Shibayama Masahiko

 We mentioned our initiatives toward revival of the MEXT at the front. We will steadily implement the initiatives incorporated in the MEXT Action Plan for Revival for reform of the ministry, including measures to prevent recurrence of a series of scandals. We will dedicate all our energy toward restoring public confidence.

 The lead features of the White Paper on Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology 2018 are “Grand Design for Higher Education toward 2040” and “Strengthening Measures for Severe Disasters”.

 In the rapidly globalizing society that is facing aging and a declining birthrate, the reform of universities, which will be the foundations for fostering human resources and for creating innovation for Society 5.0, is now an urgent task. The Feature 1 “Grand Design for Higher Education toward 2040” focuses on introducing the report compiled by the Central Council for Education that is to be positioned as guidelines for higher education reform in the future. The feature also introduces advanced initiatives such as visualization of learning outcomes.

 During FY2018, we experienced many disasters and climatic abnormalities, including earthquakes, heavy rains and heat waves, which reminded us that strengthening disaster response is a pressing issue. The Feature 2, “Strengthening Measures for Severe Disasters”, introduces the response of MEXT to the disasters and abnormal weather during FY2018, as well as its measures for national resilience, building earthquake-resistant school facilities, strengthening disaster protection functions of school facilities, promoting disaster prevention education, earthquake-resistant measures for cultural properties and research and development concerning disaster prevention.

 The annual report summarizes the ministry’s measures that form the core of “Human Resources Development Revolution” and other initiatives.

 The first key initiative is measures to mitigate educational cost or provide free education seamlessly from early childhood to the stage of higher education so that everyone can receive highquality education of his/her choice.
 We start free early childhood education in October this year and a new higher education tuition support system for pupils who really need support in April next year.

 “Policy to Use Cutting-Edge Technology to Support Learning in a New Age” formulated based on the “Shibayama Innovative Plan for Learning” showed specific measures to further improve the quality of teaching and learning and realize “learning that maximizes children’s potential” by effective use of cutting-edge technology using ICT. In addition we are consulting the Central Council for Education on “Modality of Elementary and Secondary Education in a New Era” and requesting them to conduct comprehensive deliberations to overcome various problems of elementary and secondary education and improve the quality of education toward a new era.

 Furthermore, through the Reform of Higher Education and Research (Shibayama Initiative)” compiled in February this year, MEXT will accomplish an integrated reform of education, research and governance of higher education and research institutions, promote the formation of ‘groups of top universities that will be a leading force in the world’ and ‘clusters of universities that will be leading forces in their regions and specialist fields’, as well as the activities of ‘researchers at the frontlines of their fields’ and ‘students who will lead the next generation.’

 The understanding and the cooperation of the general public are also essential in order to promote the administration of education, culture, sports, science and technology. I hope that this White Paper will be widely used and serve as a help in deepening everyone’s understanding of the activities of MEXT.


Education Policy Bureau Policy Division

(Education Policy Bureau Policy Division)