Fundamental Law of Education

Law setting forth the fundamental objectives and mission of education for building a democratic and peaceful nation as aspired to in Japan's Constitution. Coming into force in 1947, the law replaced the Imperial Rescript on Education issued by Emperor Meiji in 1890 and became the basis of all subsequent educational laws and ordinances. The Fundamental Law of Education is made up of a preamble and 11 articles. The articles describe the fundamental tenets of education, specifically aims and principles, equal opportunity, compulsory requirements, coeducation, school education, community education, political education, religious education, and school administration.

The objectives of education as stated in Article 1 are to "strive for the integrity of human character and the cultivation of citizens with sound minds and bodies, endowed with a spirit of independence, who, as builders of a peaceful nation and society, are devoted to truth and justice, value the individual, and recognize the importance of work and responsibility."

The National Commission on Education Reform, a private advisory body under the prime minister established in March 2000 to deliberate on revisions for the Fundamental Law of Education, identified points that require broad debate and discussion. These include more emphasis on the nation, the community, and national traditions, strengthening of training and education in the home and cultivation of moral, artistic, and religious sentiments.

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