2. Procedures up to the Use of Textbooks

 Textbooks authored and edited by publishers undergo procedures for authorization and adoption and are finally used by children and students as outlined below (see Figure 1).

1) Authoring and editing

 Under the current school textbook system, textbooks are basically authored and edited by private publishers. Publishers create books with originality and ingenuity based on the Courses of Study and Textbook Authorization Standards, and file applications for authorization.

2) Authorization

 Books created by publishers are not qualified to be used as textbooks at schools unless authorization is obtained from the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. A book for which a publisher has filed an application for authorization is submitted to the Textbook Authorization Research Council, an advisory body of the Minister, for the examination as to whether it is appropriate as a textbook or not, and is also surveyed by MEXT's Senior Specialists for Textbooks. After the Council compiles a report on the results of its specialized and scholarly deliberations, the Minister conducts an examination for authorization based on that report. Whether a book is appropriate as a textbook or not is judged based on Textbook Authorization Standards.

3) Adoption

 There are usually multiple types of authorized textbooks for each category (meaning the unit of textbooks classified by subject; e.g. Japanese language for elementary schools (1st to 6th grades), social studies for lower secondary schools (geographical field), mathematics for upper secondary schools (mathematics I)), and it is necessary to select (adopt) one type from among them for the use at schools. The authority to decide which one to adopt is vested in the competent board of education for public schools and in the principal for national schools and private schools. The required number of adopted textbooks is to be reported to the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.

4) Publication (Production and Distribution) and Use

 Based on tabulated numbers of necessary textbooks thus reported, the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology is to issue instructions concerning types and numbers of textbooks to be published to respective publishers. Publishers who accept such instructions produce textbooks as instructed and distribute them to schools via distributors. Distributed textbooks are supplied to children and students for their use.

5) Free Supply of Textbooks

 Textbooks to be used at national, public and private schools for compulsory education (elementary schools, lower secondary schools, compulsory education schools, early courses of secondary schools, and elementary and lower secondary departments of schools for special needs education) are supplied to all children and students free of charge, at the expense of the national government.

Figure 1. Basic Flow up to the Use of Textbooks

Figure 1. Basic Flow up to the Use of Textbooks

(Note) Timing of production, distribution and use is for textbooks to be used in the first term.