wide system for the comprehensive implementation of youth policy. Since January 2001, when the administrative reorganization took place, the Cabinet Office has been in charge of making general coordination of all measures in close contact with relevant ministries and agencies and also with the help of various organizations including the Committee for the Promotion of Youth Policy.
In this way, we have been implementing measures for children comprehensively and effectively while developing various measures. So far, we have no plans to establish a new system for coordinating these measures within the Government. However, we will continue to make further efforts to comprehensively promote the measures for children under the existing system in close contact with the relevant administrative agencies.
20. In pursuit of the sound growth of young people and prevention of juvenile delinquency, we, for comprehensively promote children-related measures, paying close attention to the aims of the Convention as well as recently-issued finalized view of the Committee on the Rights of the Child.
21. Concerning our mechanism for monitoring the implementation of the Convention, see the Answer 6 to the question from The Child Right Committee for Reviewing the Initial Report.
(b) Coordination between the central and local governments
22. As mentioned in Paragraph 27 of the Initial Report of Japan, the Cabinet Office, taking over the duties of the former Management and Coordination Agency, has been making efforts to comprehensively promote youth-related measures while maintaining coordination between the national government and local governments. Specifically, the Cabinet Office holds liaison conferences with departments and bureaus responsible for promoting youth policy at prefectural governments and governments of designated cities, and promotes exchange of information between the national and local governments.
23. We recognize our local governments' active commitment to implementing measures to promote protection and respect of children's rights, in response to the conclusion of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. For example, they make efforts to raise people's awareness of the Convention through public relations activities, conduct various child welfare measures, and hold the "Children's Assembly" with the aim of promoting children's participation in the society in accordance with the aim of the Convention.
24. We are informed that each local government conducts means aimed at the implementation of the Convention on Rights of the Child in due consideration of the actual conditions in the region. Thus it cannot be denied that the degree of implementation and attained performance varies among regions. We continue to make efforts to reduce the regional disparity, as considered necessary, among measures undertaken by respective local governments which are equally tasked with implementing these measures. For this purpose, we would give advice to relevant departments and bureaus of local governments, give instruction and advice to other organizations under the central administrative bodies, and hold liaison conferences with local governments.
(c) Relationship between the governmental organizations responsible for children's rights and NGOs.
25. In Japan, protection of children's rights is ensured through the implementation of measures implemented by each ministry and agency respectively. Each ministry and agency is responsible for implementing such measures and evaluating the performance and progress of its measures.
26. See Paragraph 28 of the Initial Report of Japan for the government's counseling services and organizations concerning youth issues.
27. We consider it important that not only the government but the whole
society for the effective implementation of the Convention. In this light,
the government fully respects activities initiated by private organizations
to promote protection and facilitation of children's rights, and understands
the significance of such activities and their contribution to the
implementation of the Convention.
Therefore, the government pays much attention to the effective utilization of expertise of private organizations in implementing the Convention. Some of the successful examples of the government's cooperation with a private organization follow.
(1) In implementing the Convention of the Rights of the Child, the government actively tries to create opportunities to hold discussions with non-governmental organizations. In fact, this report reflects opinions of NGOs which show an interest in the government's measures related to the Convention. In the process of preparing this report, two meetings were held, under the auspices of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, between the government and NGOs, with the aim of hearing their opinions and having those opinions contribute to the report when considered necessary and appropriate.
(2) The Volunteers for Children's Rights Protection are maintaining a liaison with schools, Child Guidance Centers, local communities, parent-teacher associations, local welfare volunteers etc. in view of the area's situation, since such liaison is helpful for the Volunteers in pursuing their duties to collect and arrange information about children's rights, and make and implement plans of public awareness raising activities to educate people about the protection of children's rights.
(3) We have Child Guidance Centers as public organizations working to detect
an occurrence of child abuse without delay and take appropriate action
against it. The national government has sent a notice to each governor,
suggesting that the governor should encourage Child Guidance Centers to
maintain a liaison with local private organizations engaged in the
prevention of child abuse.
In order to detect an occurrence of child abuse without delay and make a prompt action against it, it is essential that relevant organizations, including welfare, healthcare, police, educational, and legal organizations cooperate effectively, under this policy, we have organized the Conference against Child Abuse, consisting of relevant ministries and twenty regional private organizations nationwide.
We also have a network against child abuse in each prefecture and designated cities. In addition, the national government has been encouraging the establishment of municipal conferences against child abuse with the aim of promoting cooperation at the municipal level close to the public.
(4) We have been pursuing educational activities for elimination of child prostitution in cooperation with the Japan Committee for UNICEF, for the purpose of protecting children from sexual abuse and exploitation. We maintain a close liaison with the Committee and other relevant organizations in preparing for the Second World Congress Against Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children to be held in December 2001.
(5) We also financially support private organizations engaged in the projects to improve child welfare including education and maternal/child healthcare in developing countries, through the gratuitous financial support system designed for grass roots activities and the subsidy system for the NGO's projects.
(d) Independent organizations including ombudsmen for the protection of children's rights
28. As mentioned above, protection of children's rights is ensured in Japan
through the implementation of measures initiated respectively by each
ministry and agency, where the responsibility for each measure is taken by
the ministry or agency who has implemented it, and each ministry and agency
is supposed to make an evaluation of the performance and progress of its
measures. We consider it very important to involve the whole society in the
efforts being made by the government for the effective implementation of the
Convention. In this light, the government fully respects activities
initiated by private organizations to promote protection and facilitation of
children's rights, and understands the significance of such activities and
their contribution to the implementation of the Convention.
Based on this policy, though we have no plans to introduce an ombudsman for children, we intend to keep promoting the implementation of the Convention under the existing system, while maintaining a close liaison among the relevant administrative bodies and in cooperation with private organizations.
(e) Collecting statistics and promoting the effective utilization of the collected statistics
29. See the Answer 5 to the question from The Child Right Committee for Reviewing the Initial Report of Japan.
(f) Regular evaluation on the implementation of the Convention
30. We do not have any nationally-controlled system to evaluate the
implementation of the Convention on a regular basis. However, as mentioned
above, protection of children's rights is ensured in Japan through the
implementation of measures initiated respectively by each ministry and
agency, where the responsibility for each measure
is taken by the ministry or agency who has implemented it, and each ministry
and agency is supposed to make an evaluation of the performance and progress
of its measures.
The national government has been making efforts to guarantee the protection of children's rights through the implementation of various measures aiming to promote the sound growth of children, and continues to work under the current scheme on the comprehensive promotion of those measures in accordance with the Convention on the Rights of the Child and in cooperation with relevant administrative organizations.
31. For implementation of the Convention, the government actively cooperates with civil society as mentioned in Paragraph 27 of this report.
(Budget allocated for social benefits of children)
32. The general account budget of the Japanese national government for
fiscal year 2000 was 63.218 trillion yen (the initially settled budget
excluding the expense for government bonds), of which approximately 5.2688
trillion yen or 8.4% was allocated for youth policy. We are confident that
our budget for youth policy is sufficient for promoting the protection of
children's rights in accordance with the provision of the Convention
providing that States Parties shall undertake youth measures to the maximum
extent of their available resources.
Of the budget for youth policy, approximately 17.5 billion yen was set aside for healthcare measures such as promotion of health, sports and maternal/child healthcare, about 3.4983 trillion yen was allocated for education-related measures such as promotion of study programs, the promotion of home education, improvement of school education and occupational training programs for young people, and approximately 728.3 billion yen was to be used for social services such as child-rearing support services, maternal and child welfare services, measures for mentally/physically-handicapped children, Child Allowance and measures to improve child welfare institutions.
We would like to note that the above-mentioned budgets are the total of budgets presumably related, directly or indirectly, to the sound growth of juveniles including children. Some of them include those allocated for social services for the general public where it is difficult to calculate the exact amount used for children only, since such budgets benefit all generations including children.
As for the budget of prefectures, the national government does not have breakdown details of all budgets, but is sure that every prefectures allocate sufficient budget for youth policy, just as central ministries and agencies do, to the maximum extent of each organization's available resources, as set forth in Article 4 of the Convention.
(Trend of budget allocation for youth policy)
33. The following table shows the recent trend of the above-mentioned budget for youth policy, as compiled by the Cabinet Office.
Data on the budget for youth policy
|Fiscal year||Total budget
|Budget allocated for
|Ratio of the youth
policy budget (%)
* The above-mentioned budgets are exclusive of the expense for government bonds.
* The budget allocated for youth policy for fiscal year 1996 includes the special account budget.
(Respect of the best interests of the child in the process of the government's budget settlement)
34. In view of possible ill effects on the sound growth of children from
the falling birth rates in recent years, a New Angel Plan was devised for
the 5 years starting from fiscal year 2000.
The New Angel Plan is devised as a concrete plan for implementing measures against the falling birth rates, including enhancement in supporting services for child-rearing such as day-care services, and preparation of the working environment which allows work and child-rearing compatible. Based on this plan, budgets are appropriated selectively on items related to the child and family such as the improvement of nursery care services and the promotion of After-school Children's Clubs.
(Efforts to eliminate the disparity among regions/groups in opportunity to receive social services)
35. Under the New Angel Plan, the government has been working on the improvement of day-care services and other services to assist child-rearing in a manner to improve both quality and quantity of such services all over the country. Specifically, the Plan aims to expand the capacity for low age children at Day-care Centers, promote the introduction of an extended nursery care and holiday nursery care, and promote After-school Children's Clubs to support working parents.
(Protection of children from being subject to an undesired influence from the government's economic measures)
36. (1) In Japan, we have Child Allowance and Child-Rearing Allowance as
the social benefit system for the support of child rearing.
The Child Allowance scheme, which was introduced in 1972, aims to stabilize family life by relieving the household's economic burden arising from child rearing and support the sound growth of children upon whom rests the next generation's society. An amendment was introduced to this scheme in 2000, to extend the age band of beneficiaries, where the term of allowance expires upon child's entering the stage of compulsory education under the amended scheme (in other words, the term of allowance expired on the first day of the fiscal year coming after a child reaches the age of six). This amendment has been introduced to respond to the recent accelerated decline of birth rate and changes of social environment around children and families in this country and aims to enhance the economic support for families engaged in child rearing.
The Child-Rearing Allowance scheme aims to enhance the economic stability and independence of families which are fatherless due to divorce or separation of parents, and the allowance is provided for qualified children under the policy to facilitate their welfare.
Both Child Allowances and Child-Rearing Allowances are provided in accordance with the income limit which is stipulated in the government ordinance for an eligible beneficiary (such as a child's guardian), stipulated upper limit varying according to the number of the beneficiary's dependents.
(2) We also have the scheme under the Public Assistance Law to provide welfare benefits for those in poverty who are unable to maintain the minimum standards of living guaranteed under the Constitution of Japan. Under this scheme the allowances are provided for eligible households to the extent that such households' income do not cover the minimum demands, which are estimated in accordance with the standard set by the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare. Living aid allowances are provided in the form of money or, where appropriate, in kind in order to satisfy the need for food and clothes and as well as other daily necessities, and housing aid allowances are provided in the form of money or, where appropriate, in kind in order to satisfy the need for housing, house repair work and other maintenance works for housing.
Outline of Child Allowance
|Eligibility for receiving allowance||Any child|
|Term of allowance||Expires on the first day of the fiscal year coming after a child reaches the age of six.|
|Amount||First or second child: 5,000 yen per month
Any child born after the second child: 10,000 yen per month
|Requisite regarding household income||Annual income should not exceed 4,150,000 yen (per 4-person (This requisite has taken effect since June 2001.)|
|Special allowance||Out of employees or public employees regarded as ineligible for Child Allowance due to the above-mentioned requisite, those whose annual income is below 5,740,000 yen (per 4-person household) are eligible for a benefit equivalent to the amount of Child Allowance paid by the their employers or public offices to which they belong. (This special allowance system was introduced in June 2001.)|
|Number of children qualifying for Child Allowance||2,407,489 (as of the end of February 2000)|
Outline of Child-Rearing Allowance
|Eligibility for receiving Allowance||A mother or legal guardian of a child, whose father is alive but is in a separate household thus not responsible for supporting the child, with such mother or legal guardian being eligible for this Allowance until the first end of March after the child's 18th birthday. (In the case of handicapped children, the Allowance is good until the child's 20th birthday.)|
|Amount (monthly)||When the number of children taken care of by a beneficiary is one: 42,370 yen is granted in case of full allowance and 28,350 yen in case of partial allowance (good since April 1999), and when the number of children is two, 5,000 yen is added to the above-mentioned amount, and when the number of children is three, 3,000 yen is added per child.|
|Number of children qualifying for Child-Rearing Allowance||approximately 1.02 million (as of the end of March 2000)|
37. Japan has been actively providing its official development assistance
to the social development sector. In 1999, about 20 percent of the bilateral
official development assistance was allocated to this sector. Since 1991,
Japan has been the world's top donor for nine consecutive years.
Assistance in education, public health and population sectors, which is helpful in ensuring maternal and child health, increasing welfare, and popularizing child education, has been provided mainly under the grant aid and technical cooperation. In 1999, it amounted to 1,572.57 million dollars (on a commitment basis) or 11.4 percent of the bilateral ODA. In particular, the grant aid in health and medical care projects amounted to about 15 percent of the grant aids provided for general projects from 1994 to 1998 on an average, the number of experts dispatched for technical transfer and human resource development in this sector amounted to about 16 percent of the total of such experts, and the number of trainees accepted amounted to about 17 percent of the total of such trainees. In the field of health and medical care, population, family planning, and primary and secondary education, project-type technical cooperation which consists of dispatching experts, receiving trainees and providing equipment, has been implemented and the Japan Overseas Cooperative Volunteers have been also dispatched. In the field of education, a grant aid of 194.51 million yen was provided to build elementary and secondary schools.
In April 2000, representatives from around the world met in Dakar for the World Education Forum on "Education for All," which ended with the adoption of the "Dakar Framework for Action," setting 6 goals, including ensuring by 2015 that all children have access to primary education of good quality. In addition, the Kyushu/Okinawa G8 Summit strongly supported the "Dakar Framework for Action." The summit has also set the goal for countries with sound education strategies of providing further assistance, focusing on education in their poverty reduction strategies in partnership with developing countries.
Based on these developments, the former Ministry of Education investigated future policies of cooperation at its Council of International Cooperation in Education, and prepared a report in November 2000. The report suggested the need to understand developing countries' needs in educational cooperation and develop a plan accordingly, as well as to promote cooperative activities by elementary and secondary school teachers as experts or volunteers and make an active use of universities' human resources in education cooperation, paying due regard to the share of educational cooperation in the total official development aid. Based on these suggestions, we are currently building up a cooperation system.
Japan is also making efforts to address the issues of children as part of its contribution to global issues. Under the Common Agenda between Japan and the United States (Common Agenda for Cooperation in Global Perspective) which was launched in 1993, Japan has been providing support for measures to combat infectious diseases, including AIDS, and measures to promote basic health and medical care such as maternal and child health, population and family planning, etc., and has been implementing cooperation to eradicate polio from the earth in accordance with the agenda of "population and health" which encompasses the fields of population, AIDS, and children's health.
In the field of "population and AIDS," Japan announced to make contribution with the target amount of three billion dollars by the fiscal year 2000 in the Global Issues Initiatives (GII) on Population and AIDS in February 1994. In five years up to 1998, the Japanese government disbursed about 3.7 billion dollars, more than the target amount.
In the field of "children's health," eradicating polio from the earth is the top priority issue. The initiative turned out to be successful in the Western Pacific area where Japan has taken initiatives as the priority area. The area was declared free of indigenous wild polio virus by WHO in October 2000. Working towards the global target to eradicate it from the earth by 2005, Japan is expanding its assistance to the efforts in south Asia and Africa, spending 3,791 million yen in fiscal year 1999.
The International Research Center for Medical Education was established at the University of Tokyo in 2000, which serves as a base for promoting international cooperation for medical education by universities, etc.
Of 1.3 billion people living under the poverty line in the world, 70 percent are women. Women are placed in vulnerable positions in education, employment and health. In order to maintain a balanced, sustainable development in developing countries, it is necessary to ensure for gender-balanced development projects and to draw some benefits from them. With such a perspective, Japan announced WID Initiative in 1995, declaring that Japan will put emphasis on education, health, and economic and social activities for women in implementing its development assistance.
When G8 Kyushu and Okinawa summit was held in July 2000, the leaders of the world leading countries agreed to start a battle against infectious diseases including HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB), and malaria that hamper social economic development in developing countries. They agreed to set goals and implement it under "New Partnership" of advanced and developing nations, international institutions and civil society. On the occasion of the summit, Japan announced as the chair and leading donor the "Okinawa Infectious Disease Initiative (IDI)" for enhancing its assistance, with the target of allocating a total of three billion dollars over the next 5 years, for measures against infectious and parasitic diseases including HIV/AIDS. In December 2000, as a follow-up to the G8 Kyushu-Okinawa Summit, "Okinawa International Conference on Initiatives Diseases" was held attended by representatives of G8 nations, developing countries, international organizations and NGOs. They discussed ways how to function and strengthen the "New Partnership."
(Cooperation through international organizations)
38. (1) Cooperation for implementing relief measures for children
Japan makes financial contribution to United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), a leading organization for the children's issues, since 1952. In fiscal year 1999, Japan's financial contribution to the UNICEF general budget was 64.778 million dollars (which was the third largest donation in the world). Besides, in order to support the dissemination of girls' education, Japan has also been making special contribution with the annual amount of 1 million dollars since fiscal year1995 specifically for the U NICEF project for education for female students. Japan has also extended financial contributions for the emergency program of UNICEF, such as humanitarian assistance to East Timor in 1999, and the program for rebuilding schools in Kosovo in 2000.
Moreover, Japan has been extending assistance under the multilateral-bilateral aid scheme with the UNICEF, whereby bilateral aid by Japan and multilateral aid by UNICEF complement each other's resources in order to improve aid efficiency. In fiscal year 1999, Japan contributed roughly 430 million yen of vaccines, equipment, etc. required by the Expanded Program on Immunization (EPI) to 14 countries in Africa and Asia Pacific regions.
(2) Cooperation in health and sanitary fields
Japan, collaborating with the World Health Organization (WHO), UNICEF and other donor countries and institutions, has been extending assistance for international health programs, including those on expanded immunization plans tuberculosis, and so on. In particular, Japan played a leading role to eradicate polio in the western Pacific region. Japan is also active in HIV/AIDS programs. About 600 million yen has annually been contributed to the Joint U.N. Program on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) since its establishment. In addition, Japan made financial contributions amounting to about 2.3 million dollars in total to 8 projects for the health of mothers and children, etc. implemented by such organizations as UNICEF or the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) through the Human Security Fund established by Japan in the U.N.
(3) Cooperation for women in development (WID) and gender field
Japan is making efforts to expand its development aid in light of WID concept through the United Nations Development Program and International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). In 1995, Japan established the Japan WID Fund within the UNDP to support women in developing countries, and has contributed about 11,020 thousand dollars in total by 1999. The Fund supports programs for gender equality and the empowerment of women, giving priority to such fields as education, health and economic and social participation. For example, the Fund was used for implementing a poverty eradication project through micro financing with a view to elevating women's economic status in Cambodia. As a result, the school enrollment of children increased by about nine percent as women got stable income sources and the number of children who were forced to work decreased. The fund was also used for implementing a project of holding a seminar on education of girls with a view to supporting Guatemala's national efforts to improve primary education for girls.
IFAD attaches importance to roles of women in rural development. With the aim of actively supporting activities of IFAD in gender-related areas, Japan established "Special Contribution for Women in Development" in IFAD in 1995. Japan has so far contributed 4,450,000 dollars to this special fund and approved 27 projects. They include the implementation of studies to add gender concept to the IFAD-financed programs, the organization lot workshops and symposia, establishment of a data base to make the accumulated information and knowledge available to public, and the implementation of studies on micro-financing which is regarded by IFDA as an effective means to alleviate poverty. In July 1999, a symposium "Asian Crisis and Rural Poverty" was successfully held in Tokyo.
(4) Cooperation in education
Japan has been extending its cooperation in the area of education through the following trust funds at UNESCO: (1)the Funds-in-Trust for the Promotion of Literacy (44 million yen in fiscal year 2001) and the Funds-in-Trust of Community Literacy Centers (20 million yen in fiscal year 2001) under the Asia-Pacific Program of Education for All (APPEAL), which assists in extending education to illiterate people and making primary education available to all children in the Asia Pacific region, (2) the Funds-in-trust for Mobile Training Teams (9.2 million yen in fiscal year 200 1) under the Asia and the Pacific Program of Educational Innovation for Development (APEID) which aims at strengthening education cooperation among countries in the region and assisting developing countries in improving their education systems and contents and methods of education on their own, and (3) the Japanese Trust Fund for Preventive Education against HIV/AIDS (7.3 million yen in fiscal year 2001) as part of assistance to educational projects for preventing HIV/AIDS, etc. Japan has also provided financial assistance (19 million dollars in total) to the school rebuilding project in Kosovo which was implemented by UNICEF or UNDP through the Human Security Fund.
(Cooperation through NGOs)
39. Japan has been providing financial assistance to Japanese NGOs which are engaged in grass-roots activities in medical, health and educational fields that contribute to the improvement of maternal and child health, welfare and education. They are implemented under such programs as NGO subsidy framework and grant assistance for grassroots projects. Those programs help NGOs carry out fine-tuning of assistance in recipient countries. In fiscal year 1999, roughly 348.115 million yen was spent for NGO Subsidy framework and some 387.1 million yen as grant assistance for grass-roots projects.
Data on past performance of the Japanese government in aid projects in the field of healthcare and medical care
|Fiscal year||Grant Aid (unit: 100 million yen)||Yen loan (unit: 100 million yen)||Technical assistance (unit: person)|
|The number of participants in technical training programs||The number of experts dispatched to developing countries||The number of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) dispatched to developing countries|
|1995||150.45 (7.8)||9.69 (0.1)||1281 (12.2)||478 (15.2)||173 (16.4)|
|1996||195.37 (10.0)||197.92 (1.5)||1214 (11.1)||464 (15.4)||172 (14.4)|
|1997||221.28 (16.8)||55.64 (0.5)||1237 (10.9)||474 (15.5)||170 (14.7)|
|1998||253.99 (20.5)||420.98 (3.9)||2428 (12.3)||487 (14.2)||185 (15.8)|
|1999||240.28 (20.6)||0 (0)||3154 (17.6)||553 (13.8)||234 (18.1)|
* Figures in parentheses in the column of grant aid, indicate the ratio (%) of the value of projects in the fields of healthcare and medical care to that of the entire projects, but exclude relief of liabilities, non-project aid programs, grants for grass-roots aid projects and grants for students studying abroad and figures in parenthesis in the column of yen loan indicate the ratio of the value of projects in the fields of healthcare and medical care to that of the entire projects, except carried-over liability figures in parenthesis in the column of Technical assistance indicate the ratio the value of projects in the field of healthcare and medical care to that of the entire projects.
* Figures in the columns of spending for grant aid and yen loan are based on Exchange of Notes, and those in the column of technical assistance are based on data of the JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency).
Data on past performance of the Japanese government in aid projects in the field of1 education
|Fiscal year||Grant Aid (unit: 100 million yen)||Yen loan (unit: 100 million yen)||Technical assistance (unit: person)|
|The number of participants in technical training programs||The number of experts dispatched to developing countries||The number of Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) dispatched to developing countries|
|1995||128.87 (6.7)||520.73 (4.6)||274 (3.2)||157 (4.7)||193 (16.0)|
|1996||193.29 (9.9)||183.58 (1.4)||274 (2.5)||157 (5.1)||234 (22.3)|
|1997||246.21 (12.3)||146.22 (1.4)||341 (3.0)||149 (4.9)||228 (19.8)|
|1998||182.60 (15.1)||351.48 (3.2)||396 (2.0)||193 (5.6)||205 (17.5)|
|1999||194.51 (16.7)||124.95 (1.2)||349 (1.9)||243 (6.1)||219 (17.0)|
* Figures in parentheses in the column of grant aid, indicate the ratio (%) of the value of projects in the fields of healthcare and medical care to that of the entire projects, but exclude relief of liabilities, non-project aid programs, grants for grass-roots aid projects and grants for students studying abroad and figures in parenthesis in the column of yen loan indicat e the ratio of the value of projects in the fields of healthcare and medical care to that of the entire projects, except carried-over liability figures in parenthesis in the column of Technical assistance indicate the ratio the value of projects in the field of healthcare and medical care to that of the entire projects.
* Figures in the columns of spending for grant aid and yen loan are based on Exchange of Notes, and those in the column of technical assistance are based on data of the JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency).
(Follow-up of the World Summit for Children)
40. See Paragraph 17 of this report.
(a) Public relations activities for the Convention
(Translation of the Convention into several foreign languages and translation into foreign languages used by many foreign residents in Japan)
41. We have published some informative booklets on the Convention both in
Japanese and English. We can also provide the foreign residents upon their
request with some foreign language editions of full text of the Convention,
written in such languages as French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Arabic,
Portuguese, Korean, Thai, Tagalog and Vietnamese.
We understand that public relations activities to raise people's awareness of the Convention is important and necessary. We continue to make efforts to promote public awareness and correct understanding of the aims and content of the Convention, while taking into consideration people's response to our activities in the past and the degree of public understanding of the Convention.
(Utilization of online services such as the government's websites to raise people's awareness of the Convention)
42. The internet website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (both in
Japanese and English) has a section on the Convention on the Rights of the
Child, allowing the general public to easily access and download various
information on the Convention including the complete text of the Convention,
the Initial Report of Japan (issued by the government), a list of questions
given by the Committee on the Rights of the Child to the Japanese government
on the Initial Report of Japan, a list of Japan's answers to those
questions, its final view on the Convention and information on relevant
symposia. From April 2000 to March 2001, we have received a total of
167,884 accesses (page-view) to this particular section of the website
(including 153,896 to the Japanese version of the MOFA's website).
Similar information as mentioned above is also provided through the facsimile service operated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (known as MOFAX). In addition, we actively make opportunities to introduce and explain about the Convention to the public through lectures, various Ministry of Foreign Affairs-edited (or co-edited) published materials and others.
(Introduction of lectures on human rights into curricula of school education)
43. At schools in Japan, students are supposed to learn the significance and role of international law relating to human rights, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the philosophy of respecting fundamental human rights, and the growth and development of children. The new "Courses of Study," or the government guidelines for teaching released by the government in 1998, are aimed at further promoting human rights education through school activities as a whole, noting the aims of the Convention. Also, the government strengthens training courses for schoolteachers by introducing in them contents related to human rights, including lectures on the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
(b) Educating public servants who have duties concerning children
44. Local administration of each prefecture or city provides opportunity for newly-employed teachers as well as teachers to learn human rights and student guidance through various training sessions at each stage of teaching experience. Also the National Center for Teachers' Development, an independent administrative institution responsible for unified and comprehensive implementation of government-controlled training programs, introduces the training involving the lecture about human rights for teachers who are expected to play a leading role at the local level. It also provides practical training about the theory and practice of student guidance, educational counseling.
45. With the aim of ensuring police personnel's appropriate attitude toward
juvenile cases and observance of the Convention,police schools provide
education on juvenile for new recruits and officers newly promoted to be a
higher rank, and specialized education on human rights for officers in
charge of juvenile delinquency and curlier personnel in charge of juvenile
Also, education on children's rights is given to police officers from time to time as part of their on-the-job training.
(Officials at correctional institutions)
46. The Committee on the Rights of the Child, in its concluding observations adopted after reviewing the Initial Report of Japan (Paragraph 33), recommends to implement training programs for relevant officials on the rights of children. We provide officials at correctional institutions with necessary education on international rules related to human rights for those deprived of liberty, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child. For example, our training programs designed for senior-officials-to-be include training sessions on relevant UN documents including the Convention with the aim of deepening relevant officials' awareness and understanding of the aims and content of the Convention. Such training is conducted by experts not belonging to the Ministry of Justice or officials of the Correction Bureau of the ministry.
(Officials in charge of human rights protection and promotion)
47. Our training programs designed for public servants in charge of human rights protection and promotion include the Ministry of Justice-managed specialized training sessions on human rights to be given to personnel belonging to the Legal Affairs Bureaus and the District Legal Affairs Bureaus. During such training sessions, conducted annually at the central Ministry office, trainees are supposed to learn about children's rights through lectures by experts on the Convention and other programs, including moot lectures given by trainees themselves to discuss children's rights. Legal Affairs Bureaus and District Legal Affairs Bureaus also provide practical training sessions, in which lectures on the Convention and children's rights are given to local personnel in charge of human rights protection and promotion. In addition, the Ministry of Justice provides training sessions for local public service personnel working for sections in charge of public awareness raising activities with a view to fostering their aptitude as a leader engaged in such activities. These training sessions include lectures about children's rights as well as the Convention.
(Officials at the Immigration Bureau)
48. Through various training sessions for immigration officials, we have conducted lectures on treaties related to human rights including the Convention.
49. Article 2 of the Offenders Rehabilitation Law, which is a Japanese basic
law ruling on rehabilitation-related administration, provides that
rehabilitation measures shall be performed to the extent that it is
considered necessary and appropriate for his/her correction and
rehabilitation, and in the implementation, his/her age, personal history,
mental and physical condition, family, relation with friends and other
his/her circumstances shall fully be considered, and thus the most
appropriate method shall be taken for each individual. The Japanese
government makes efforts to ensure that officers in charge of probationary
supervision of juvenile offenders will observe the above provision.
In the training course for the newly appointed probation officers, they are given chance to deepen their understanding of the significance of the Provision and learn juvenile protection and welfare through on-site training at Child Guidance Centers. We have also established a curriculum for probation officers to learn the mental/physical growth of children and the one for counseling, thereby provide the officers with the opportunity to learn the significance of encouraging juvenile probationers and juvenile training school parolees to express their own views and taking such their views seriously. In this curriculum, probation officers are supposed to take courses on the mental/physical growth of children totalling six hours.
(Judges and other law administrating officers)
50. At the time of Japan's ratification of the Convention, the Supreme Court
sent a notification, titled "Promulgation and Effectuation of the Convention
on the Rights of the Child," to High Courts, District Courts and Family
Courts, with the aim of letting judges and other concerned officers know the
content of the Convention. Furthermore, judges are supposed to deepen the
understanding of children's rights, through curricula dedicated to various
training programs, including joint research on juvenile delinquency cases,
problems concerning child's custody, etc. and a lectures on media reports on
juvenile cases and human rights.
In principle, any of those who will become a judge, prosecutor or lawyer needs to take judicial training conducted at the Judicial Research and Training Institute to obtain a license of legal profession. During this judicial training, lectures are given on children's rights, references are made to the implementation of the Convention as well as its contents and aims of the Convention (including the 1994 report issued by the Japanese government, the NGO report issued in 1994, and consideration and recommendation made in 1998 by the UN Committee), a curricula are implemented on precedents of juvenile delinquency cases or cases of disputes over child's custody. Thus trainees are given chance to learn about children's rights, protection and welfare of children.
In the above-mentioned training programs for judges and curricula for judicial training, judges and trainees learn the significance of fully considering the interests of children, encouraging children to express their own intention in cases, as well as taking into consideration their intention.
51. We have provided prosecutors with training sessions to learn about the
establishment of the Law for Punishing Acts Related to Child Prostitution
and Child Pornography, and for Protecting Children and special consideration
required for children and women.
Other training programs, designed respectively for each level of prosecutors having a different length of service, cover various human rights-related topics such as human rights secured by the Constitution of Japan and other treaties and children's rights.
(Officials in charge of child welfare duties)
52. With regard to Child Welfare Officers at the Child Guidance Centers, or a central administrative organ in the field of children's welfare, they are encouraged to deepen their understanding of the aims of the Convention and children's rights government-operated training programs designed for newly-positioned public servants.
(c) Professional training and service regulations
53. See Paragraph 44-52 of this report.
(National Police Academy and other police schools)
54. Once in a year,the National Police Academy as part of it's special
expert training course on juvenile delinquency gives a seminar on protection
of children's rightsdesigned for executive officers from Prefectural police
forces. Regional Police Schools also have a similar seminar twice a year
(starting from 1998) for assistant police inspectors and police sergeants
from Prefectural police as part of their special expert training course on
Police also organize group study programs designed for juvenile guidance officials from the Juvenile Support Centers of Prefectural police In such programs professionals such as university professors and counselors give lectures on counseling techniques.
55. Each university decides its curricula independently and implements them
at its own discretion in accordance with its policy and aims.
As of 1999, 110 universities were providing 174 courses on the rights of children (61 courses at 34 state-run universities, 9 courses at 8 public universities and 104 courses at 68 private universities).
Specifically, these universities offer courses such as "the rights of children," "juvenile problems and human rights," "theory of child problems," "theory of child welfare," "protection of children's rights and professional ethics," and "case study of child counseling" in order to conduct education on protection of the rights of children or creation of an environment where children can participate in society as an individual." Some universities require students to participate in field work where they actually communicate with children.
(d) Participation of NGOs in educational programs and campaigns on the Convention and the support of such NGO's activities
56. Non-government organizations (NGO) in our country actively hold educational events for local residents, children and teachers such as meetings for studying on the Convention, and publish informative booklets on the Convention.
(Preparation of this report)
57. Ministries and agencies which took part in the preparation of this
report include the Cabinet Office, National Police Agency, Defense Agency,
Ministry of Public Management, Home Affairs, Posts and Telecommunications,
Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Finance,
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Ministry of
Health, Labor and Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries,
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure
and Transport and Ministry of the Environment.
As mentioned in Paragraph 27 of this report, two meetings were held between the government and NGOs in the process of preparing this report, for the purpose of exchanging information and having opinions of NGOs contribute to the preparation of this report when considered necessary and appropriate. Participants at each meeting consisted of about 10 Diet members, about 40 government officials and about 70 NGO members.
(Making reports widely available to the public)
58. See Paragraph 42 of this report.
We are going to make this report available to the public on the homepage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as we did with the Initial Report of Japan.
(Making the summary record and final view of the Committee on the Rights of the Child available to the public)
59. See Paragraph 42 of this report.