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Basic Act on Education(Provisional translation)

Basic Act on Education (Act No. 120 of December 22, 2006)

Preamble

 We, the citizens of Japan, desire to further develop the democratic and cultural state we have built through our untiring efforts, and contribute to the peace of the world and the improvement of the welfare of humanity.

 To realize these ideals, we shall esteem individual dignity, and endeavor to bring up people who long for truth and justice, honor the public spirit, and are rich in humanity and creativity, while promoting an education which transmits tradition and aims at the creation of a new culture.

 We hereby enact this Act, in accordance with the spirit of the Constitution of Japan, in order to establish the foundations of education and promote an education that opens the way to our country’s future.

Chapter 1 Aims and Principles of Education

(Aims of Education)

 Article 1 Education shall aim for the full development of personality and strive to nurture the citizens, sound in mind and body, who are imbued with the qualities necessary for those who form a peaceful and democratic state and society.

(Objectives of Education)

 Article 2  To realize the aforementioned aims, education shall be carried out in such a way as to achieve the following objectives, while respecting academic freedom:

 (1) to foster an attitude to acquire wide-ranging knowledge and culture, and to seek the truth, cultivate a rich sensibility and sense of morality, while developing a healthy body.

 (2) to develop the abilities of individuals while respecting their value; cultivate their creativity; foster a spirit of autonomy and independence; and foster an attitude to value labor while emphasizing the connections with career and practical life.

 (3) to foster an attitude to value justice, responsibility, equality between men and women, mutual respect and cooperation, and actively contribute, in the public spirit, to the building and development of society.

 (4) to foster an attitude to respect life, care for nature, and contribute to the protection of the environment.

 (5) to foster an attitude to respect our traditions and culture, love the country and region that nurtured them, together with respect for other countries and a desire to contribute to world peace and the development of the international community.

(Concept of Lifelong Learning)

 Article 3 Society shall be made to allow all citizens to continue to learn throughout their lives, on all occasions and in all places, and apply the outcomes of lifelong learning appropriately to refine themselves and lead a fulfilling life.

(Equal Opportunity in Education)

 Article 4 (1) Citizens shall all be given equal opportunities to receive education according to their abilities, and shall not be subject to discrimination in education on account of race, creed, sex, social status, economic position, or family origin.

 (2) The national and local governments shall provide support in education to persons with disabilities, to ensure that they are given adequate education in accordance with their condition.

 (3) The national and local governments shall take measures to provide financial assistance to those who, in spite of their ability, encounter difficulties in receiving education for economic reasons.

Chapter 2 Basics of Education Provision

(Compulsory Education)

Article 5 (1) Citizens shall be obligated to have children under their protection receive a general education pursuant to the provisions of other acts.

 (2) The objectives of general education, given in the form of compulsory education, shall be to cultivate the foundations for an independent life within society while developing the abilities of each individual, and to foster the basic qualities necessary for those who form our state and society.

 (3) In order to guarantee the opportunity for compulsory education and ensure adequate standards, the national and local governments shall assume responsibility for the implementation of compulsory education through appropriate role sharing and mutual cooperation.

 (4) No tuition fee shall be charged for compulsory education in schools established by the national and local governments.

(School Education)

 Article 6 (1) The schools prescribed by law shall be of a public nature, and only the national government, local governments, and juridical persons prescribed by law shall be entitled to establish them.

 (2) The schools set forth in the preceding paragraph shall, in order to fulfill the objectives of education, provide a structured education in an organized way suited to the mental and physical development of the recipients. It shall be carried out in a way that emphasizes instilling the recipients with respect for the discipline necessary to conduct school life, and strengthening their own motivation to learn.

(Universities)

 Article 7 (1) Universities, as the core of scholarship activities, shall cultivate advanced knowledge and specialized skills, inquire deeply into the truth and create new knowledge, while contributing to the development of society by broadly disseminating the results of their activities.

 (2) University autonomy, independence, and other unique characteristics of university education and research shall be respected.

(Private Schools)

 Article 8 Taking into account the public nature of privately established schools and their important role in school education, the national and local governments shall endeavor to promote private school education through subsidies and other appropriate means, while respecting school autonomy.

(Teachers)

 Article 9 (1) Teachers of the schools prescribed by law shall endeavor to fulfill their duties, while being deeply conscious of their noble mission and continuously devoting themselves to research and self-cultivation.

 (2) Considering the importance of the mission and duties of the teachers set forth in the preceding paragraph, the status of teachers shall be respected, their fair and appropriate treatment ensured, and measures shall be taken to improve their education and training.

(Education in the Family)

 Article 10 (1) Mothers, fathers, and other guardians, having the primary responsibility for their children’s education, shall endeavor to teach them the habits necessary for life, encourage a spirit of independence, and nurture the balanced development of their bodies and minds.

 (2) The national and local governments shall endeavor to take necessary measures supporting education in the family, by providing guardians with opportunities to learn, relevant information, and other means, while respecting family autonomy in education.

(Early Childhood Education)

 Article 11 Considering the importance of early childhood education as a basis for the lifelong formation of one’s personality, the national and local governments shall endeavor to promote such education by providing an environment favorable to the healthy growth of young children, and other appropriate measures.

(Social Education)

 Article 12 (1) The national and local governments shall encourage education carried out among society, in response to the demands of individuals and the community as a whole.

 (2) The national and local governments shall endeavor to promote social education by establishing libraries, museums, community halls and other social education facilities, opening the usage of school facilities, providing opportunities to learn, relevant information, and other appropriate means.

(Partnership and Cooperation among Schools, Families, and Local Residents)

 Article 13 Schools, families, local residents, and other relevant persons shall be aware of their respective roles and responsibilities regarding education, and endeavor to develop partnership and cooperation.

(Political Education)

 Article 14 (1) The political literacy necessary for sensible citizenship shall be valued in education.

 (2) The schools prescribed by law shall refrain from political education or other political activities for or against any specific political party.

(Religious Education)

 Article 15 (1) The attitude of religious tolerance, general knowledge regarding religion, and the position of religion in social life shall be valued in education.

(2) The schools established by the national and local governments shall refrain from religious education or other activities for a specific religion.

Chapter 3 Education Administration

(Education Administration)

 Article 16 (1) Education shall not be subject to improper control and shall be carried out in accordance with this and other acts; education administration shall be carried out in a fair and proper manner through appropriate role sharing and cooperation between the national and local governments.

 (2) The national government shall comprehensively formulate and implement education measures in order to provide for equal opportunities in education and to maintain and raise education standards throughout the country.

 (3) The local governments shall formulate and implement education measures corresponding to regional circumstances in order to promote education in their respective regions.

 (4) The national and local governments shall take necessary financial measures to ensure the smooth and continuous provision of education.

(Basic Plan for the Promotion of Education)

 Article 17 (1) In order to facilitate the comprehensive and systematic implementation of measures for the promotion of education, the government shall formulate a basic plan covering basic principles, required measures, and other necessary items in relation to the promotion of education. It shall report this plan to the Diet and make it public.

 (2) Local governments, referring to the plan set forth in preceding paragraph, shall endeavor to formulate a basic plan on measures to promote education corresponding to regional circumstances.

Chapter 4 Enactment of Laws and Regulations

 Article 18 Laws and regulations necessary to implement the provisions stipulated in this Act shall be enacted.

(Policy Planning and Coordination Division, Lifelong Learning Policy Bureau)

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