Uptodate of Japanese Education and Homeschool
If we say Japanese legal frame for Home-school is very ambiguous, it should be firstly due to the ambiguity not only caused by Japanese fuzziness when saying yes or no, but also it is caused by some kind of problems of domestic laws which do not incorporate measures insufficient to establish the civil rights of Home-educators.
It is just like in the Japanese proverb "Everything is difficult before it is easy", of course, it is not easy for me to give a full-length portrait of legal situation surrounding Japanese Home-Educators, but let me shine a light on the way we should go.
*** Fundamental principle of the law ***
The Constitution of Japan and Fundamental Act of Education were both established in 1947 after we were defeated in the Second World War. Before that time, we Japanese were not allowed even to say the word 'home-school', we also had no basic human rights under the controlling domination by the Imperial system which was founded on the fake story which said all Emperors starting from Jinmu-era up to the present Emperor, were said to be descendants in an unbroken line of a god called "Amaterasu-Ohmikami" and was thus deified by the people.
The end of the dictatorship meant the start of a new legal order which was based on equal rights to education.
After all, to establish the Japanese new Constitution of Japan and Fundamental Act of Education(1947) had been sheered in a new era and must be changed for the improvement in the educational environment of average Japanese citizens.
Concerning the general education, the Constitution of Japan says as follows,
Constitution article 26;
All Japanese people shall have the right to receive an equal education correspondent to their ability, as provided by law.
--All people shall be obligated to have all boys and girls under their protection receive ordinary education as provided for by law. Such compulsory education shall be free.----
We could be able to find the words simply stated "ordinary education", but which is not limited to compulsory into public education system. When viewed from the principle of freedom of education, the school system must be rights but not duties or compulsive requirement.
However, as soon as the Constitution was established, the other controversial law of binding all the people to school education was produced in 1947 named School Education Act (Gakkoo Kyooiku hoo).
When Japanese people think about home-education, on one hand we can find the open to gate which says "ordinary education" on the constitution but on the other hand we have to meet the mighty walls which was written in School Education Act article 91 (parents or guardian) who do not carry out the school systems must pay 100,000 yen in fines or less.
In spite of legal inadequacies, Japan Federation of Bar Associations (JFBA=Nippon Bengoshi renrakukai) is in state of denial to admit home-educators as parental neglect, but also they accept home-education as one of the ordinary education.
*** The situation revolving around Japanese Home-educators ***
Because of recent increase of juvenile crime motivated to link to a revision of the Juvenile Law, it lead to strengthen police system or court of domestic relations's legal droit to interpose Home-educators. Recently, one of the home-schooled family was notified by the neighbor who had misunderstood home-education as child-related abuse. However, we Japanese home-educators have not until this present day, been, in any case, charged with child abuse.
Concerning the situation revolving around Japanese Home-educators, I wish to bring some legal status up to date. Let me introduce two movements which are concerning toward the legislation the Legal order of family and education in Japan. But at the moment, both were still as grass-roots movement.
Firstly, Osaka-Ishino Kai(Osaka Restoration Association=ORA is a Political Party which had launched to make new ordinance bill which named "Home-education support code", but I am afraid it creates some misunderstandings about the regulation that accept any kind of concept of parental rights or certain mind of home-education. The founder of ORA is Mr Tooru Hashimoto who was infrenced by Japanese political conservative and he has a reputation of being a top spellbinder.
To accept the facts of recent increase of juvenile crime and increase of maltreatment of children by their parents, the bill said all parents or guardian have to accept some kind of prospects from Child Consultation Center (Zidoo Soodanshoo) at the same time, all families will be forced to make scheduled report about the family to local CCC. Moreover, all parents or guardian must join compulsory subjects learning how to be parents. The era when government begin the ideological teaching of ethics, I believe the times are very bad.
At present, the supporters are a minority group, but the other hand, I am afraid the bill will likely become a new roots of the national regulation against the home-education movements, because the learning how to child-raising (Oya-Gyoo in Japanese) was started by bipartisan political group this year. Introduction URL as follows(Sorry it's in Japanese only)
Secondly, the association enshrine into so called "alternative law" had launched July/2012.The party is focusing their sights on discrepancies between The Constitution of Japan (Nipponkoku kenpo) and School Education Act (Gakkoo Kyooiku hoo).
Neither child refused to go to school by some reasons nor parents decided to teach their children at their home, family have no choice to have educational system without going to local school. The group understood that we have inadequate legal system and restricted opportunity in education, and they wish to open the way some kind of educational style, for example, free-school, Steiner education, and international school, and home-education. We Japanese home-educators welcome a crack in the impregnable wall, but there are some disturbing problem on this movement.
Because truancy has been increasing annually, those concerned with school education have displayed interest in the organization's effectiveness. It means the starting point of the movement depends on boycotting school by kids, so it was not caused by renewing family's awareness of educational abilities.
At same time, it would be a very hard process to reform educational structure without reforming bureaucratic works in Japan.
Because, without doubt government bureaucrats wished to have the power to carry out their position could divide, "Good-homeschool" and "bad-homeschool". I never doubt it would be good opportunity to develop legal systems for Japanese home-educators, but I have to oversee the entire process of rulemaking process, because it must be made so that it contribute 100% of profits to Japanese home-educators.
(2012/Aug/30th by Director of AHSIC Haruto Yoshii)