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[Japan] Basic Data

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To better grasp the situation of ECEC around the world, it is essential to understand the circumstances in each country. In this section, we introduce basic information ranging from population size and educational investment in the country to educational systems, mainly focusing on the preschool phase. It is our humble hope that this information will be of some use to our readers who are interested in ECEC around the world.
Updated on July 17, 2015

1. Capital: Tokyo
2. Population: 126 818 000 (2015)
3. Official/National Language(s): Japanese
4. Currency: Yen (JPY)
5. System of Education and Childcare

  • Education system: Daycare center and ECEC center (ages 0-5), kindergarten (ages 3-5), elementary (ages 6-11), lower secondary (ages 12-14), upper secondary (ages 15-17), higher education (age 18-)
  • Regulating authority: Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science & Technology (MEXT), Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare(MHLW) (Daycare centers are regulated by MHLW and kindergartens are regulated by MEXT. ECEC centers are regulated by MEXT and MHLW.)
  • Compulsory education: Primary and lower-secondary
6. Enrollment
  • 3 year old: 78% (2012)
  • 4 year old: 94% (2012)
  • 5 year old: 95% (2012)
  • 6 year old: 100% (2012)
7. Total public expenditure on education (% of GDP):
  • Pre-primary: 0.1% (2011)
  • Primary, secondary, and post-secondary non-tertiary: 2.7% (2011)
  • All levels of education combined: 3.8% (2011)
8. Average class size
  • Primary: 28(2012)
9. Ratio of students to teaching staff
  • Pre-primary: 15 (2012)
  • Primary: 18 (2012)
10. Ranking in PISA and TIMSS
  • PISA 2012: Math-7, Reading-4, Science-4
  • TIMSS 2011 (4th grade): Math-5, Science-4

Japan_English.jpg
    Reference

  • 2. Population Division, United Nations. World Population Prospects: The 2012 Revision.
    http://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/unpp/panel_population.htm.
  • National Institute for Educational Policy Research (NIER). Education in Japan.
    http://www.nier.go.jp/English/educationjapan/
  • NIER. Preschool education and care, Education in Japan.
    http://www.nier.go.jp/English/educationjapan/pdf/201109ECEC.pdf
  • 6. OECD (2014). Education at a Glance 2014: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing.
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eag-2014-en. Table C2.1 Enrolment rates in early childhood and primary education, by age (2005, 2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888933118333.
  • 7. OECD (2014). Education at a Glance 2014: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing.
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eag-2014-en. Table B4.1. Total public expenditure on education (2011). http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888933117573.
  • 8. OECD (2014). Education at a Glance 2014: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing.
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eag-2014-en. Table D2.1. Average class size, by type of institution and level of education (2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888933119682.
  • 9. OECD (2014). Education at a Glance 2014: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing.
    http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/eag-2014-en. Table D2.2. Ratio of students to teaching staff in educational institutions (2012). http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888933119682.
  • 10. OECD (2013). PISA 2012 RESULTS IN FOCUS. Snapshot of performance in mathematics, reading and science. http://www.oecd.org/pisa/keyfindings/pisa-2012-results-snapshot-volume-I-ENG.pdf.
  • Martin, M.O., Mullis, I.V.S., Foy, P., & Arora, A. (2012).The TIMSS 2011 International Results in Mathematics. Chestnut Hill, MA: TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center, Boston College. http://timssandpirls.bc.edu/timss2011/downloads/T11_IR_M_Chapter1.pdf, p.40.
  • Martin, M.O., Mullis, I.V.S., Foy, P., & Stanco, G.M. (2012). The TIMSS 2011 International Results in Science. Chestnut Hill, MA: TIMSS & PIRLS International Study Center, Boston College. http://timss.bc.edu/timss2011/downloads/T11_IR_S_Chapter1.pdf, p.38.
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