The education ministry plans to ask public elementary and junior high schools to cut lesson hours from fiscal 2024 if they are confirmed to be significantly above the state-set standard.

In a move aimed at reducing teacher workload, the ministry intends to confirm the total number of classroom hours at all public elementary and junior high schools across the country by the end of the year.

Measures have recently been taken to address the long hours that teachers in Japan put in. For example, some schools are adding more staff to assist teachers in routine tasks such as printing handouts and receiving phone calls, and in other cases, private-sector staff are replacing teachers during extracurricular activities.