In December 2006, the Basic Act on Education was revised for the first time since its establishment about sixty years ago.

 The revised Act shows the basic principles of new age education in light of changes in various situations surrounding education, by introducing some new objectives to realize the declared aims of education while confirming the significance of universal principles, such as “fully developing personality” and “individual dignity,” that have been respected since the original Basic Act on Education was established. At the same time, from the point of view that it is important to clearly explain the aims of education in this country and present specific ways to promote education and achieve its aims, paragraph 1 of Article 17 of the revised Act requires the government to formulate a basic plan (Basic Plan for the Promotion of Education) in order to facilitate the comprehensive and systematic implementation of measures for the promotion of education.

 In view of the rapid social changes that can be expected in the future, such as development of a knowledge-based society and intensification of competition inside and outside the country, the significance of education, or “undertaking of bringing up people” is clear: education makes it possible for people to realize a happy, rich life and for the country to further grow to contribute to the international society. Aiming at the realization of the principles of the Basic Act on Education, which has been revised for the first time in about sixty years in Japan, it is necessary for us to seek “an education-based nation” anew, through government-wide efforts to promote education to make our future bright.

 The Basic Plan for the Promotion of Education is hereby established pursuant to the provision of paragraph 1, Article 17 of the Basic Act on Education.

(Office for the Promotion of Educational Reform, Policy Planning and Coordination Division, Lifelong Learning Policy Bureau)