Japanese public elementary and junior high schools accept foreign nationals if they wish to enroll, as they are entitled to receive an education, just as the Japanese are.
Children can enroll in elementary school (shogakko) the April following their sixth birthday and study there for six years. After graduating from elementary school, students may enroll in junior high school (chugakko) for an additional three years of learning.
This chart compares compulsory education in Japan with that of the countries that have the largest number of citizens currently residing in Tokyo.
Tokyo also has schools for children with special needs.
For more information, please visit Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education (Tokyo Metropolitan Schools for Special Needs Education).
In addition to public schools, there are also international schools, private schools, and other types of schools.
The school year starts in April.
The year is divided into semesters (two terms) at some schools and trimesters (three terms) at others.
Public elementary and junior high school tuition and textbooks are free. There are some things that must be paid for, such as school supplies.
Financial assistance can be provided by your municipality for school supplies and other things if financial problems would make it difficult for your child to attend school.
For more information, please visit Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education (School Expense Grants) for a link to your local government or MEXT (Grants for School Expenses) (Please note that both sites are in Japanese only.)
Night school is available for those who were unable to complete elementary or junior high school or who did not receive sufficient education in junior high school due to various circumstances. There are eight night schools in Tokyo.
For more information, please visit Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education (Public Junior High School Night School Program).
The Tokyo metropolitan high school entrance examination for foreign students living in Tokyo and other special arrangements are available to foreign nationals seeking to enroll in a high school.
For more information, please visit Tokyo Metropolitan Board of Education (High School Entrance Examination for foreign students).
If you are the parent or guardian of a child of foreign nationality seeking to enroll your child in a local school, please undertake the procedures at your municipality office. They can be done at any time.
Below is a site in English and Plain Japanese with a contact list of ward offices, city halls, town halls and village offices in Tokyo.
For inquiries on public elementary and junior high schools and other compulsory education schools:
Compulsory Education Section
Community Education Support Division
Office of Education
Phone: 03-5320-6752 Fax: 03－5388－1734
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