Japan’s Drifting Education System

The education system that produced the image of the Japanese as a studious and hard-working people is beset with problems. As well as wreaking havoc on today’s children and university students, the uncertain state of the education system is symbolic of the wider malaise affecting a contemporary Japanese society that seems to have lost sight of its aims.

The Debate over Japan’s Academic DeclineNakai Kōichi

Toward the end of the 1990s attention focused on falling academic level of Japan’s students. The debate touched off at that time led to the conclusion that the relaxed education standards called yutori kyōiku were to blame. Now that new standards are being implemented to roll back the yutori reforms, the time has come to look back at the course this debate has taken over the years.

University Reform and the New Basic Act on EducationYūki Akio

Yūki Akio, a civil service veteran with a scientific background, introduces the reform initiatives he has promoted since becoming president of a national university. He also discusses issues in elementary and secondary education, calling for a renewed focus on “education of the heart.”

Higher Education and the Japanese DiseaseKariya Takehiko

In an age calling for an increasingly globalized workforce, there is widespread alarm about declining standards in the Japanese education sector. Where do the problems lie? Kariya Takehiko, a sociology professor who has taught at universities in Japan and England, analyzes the current situation.

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