Japan's system of starting its school year in April is presumably designed to keep it in line with its fiscal year, which also begins in the same month.

India and Pakistan are the only other countries in the world where the academic year starts in April. It begins in January in Singapore and three other countries, in March in South Korea, Argentina and three others, in May in Thailand, in June in the Philippines and Myanmar, and in October in Egypt and Cambodia. In all other nations, the academic year begins in September.

Japan has a long-held social perception that first-grade students start elementary school under the full blossoms of cherry trees in early April. Starting the school year in April has caused little or no inconvenience as far as elementary, junior high and senior high school are concerned. But it has been a source of various troubles and inconveniences in higher education. The following are some examples.