As part of strategies adopted Tuesday to promote Japanese-language education, the government is aiming to improve its outreach to foreign children so as to provide them with learning opportunities.
Based on a survey conducted last year by the education ministry, it is estimated that about 19,000 children of foreign nationalities who are within the age range for elementary and junior high schools do not attend any school at all.
In Japan, compulsory education covers nine years starting at first grade, from age 6 to 15.
The government hopes to ensure that all foreign children have opportunities to receive education at school. The basic policy to promote Japanese language education, endorsed at a Cabinet meeting Tuesday, says it is the responsibility of the central and local governments to offer such education to foreign children in the country.
Under the new policy, local governments will work closely with foreign schools and relevant nonprofit organizations to better assess the situation and offer parents of foreign children information about school.
The policy was adopted based on the revision to the law on promotion of Japanese language education that was put into force in June last year. The policy will be reviewed every five years if necessary.
Amid growing demand for Japanese language education both at home and abroad, the basic policy also affirms the need to create new licenses for Japanese language teachers.