Living Infomation

Comprehensive Living Guide for Foreign Residents in Japan

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Elementary and junior high school

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 resident card 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.
  • Irrespective of nationality, several public junior high schools offer evening classes for persons aged 16 or older who live or work in Tokyo. Such classes are designed to cater to both persons who were unable to graduate from institutions such as elementary or junior high school in their home country, as well as individuals whose circumstances prevented them from receiving a sufficient junior high school education. In undertaking these classes, there is little need for individuals to worry about matters such as academic ability or sundry expenses, etc.

For more information, contact or the municipal office in the ward (or city, town or village) where you reside and its board of education.

Top page >Education/Japanese-language education
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