IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Education Reform in Japan

  • Randall S. Jones
Registered author(s):

    While Japan has achieved outstanding scores on the PISA exams, further improving educational outcomes is important to sustain growth in the face of rapid population ageing. The government should step up investment in early childhood education and care and integrate childcare and kindergarten to improve its quality, while allowing some diversity in the type of institutions. Upgrading tertiary education, in part through stronger competition and internationalisation, is also important to increase human capital and boost the role of universities in innovation. Given the serious fiscal situation, reforms to further raise the efficiency of educational spending per student, which is above the OECD average for public and private outlays combined, are needed. The large share of private education spending, which accounts for one-third of the total, places heavy burdens on families, thereby discouraging fertility, and creates inequality in educational opportunities and outcomes. Reducing dependence on private after-school educational institutions known as juku would help reduce the burden and enhance fairness. This Working Paper relates to the 2011 OECD Economic Survey of Japan ( La réforme de l'enseignement au Japon Le Japon obtient d’excellents résultats aux tests du PISA, mais il est néanmoins important d’améliorer encore les performances de l’enseignement afin de soutenir la croissance face au vieillissement rapide de la population. Les pouvoirs publics devraient accroître les investissements dans les services d’éducation et d’accueil des jeunes enfants, et regrouper les centres d’accueil et les maternelles pour en améliorer la qualité, tout en préservant une certaine diversité entre les types d’établissements. Il importe également de rendre l’enseignement supérieur plus efficace, notamment en renforçant la concurrence et l’internationalisation, afin de développer le capital humain et d’augmenter la contribution des universités à l’innovation. Compte tenu des graves difficultés budgétaires du pays, il est nécessaire de lancer des réformes visant à améliorer l’efficacité des dépenses unitaires d’éducation, lesquelles dépassent (dépenses privées et publiques confondues) la moyenne de l’OCDE. Le niveau élevé des dépenses privées d’éducation, qui représentent un tiers de l’ensemble, fait peser une lourde charge sur les familles – ce qui freine la natalité – et crée des inégalités en termes de perspectives et de retombées de l’enseignement. Réduire le recours aux instituts privés de soutien scolaire après la classe, appelés juku, contribuerait à diminuer les coûts pour les ménages et à renforcer l’égalité des chances. Ce Document de travail se rapporte à l’Étude économique de l’OCDE du Japon, 2011 (

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 888.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 06 Sep 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:888-en
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    2 rue Andre Pascal, 75775 Paris Cedex 16

    Phone: 33-(0)-1-45 24 82 00
    Fax: 33-(0)-1-45 24 85 00
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:888-en. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.