Living Infomation

Comprehensive Living Guide for Foreign Residents in Japan

Top page >Education/Japanese-language education

Japanese school system

The chart below shows the Japanese education system according to age, grade, and available educational facilities.

日本の学校制度

  • Children who have their 6th birthday on or before April 1 enter the first grade of elementary school of that year.
  • School year starts in April and ends in March.
  • For Japanese nationals, six years at elementary school and three years at junior high school (total nine years) are compulsory.
  • Although foreign nationals are not subject to Japanese compulsory education, they may enter local elementary/junior high schools if they wish.
  • Some public elementary, junior high or high schools have developed an environment to accept foreign nationals and/or Japanese children returning from abroad. Contact the municipal office in the ward (or city, town or village) where you reside for more information.
  • After graduating from junior high school, children may choose to continue their education to high school and then to university or to find employment.
  • Elementary schools, junior high schools, high schools, technology colleges, junior colleges, universities and graduate schools in Japan are national, public or private institutes.
  • Special schools are available for physically/mentally-challenged children who may have difficulty in studying at general schools.

For more information, contact the Board of Education of the Tokyo Metropolitan Government and/or the municipal office and board of education in the ward (or city, town or village) where you reside.

Top page >Education/Japanese-language education
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