About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 6774 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.0545

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

JAPANESE ACADEMIC MERITOCRACY AND THE POTENTIAL FOR THE NEWCOMER CHILD IN JAPAN

M. Henault Morrone

Nagoya University of Arts and Sciences (UNITED STATES)
Japan claims one of the most uniform and meritocratic educational systems in the world. The Ministry of Education boasts a compulsory school attendance rate of 99.95 percent, a high school graduation rate over 95 percent, with 56 percent of all high school students going on to university, colleges, or junior colleges and 80 percent going on to some sort of tertiary education. These statistics do not include, however, the numbers of non-citizens and their educational experiences, as foreign nationals are under no legal obligation to attend schools.

The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) in their report of July 2014 noted that the Ministry of Education’s estimation of non-national children at compulsory school age was 117,286 persons and among these, children attending public schools was a mere 63,509. The Ministry warns that this number is only an estimate, as it is not responsible for making a complete survey of the non-national children. This statement, plus the reality that the number of non-national children is increasing, suggests that the government has turned a blind eye to the educational futures of non-nationals.

The issue of categorization of residents has been complicated by the custom of creating different categories of foreign national living in Japan, the zainichi gaikokujin, North and South Koreans and their descendants who came Japan during the colonial policy from 1910 -1945, and the “newcomers” from South America who entered Japan during the 1980’s to work in factories. Recently the “newcomer” category has further expanded to include other non-South American non-nationals, as workers in other professions have become residents in Japan and are raising children in the Japanese system. The focus of this chapter is the situation of the “newcomer “children, as this group is made distinctly separate by means of racial identity, cultural habits, and general appearance.

This research finds that non-inclusive educational policies represent obstacles to educational equality for non-national children. But there are other, less visible barriers in Japanese society and culture that serve to reinforce an educational environment of non-committal support. The result is that the children often fail to see a future through the education system and thus, envision no place for them in Japanese society at large. As they cannot easily leave Japan, in effect, they represent a new type of lower-class citizens, approximating the old classification of burakumin, or Japanese untouchables. This author suggests transparency of this reality to the general public is necessary, as well as the creation of real, nation-wide policies that support educational inclusion for the children and parents of non-nationals.
@InProceedings{HENAULTMORRONE2016JAP,
author = {Henault Morrone, M.},
title = {JAPANESE ACADEMIC MERITOCRACY AND THE POTENTIAL FOR THE NEWCOMER CHILD IN JAPAN},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.0545},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.0545},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {6774}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Henault Morrone
TI - JAPANESE ACADEMIC MERITOCRACY AND THE POTENTIAL FOR THE NEWCOMER CHILD IN JAPAN
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.0545
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 6774
EP - 6774
ER -
M. Henault Morrone (2016) JAPANESE ACADEMIC MERITOCRACY AND THE POTENTIAL FOR THE NEWCOMER CHILD IN JAPAN, ICERI2016 Proceedings, p. 6774.
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