Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)
Originally called the Ministry of Education (Monbusho), the ministry was first established in 1871. It is responsible for the administration of the educational system and for the setting of national educational standards. The ministry is comprised of various bureaus including the Lifelong Learning Policy Bureau, Elementary and Secondary Education Bureau, Higher Education Bureau, Science and Technology Policy Bureau, and Research Promotion Bureau. The Agency for Cultural Affairs (Bunkacho), attached to the ministry, is responsible for the promotion of culture and culture-related activities.
The ministry provides guidance, advice, and fiscal assistance to prefectural and local boards of education. It also has substantial control over the curricula, the production and content of textbooks, the training of teachers, and the standards for equipment used in schools. The ministry oversees the administration of the national universities as well as nationally established junior and technical colleges, museums, and education research institutes. The ministry is involved in numerous international educational exchange programs and is concerned with all matters pertaining to foreign students in Japan and Japanese students abroad. It provides scholarships for foreign students and scholars for study and research in Japan. The content of education in the schools is determined in accordance with the ministry formulated Guidelines for the Course of Study 《→Gakushu shido yoryo 学習指導要領 Guidelines for the Course of Study》 Schools are required to use textbooks that have been officially approved by the Ministry 《→kyokasho 教科書 textbooks》
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology website