Since education at elementary school and junior high school is compulsory for Japanese nationals, households with a child who starts school in the coming April receive a notice regarding school enrollment from the municipal office (city hall) of their area of residence by the end of January. After receiving the notice, they should begin necessary preparation for enrollment according to the notice. Non-Japanese nationals living in Japan may not always receive this notice, however, since they are not subject to Japanese compulsory education. If you are a foreign resident and wish to have your child educated at a Japanese public school, you need to apply for permission to enroll your child. If you make an application for permission in advance, you should receive the above notice so that you can take it along with the child's alien registration certificate to the municipal office as part of the necessary paperwork. Public compulsory schools require no tuition fees in principle. Additional expenses such as lunch money may, however, be necessary.
- Most public elementary/junior high schools require no admission exam.
- Several public junior high schools offer evening classes for aged 16 or older living or working in Tokyo, who could not graduate from elementary schools and junior high schools at home. The foreign nationals can enter the schools regardless of previous schooling, without the need to worry so much about tuition fees and other expenses.
For more information, contact or the municipal office in the ward (or city, town or village) where you reside and its board of education.
*Due to the implementation of the new residency management system and resident registration system for foreign residents, some changes in relating subjects are expected.