The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

Article 14

As stated in the part under Article 13 of this Report, free and compulsory primary education in Japan has long been guaranteed under the Constitution, the Fundamental Law of Education and the School Education Law.

Article 15

1 Right to Take Part in Cultural Life

In Japan, vigorous measures to promote the arts and culture, to preserve cultural properties, to promote Ainu Culture, and to promote social education are implemented under a national policy of promotion and encouragement of people's cultural activities. Related laws enacted in Japan include the Law concerning the Improvement of the Learning Environment for the Promotion of Music Culture, especially for the promotion of music culture, the Law for Annuity for Person of Cultural Merit, and the Order of Culture Law,under which cultural activities of various kinds are encouraged, and those who have provided distinguished service in the area of culture and its promotion are honored. The Government has also enacted the Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties and the Law concerning Promotion of the Ainu Culture and Dissemination and Enlightenment of Knowledge about Ainu Traditions. In addition, Japan has made efforts to promote systematic educational activities for adults outside of formal educational institutions by enacting the Social Education Law, which is complemented by the Library Law and the Museum Law. The following measures have been in fact implemented to realize the right for everybody to take part in cultural life.

(1)Financial measures to promote cultural development and public participation in cultural life:
(a)Assistance through Arts Plan 21;
(b)Subsidies for artistic and cultural activities through the Japan Arts Fund;
(c)Permission for the establishment of non-profit organizations for the benefit of the public whose main activities include the promotion and improvement of art and culture, especially those which provide subsidies; and,
(d)National Cultural Festival and National Culture Festival for Upper Secondary Schools.
(2)Establishment of cultural facilities
(a)The national government subsidizes the equipment of cultural facilities constructed by local governments and also subsidizes a portion of the cost required for the provision of equipment of community halls, public museums (including art museums) and public libraries. As of 1996, there were 17,819 community halls, 986 museums, 2,396 libraries, and 1,549 cultural halls.
(b)The Government has established four national art museums (the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, the Kyoto National Museum of Modern Art,the National Museum of Western Art, the National Museum of Art, Osaka)to enable the public to view outstanding art pieces and other materials, and to conduct research and other art-related projects.
(c)The New National Theater, Tokyo, has been established with a view to facilitating to create, promote, and spread modern theatrical arts.
(3)Encouragement in establishing cultural identity
Some folk arts with their regional characteristics have been designated as important material and non-material cultural properties, and activities related to their preservation and utilization are subsidized, including the repair and purchase of tools, as are their documentation.
(4)Promotion of Ainu Culture
To preserve and hand down Ainu folk cultural properties, important tangible and intangible folk cultural properties are designated as such. The national government subsidizes the necessary costs for the Hokkaido Board of Education to survey and film Ainu folk cultural properties, and conducts other activities to promote the traditional Ainu cultural heritage.
Furthermore, "The Round Table on the Policy for the Ainu People," established in March 1995 under the Chief Cabinet Secretary, duly completed a report in April 1996,which advises the Government on the necessity of new measures for the Ainu people. Receiving the report, the Government started consideration of shaping up new measures and enacted the Law concerning Promotion of Ainu Culture and Dissemination and Enlightenment of Knowledge about Ainu Traditions in May 1997 and enforced it in July 1997.
A legally incorporated foundation, The Foundation for Research and Promotion of Ainu Culture, which conducts projects for promotion of Ainu Culture, was established in June 1997 and was appointed as Designated Corporation based on the Law in November 1997.
In order to facilitate promotion of Ainu Culture, by actively promoting measures for promotion of Ainu Culture through support to the Corporation, the Government has been making efforts for realization of a society where the pride of Ainu people as a race is respected and for the development of multifarious culture in Japan.
(5)Role of the mass media and communications
In Japan, Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK, Japan Broadcasting Association), which operates on fees paid by the public, allots one of its channels for school and social education (NHK Education Channel).
(6)Protection of cultural property
The Law for the Protection of Cultural Properties defines the following five categories as cultural property; namely, tangible and intangible cultural properties, folk-cultural properties, monuments, and preservation districts for groups of historic buildings, and it also protects the traditional techniques for conservation of cultural properties and buried cultural properties.
The Government designates important property of cultural value as National Treasure, Important Cultural Properties, Historic Sites, Places of Scientific Beauty and/or Natural Monuments, etc. The Government subsidizes the preservation, repair, and public ownership of tangible cultural properties, while it subsidizes the training for the next generation of performers and recording of those properties for intangible cultural properties. In this way, necessary measures to protect important cultural properties are taken.
At present, "Himeji-jo," "Buddhist Monuments in the Horyuji Area," "Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu cities)," "Historic Villages of Shirakawa-go and Gokayama," "Hiroshima Peace Memorial (Genbaku Dome)," and "Itsukushima Shinto Shrine" are on the World Heritage List, which is based on the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, that Japan concluded in 1992. Japan has taken necessary measures to preserve these sites.
(7)Specialized education in culture and art
Various specialized forms of art education are provided at universities and junior colleges. As of 1997, the number of university faculties related to art, such as art and music faculties, was 52, and the students attending these faculties numbered approximately 62,000. The number of departments related to art at junior colleges was 81, and students attending these faculties numbered 22,000.
(8)Other measures for the protection, development, and dissemination of culture:
(a)Training of artists;
(b)Dispatch of instructors for artistic and cultural activities; training for employees of public cultural facilities;
(c)Establishment of a system of awards and privileges for those who make outstanding contributions to the development of culture (medals, awards for persons of regional cultural merit; awards by the Commissioner for Cultural Affairs; encouragement awards by the Minister of Education; establishment of the Japan Arts Academy);
(d)Providing opportunities to appreciate art (various performance tours, exhibitions on tour at national museums and art museums);
(e)Supporting works regarded to be worthy of promotion such as activities in the field of fine arts or the preservation of cultural assets;
(f)Providing favorable tax treatment to non-profit organizations for the benefit of the public related to art and culture; and,
(g)Providing favorable tax treatment to government designated cultural properties.

2. Right to Enjoy the Benefits of Scientific Progress and its Application

(1)Promotion of scientific research
Full respect for the independence of researchers is indispensable so that scientific research can be truly fruitful. Towards this end, Article 21 (Freedom of Expression) and Article 23 (Freedom of Learning) of the Constitution guarantee the right to research,publish, and teach.
Universities are the center of scientific research in Japan. Under the National Schools Establishment Law, national universities and affiliated research institutes, education and research centers attached to university faculties, and inter-university institutes have been established. In addition, under the Private School Promotion Subsidy Law and the Law Concerning National Assistance for Research Equipment at Private Universities, the Government subsidizes a part of the cost for research conducted at private universities.
In addition, the Government carries out a multi-faceted policy as follows: expanding scientific research grants which are the basic research expenses for the promotion of scientific research; setting up a system to use capital investment given to the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science for projects to promote scientific research; securing and training a sufficient number of young researchers through improvement of the graduate schools responsible for educating researchers and enrichment of the fellowship system in line with the program to support 10,000 postdoctoral fellows; emphasizing promotion of basic research; improving and expanding research facilities; improving and expanding the Scientific Information Systems (SIS) such as the National Center for Science Information Systems (NACSIS); and, promoting international academic exchanges such as research exchanges. Furthermore, as part of the promotion of basic research to create new technologies, the Government financially supports the Japan Science and Technology Corporation (JST) to establish and expand a basic research promotion system in which researchers at such institutions as national research institutes and universities can apply for funding on a competitive basis. Japan also actively carries out international joint research projects for international research exchange at national research institutions through the Special Coordination Funds for Promoting Science and Technology, and implements programs such as the STA(Science and Technology Agency) Fellowship Program by the Japan Science and Technology Corporation.
Furthermore, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, as a special corporation established under the Law Concerning the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, implements various projects for the promotion of science, such as assisting scientific research, granting researchers, and promoting international cooperation in academic fields.
The Law Concerning the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science was amended in May 1996, and has inaugurated research projects in the creative sciences, through capital investment from government contributions.
Furthermore, the Government takes financial measures to assist the Japan Academy by which to honor and award scientists for distinguished achievement in their respective field.
(2)Dissemination of related information
In Japan, the results of academic and scientific research are published by academic societies and applied in industry and for other practical applications.
The Government makes efforts to spread academic information by subsidizing various scientific periodicals published by academic societies and lectures for youth and the general public. The Japan Science and Technology Corporation (JST), established through the consolidation of the Japan Information Center of Science and Technology (JICST) and the Research Development Corporation of Japan on October 1, 1996) offers an on-line information service to promote the distribution of information on science and technology, taking over the JICST's role as the key provider of Japanese scientific and technical information. To improve the infrastructure for the international dissemination of scientific and technical information, the JST took over the international scientific and technical information network (STN-International), which was put into service in 1987 and links the JICST to the Chemical Abstracts Service in the U.S. as well as to FIZ Karlsruhe in Germany. In addition, Japan opened the Machine Translation Center for Japanese Science and Technology Literature in the U.S. in May 1996 under the Japan-U.S. Science and Technology Agreement and is planning to disseminate domestic scientific and technological research information to countries in the Asian-Pacific region. These facts clearly indicate that the Government is vigorously dispatching information abroad.
Moreover, the Government makes efforts to provide the public with information through research on related fields, collection and preservation of materials, and public exhibitions at the National Science Museum, the National Museum of Ethnology, and the National History and Ethnology Museum.
(3)Preservation of natural property and natural environments
Under the Nature Conservation Law, the Government conducts surveys to understand the natural environment of the nation, designates nature conservation areas, and manages such areas to preserve the natural environment appropriately.
The Government also designates and manages natural parks based on the Natural Parks Law to conserve and properly use the prominent natural landscapes, including those regions which have great academic value. The area covered by the National Parks Law amounted to 5,330,000 hectares in 1994, which is 14% of the total land area of the nation.
Furthermore, to protect animal and plant life and preserve the natural environment through the preservation of primitive forests, Japan designates and manages a significant part of National Forests as protected forests such as the Forest Ecosystem Reserves.
"Yakushima" and "Shirakami-Sanchi," in particular, have been designated as the natural heritage sites on the World Heritage List based on the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage, which Japan concluded in 1992. Yakushima is famous for its typically vertical distribution of unique plant species including Yakusugi (Cryptomerica Japonica). Shirakami-Sanchi has well-preserved primitive forests with diversified animal and plant life and is famous in East Asia for its prototype Japanese beech (Fagus Cremata) forest, which was formed after the Ice Age. Japan has taken the necessary measures to protect these sites according to Management Plans formulated in 1995, including the implementation of various systems and promotion of various projects.
Japan also designates animals and plants as well as geological features having greater scientific value as "Natural Treasures" and tries to limit any alterations to their present conditions so as to protect and preserve nature with an emphasis on the ecosystem and animal and plant species.
(4)Measures taken to promote learning of and dissemination of scientific and technological knowledge:
(a)Extending assistance to "Experience Centers of Frontier Science and Technology," which local governments hold to enhance the interest of youth in scientific technology;
(b)Helping the Japan Science and Technology Corporation to develop virtual scientific buildings where people can experience science and technology first-hand, to create attractive exhibits, and to hold seminars;
(c)Endorsing sponsorship of activities to promote learning of and to disseminate scientific and technological knowledge;
(d)Setting up preferential tax measures for non-profit organizations for the benefit of the public involved in the promotion of learning and dissemination of scientific and technological knowledge; and,
(e)Honoring people who make great achievements in science and technology (medals, and other awards by the Minister of State for Science and Technology, for noteworthy inventions, etc.).

3. Protection of the Rights of Authors

(1)Protection of moral and material interests in the scientific field
In Japan, among intellectual property rights which grow out of human intellectual activities, rights for intellectual creations that might bring about moral or material benefits in the field of science are protected as inventions (a highly advanced creation of technical ideas by which a law of nature is used), devices (creation of technical ideas by which a law of nature is used, limited by the object's shape, structure or combination thereof but not necessarily highly advanced), and designs (shape, pattern or color or combination thereof in an article which produces an aesthetic impression on the sense of sight) under the Patent Law, the Utility Model Law, and the Design Law, respectively.
The rights of university researchers, who play a major role in intellectual activities, are protected by law. However, the university researchers' research activities and inventions are diverse, and they do not fall under work-related inventions stipulated in the Patent Law which assumes the relationship between employers and employees. The unified treatment of such activities has therefore been difficult. The Council for Academy,which is an advisory organ to the Minister of Education, clarified its basic ideas and presented a unified standard in "Handling of Patents Concerning Inventions by University Professors" (1977 report). Based on this report, appropriate handling has been provided for the patents resulting from scientific research undertaken at universities.
(2)Protection of moral and material interests in literature and art
In Japan, the Copyright Law and other relevant legislation protect the rights of authors concerning their moral and material interests. Japan has concluded such international treaties as the Berne Convention, the Universal Copyright Convention and the TRIPS Agreement, and the level of the protection in Japan exceeds the obligations under these conventions.
In order to protect copyright and moral rights fully, it is necessary that the public obtain deep understanding and knowledge with regard to these rights. The Government has been making efforts to make an understanding of copyright more prevalent among teachers, public employees of prefectures, librarian, and the general public, by organizing various seminars and by circulating and publishing materials to enhance the understanding of such rights.
In addition, audio-visual materials have been created and distributed to junior and senior high school students. Management organizations, which were established for effective enforcement of such rights, have been involved in protection of the interests of the holders of these rights. The Japanese Society for Rights of Authors, Composers and Publishers, the Japan Federation for the Protection of Copyright on Literary Works, the Nihon Kyakuhonka Renmei (organization for playwrights) and the Nihon Shinario-Sakka Kyokai (organization for scenario writers) are working in their respective fields under the supervision of Commissioner of Cultural Affairs.

4. Encouragement and Development of International Exchange and Cooperation

(1)International exchange and cooperation in the scientific field
Progress in science requires intellectual exchange among researchers beyond national boundaries, and the provision of assistance to encourage this is extremely important.
Japan takes various measures to encourage international exchange, for example,by providing travel expenses for those wishing to participate in international conferences and symposiums. The Japan Science Promotion Society also conducts various activities including the promotion of international cooperation related to the field of science, assistance for scientific research, and gives grant for researchers. Japan has been actively cooperating with UNESCO; specifically, Japan implements scientific cooperation projects in developing countries, including global environmental projects operated through the Trust Funds of UNESCO.
From fiscal year 1991, Japan has held international workshops for information exchange and examining measures to promote international research exchange in the fields which are considered politically important, in light of the international science and technology cooperation agreements, etc.
(2)International exchange and cooperation in the cultural field
Japan established the Japan Foundation to efficiently carry on activities for international cultural exchange and thereby contribute to the enhancement of world culture and the welfare of mankind. It conducts various activities for cultural exchanges, including sending artists abroad, dispatching qualified persons in various cultural areas to international conferences and symposiums, inviting foreign artists and outstanding people in various cultural fields to Japan, and holding art exhibitions and lectures. In addition, Japan assists organization in the private sector involved in cultural exchange activities by providing grants.
To promote cultural and educational activities in developing countries, since fiscal year 1975, Japan has granted cultural grant aid for preserving and utilizing cultural assets and cultural heritage, for holding cultural performances and exhibitions, and for purchasing equipment for education and research. Japan assisted more than 100 countries in a total of 853 cases, and grant aid has totaled more than 34.8245 billion yen by the fiscal year 1996. The amount of non-grant fund cooperation totaled 6.69 billion yen to developing countries to maintain cultural assets in 1979, 1982, and 1991.
Furthermore, as stated above, Japan concluded the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and National Heritage in 1992 and has taken measures to protect the world heritage recognized under this convention. Japan has made contributions to the World Heritage Fund.
With the objective of cooperating in the preservation and restoration of world heritage sites, which are treasured assets common to mankind, Japan also founded the Japanese Trust Fund for the Preservation of the World Cultural Heritage in 1989 (within UNESCO), and had donated $26.15 million by 1997.
In addition, Japan has conducted joint research on the preservation and restoration of Chinese murals Dunhuang, cooperation for the preservation and restoration of cultural property structures in the Asian-Pacific area, joint research on the preservation of Buddhist historical sites in South Asia (Angkor), cooperation for the preservation and repair of old Japanese art pieces in foreign countries, and the Conservation of Asian Cultural Heritage. In 1995, Japan Center for Internaitonal Cooperation in Conservation was opened as the main organization for the training of personnel and for the collection and dissemination of information through multilateral research efforts in the field of cultural assets and international cooperation.
Since 1993, Japan has contributed to the Japanese Trust Fund for the Preservation and Promotion of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in UNESCO, and has been cooperating in its preservation and promotion with a focus on Asia.

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