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Home > Policy > White Paper, Notice, Announcement > White Paper > JAPANESE GOVERNMENT POLICES IN EDUCATION, SCIENCE, SPORTS AND CULTURE 1997 > Foreword


Education, science, culture, and sports play an increasingly important role in creating a society in which every individual can have dreams and goals for the future, fully demonstrate creativity and willingness to take on challenging tasks, and enjoy a fulfilling life. The Ministry of Education, Science, Sports and Culture (MESSC) is endeavoring to fulfill its mandate as the ministry responsible for educational administration by constantly reviewing its overall policies and actively implementing reforms in response to the changing times. Since fiscal 1988 an annual report on Government policies in education, science, sports, and culture has been published to inform the public of all aspects of educational policy.

Part 1 of the 1997 edition, a special feature on the role of scientific research in opening up paths to the future, reflects Japan's determination to establish a nation based on the creativity of science and technology. Promoting scientific research in universities and affiliated research institutions, as well as the science and technology deriving from it, is one of the Government's top priorities. The special feature outlines the Ministry's basic thinking and policies regarding the promotion of science and elaborates future directions and tasks.

In conjunction with the Government's program of reform in five areas, including administration, fiscal structures, and economic structures, in 1997 MESSC began implementing reforms in education, which constitutes the foundation for all other social systems. Present efforts are concentrated on reforms that reflect a basic philosophy of respect for individuality, aiming to foster children's "zest for living" [ikiru-chikara] in an environment that gives them "room to grow" [yutori]. Part 2 describes the current state of these efforts in relation to educational reform in particular. It also provides an overview of various aspects of Ministry policies in education, science, sports, and culture in light of these trends.

I hope that this report will enhance your understanding of the Government's current policies concerning education, science, sports, and culture.     Nobutaka Machimura  Minister of Education, Science, Sports and Culture

December 1997

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