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


 We, the Japanese people, wishing to further develop the democratic and cultural state we have built through tireless efforts, also hope to contribute to world peace and to improving the welfare of humanity.

 To realize these ideals, we will implement education that values the dignity of the individual, that endeavors to cultivate a people rich in humanity and creativity who long for truth and justice and who honor the public spirit, that passes on traditions, and that aims to create 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 must be provided with the aim of fully developing the individual character, as we endeavor to cultivate a people that is sound in mind and body and imbued with the qualities that are necessary in the people who make up a peaceful and democratic nation and society.

(Objectives of Education)

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

 (1) having students acquire wide-ranging knowledge and culture, fostering the value of seeking the truth, and cultivating a rich sensibility and sense of morality as well as building the health of the body;

 (2) developing individuals' abilities, cultivating creativity, and fostering a spirit of autonomy and independence by respecting the value of the individual, as well as emphasizing the relationship between one's career and one's everyday life and fostering the value of respect for hard work;

 (3) fostering the values of respect for justice, responsibility, equality between men and women, and mutual respect and cooperation, as well as the value of actively participating in building our society and contributing to its development, in the public spirit;

 (4) fostering the values of respecting life, caring about nature, and desiring to contribute to the preservation of the environment; and

 (5) fostering the value of respect for tradition and culture and love of the country and regions that have nurtured us, as well as the value of respect for other countries and the desire to contribute to world peace and the development of the international community.

(Concept of Lifelong Learning)

 Article 3  A society must be brought into being in which the people can continue to learn throughout their lives, on all occasions and in all places, and in which they can suitably apply the outcomes of their lifelong learning to refine themselves and lead fulfilling lives.

(Equal Opportunity in Education)

 Article 4  The people must be given equal opportunities to receive an education suited to their abilities, and must not be subjected 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 the necessary educational support to ensure that persons with disabilities receive an adequate education in accordance with their level of disability.

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

Chapter 2 Fundamentals Concerning the Provision of Education

(Compulsory Education)

Article 5  The people are obligated to have the children who are under their protection receive a general education pursuant to the provisions of other Acts.

 (2) The general education that is provided in the form of compulsory education is to be provided with the aim of cultivating the foundations for an independent life within society while developing the abilities of each individual, and also with the aim of fostering the basic qualities that are necessary in the people who make up our nation and our society.

 (3) In order to guarantee the opportunity for compulsory education and ensure adequate standards, the national and local governments are responsible for implementing compulsory education through appropriate role sharing and mutual cooperation.

 (4) No tuition fees are charged for compulsory education in schools established by the national and local governments.

(School Education)

 Article 6  The schools prescribed by law are of a public nature, and only the national and local governments and the juridical persons prescribed by law may establish them.

 (2) In order to fulfill the objectives of education, the schools referred to in the preceding paragraph shall provide a structured education, in an organized way that is suited to the mental and physical development of the persons receiving that education. In this, education must be provided in a way that instills respect for the discipline necessary to manage school life in the persons receiving that education, and that emphasizes them strengthening their own motivation to learn.


 Article 7  Universities, as the core of scholarly activities, are to contribute to the development of society by cultivating advanced knowledge and specialized skills, inquiring deeply into the truth to create new knowledge, and broadly offering the fruits of these endeavors to society.

 (2) University autonomy, independence, and other unique characteristics of university education and research must 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 encourage private school education through subsidies and other appropriate means, while respecting school autonomy.


 Article 9  Teachers of the schools prescribed by law shall endeavor to fulfill their duties while remaining deeply conscious of the exalted nature of their calling and continuously devoting themselves to research and self-improvement.

 (2) In consideration of the importance of the calling and the duties of the teachers referred to in the preceding paragraph, the status of teachers must be respected, their fair and appropriate treatment ensured, and measures must be taken to improve their education and training.

(Education in the Family)

 Article 10  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 the necessary measures for supporting education in the family such as providing children's guardians with opportunities to learn and with information, while respecting family autonomy in education.

(Early Childhood Education)

 Article 11 In consideration of the importance of early childhood education as a basis for the lifelong formation of one's character, the national and local governments shall endeavor to promote such education, by providing an environment that is favorable to the healthy growth of young children and by other appropriate means.

(Social Education)

 Article 12 The national and local governments shall encourage education that takes place within the community and society, in response to the demands of individuals and of the community and society as a whole.

 (2) The national and local governments shall endeavor to promote social education by establishing libraries, museums, community halls, and other facilities for social education, by using school facilities, by providing opportunities to learn and relevant information, and in other appropriate ways.

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

 Article 13 Schools, families, local residents, and other relevant persons are to maintain an awareness of each of their roles and responsibilities regarding education, as well as endeavoring to develop partnerships among themselves and to cooperate with one another.

(Political Education)

 Article 14 The political literacy necessary for sensible citizenship must be valued in education.

 (2) The schools prescribed by law shall refrain from political education in favor of or against any specific political party, and from other political activities.

(Religious Education)

 Article 15 Religious tolerance, general knowledge about religion, and the position of religion in social life must be valued in education.

 (2) The schools established by the national and local governments shall refrain from religious education in favor of any specific religion, and from other religious activities.

Chapter 3  Educational Administration

(Educational Administration)

 Article 16 Education must not be subject to improper controls, and must be provided in accordance with this and other Acts; educational administration must 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 educational measures in order to provide for equal opportunities in education and to maintain and increase educational standards throughout the country.

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

 (4) The national and local governments shall take the necessary fiscal measures to ensure that education is provided smoothly and continually.

(Basic Plan for the Promotion of Education)

 Article 17 In order to facilitate the comprehensive and systematic implementation of policies that promote education, the government shall formulate a basic plan covering basic principles, measures that must be taken, and any other necessary particulars of its policies to promote education, and shall report this plan to the Diet as well as making it public.

 (2) Local governments shall consult the plan set forth in preceding paragraph and endeavor to formulate a basic plan that corresponds to regional circumstances for the policies to promote education.

Chapter 4  Enactment of Laws and Regulations

 Article 18 The necessary laws and regulations for implementing the provisions stipulated in this Act must be enacted.

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