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Nihonjin gakkō (日本人学校 Nihonjin gakkō?), also called Japanese school, is a full day school outside of Japan for native speakers of Japanese. It is an expatriate school designed for children whose parents are working on diplomatic, business, or educational missions overseas and have plans to go back to Japan for good.
The schools offer exactly the same curriculum used in public elementary and middle schools in Japan, so when the students go back to Japan, they will not fall behind in the class. Some schools accept Japanese citizens only, others welcome Japanese speaking students regardless of citizenship.
They are accredited by Japan's Ministry of education and science and receive funding from the Japanese government. Every school has teachers transferred from Japan on a 2 to 3 year assignment. They hire locals as Japanese speaking teachers, English and other language instructors, administrative assistants, gardeners, janitors and security guards. There are 85 schools worldwide as of April 2006, and all of these schools provide English classes in the primary education.
Nihonjin gakkō serve elementary school and junior high school. One nihonjin gakkō, Shanghai Japanese School, has a senior high school program. Schools that partially offer the Nihonjin gakkō's curriculum after school hours or on weekends are sometimes called Japanese School too, but strictly speaking they are categorized as hoshū jugyō kō or hoshūkō, a supplementary school.
As Japan recovered after World War II increased numbers of Japanese international schools serving elementary and junior high school levels opened around the world. The first postwar Japanese overseas school was the Japanese School of Bangkok, which opened in 1956.
The Ministry of Education of Japan, as of 1985, encouraged the development of nihonjin gakkō, in developing countries, while it encouraged the opening of hoshū jugyō kō, or part-time supplementary schools, in developed countries. However some Japanese parents in developed countries, in addition to those in developing countries, campaigned for the opening of nihonjin gakkō in developed countries due to concern about the education of their children.
In 1971, there were 22 nihonjin gakkō worldwide. During the postwar rapid economic growth in 1950s to early 1970s and Japanese asset price bubble in 1980s, the country gained economic power and many Sogo shoshas and major industries sent their employees all over the world. That was when many Nihonjin gakkos were established to educate their children in Asia, Europe, Middle East, North, Central and South America. The number of nihonjin gakkō increased to 82 by 1987.
In the early 1980s, 40% of Japanese national children living in Europe attended nihonjin gakkō, while almost 95% of Japanese national children living abroad in Asia attended nihonjin gakkō.
Many Japanese parents abroad often sent their children to Japan to attend high school after they completed the junior high school years abroad, or leaving the children behind, so they could become accustomed to the difficult Japanese university entrance systems. Toshio Iwasaki, the editor of the Journal of Japanese Trade & Industry, stated that this reason inhibited the development of Japanese senior high schools in other countries. The first overseas international schools that served the senior high school level were the Rikkyo School in England, gaining senior high school level classes after 1975, and the Lycée Seijo in France, which opened in 1986. By 1991 Japanese international senior high schools were in operation in the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Singapore, Germany, Denmark, and Ireland.
By 1991 many overseas Japanese high schools were accepting students who were resident in Japan, and some wealthier families resident in Japan chose to send their children to Japanese schools abroad instead of Japanese schools in Japan.
However, for its rapidly growing economy, China is an exception. Schools in Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong have been expanding and new schools had founded in Dalian, Guangzhou, Tianjin, Qingdao, Suzhou since 1991.
By 2004 there were 83 Japanese day schools in 50 countries.
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Nihonjin gakkō use Japanese as their language of instruction, and the schools the curriculum approved by the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) the so that students may easily adjust upon returning to Japan. For foreign language classes, each school usually teaches English and, if different, a major local language of the country the school resides in. Most nihonjin gakkō do not admit non-Japanese national students.
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As of 2005-2007 Japanese national parents residing in the United States and Europe, as well as other industrialized and developed regions, generally prefer local schools over nihonjin gakkō, while Japanese parents in Asia and the Middle East prefer nihonjin gakkō.
In 2003 11,579 Japanese students living in Asia (outside of Japan) attended full-time Japanese schools, making up more than 70% of the Japanese students in Asia. In Oceania 194 Japanese pupils in Oceania attended full-time Japanese schools, making up 7.7% of the total Japanese students in Oceania. In North America there were 502 students at full-time Japanese schools, making up 2.4% of Japanese pupils on that continent.
- The parents prefer the children to receive education in English.
Nihonjin gakko has only elementary and middle schools (Grade 1 through 9) that are mandatory in Japan. Some offer a kindergarten program as well as a high school program but it is uncommon. The children educated in English-speaking environment will be able to continue their education where they live with their parents. Otherwise they need to pass the entrance exam to enroll in a boarding school in Japan or one of the seven (as of October 2006) Shiritsu zaigai kyoiku shisetsu (私立在外教育施設) Japanese boarding schools worldwide.
- The parents take advantage of the situation and let the children be exposed to local culture and make non-Japanese friends.
- Many of private and public Japanese schools have become flexible and accepts expatriate students by having a separate requirements for admissions or offering exams in English.
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Nihonjin Gakkos tend to be in the following types of areas in the world:
- Area with a big Japanese temporary resident population such as London and New York. Many students are staying only for a few years for their parent's business.
- Area where English is not the official language such as Düsseldorf, São Paulo, Dubai, and Kuala Lumpur. Many parents would send their child to a local school if they live in an English-speaking country.
As of October 2006:
- Bandung Japanese School
- Sekolah Jepang Jakarta
- Surabaya Japanese School
- People's Republic of China
- Republic of China (Taiwan)
- Saudi Arabia
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- See Europe
- United Arab Emirates
- United States
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology classifies the following as overseas branches of Japanese private schools, or a Shiritsu zaigai kyoiku shisetsu (私立在外教育施設): they are not operated by Japanese associations.
- Seigakuin Atlanta International School (Atlanta, Georgia)
- Nishiyamato Academy of California (Lomita, California)
- Day school not authorized but designated by Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT)
- Day schools neither authorized nor designated by MEXT
Central and South America
- The Japanese School of Buenos Aires
- Association Cultural Japonesa (in Bogotá)
- Costa Rica
- Escuela Japonesa de San José
- Escuela Japonesa en Guatemala
- Colegio Japones en Asunción
- Colegio Japones de Caracas
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
- South Africa
- Guam (U.S.)
- Lagos Japanese School (ラゴス日本人学校) - Designated and certified on March 1, 1975 (Showa 50), revoked March 29, 2002 (Heisei 14)
- Calcutta Japanese School (カルカタ日本人学校) - Designated on March 30, 1976 (Showa 51), certified on December 18, 1992 (Heisei 4), revoked March 29, 2002 (Heisei 14).
- Medan Japanese School (メダン日本人学校)
- Baghdad Japanese School (バグダッド日本人学校)
- Kuwait Japanese School (クウエイト日本人学校)
- Beirut Japanese School (ベイルート日本人学校) - Designated February 10, 1972 (Showa 47), revoked March 29, 2002 (Heisei 14)
- Las Palmas Japanese School (ラス・パルマス日本人学校)
- Former Yugoslavia
- Belgrade Japanese School (ベオグラード日本人学校)
- Belém Japanese School (ベレーン日本人学校) - Designated on February 25, 1977 (Showa 52), Certified on December 18, 1992 (Heisei 4), revoked March 29, 2002 (Heisei 14).
- Escola Japonesa de Belo Horizonte (ベロ・オリゾンテ日本人学校), - Designated on February 6, 1982 (Showa 57), Certified on December 18, 1992 (Heisei 4), revoked March 29, 2002 (Heisei 14).
- Vitória Japanese School (ヴィトリア日本人学校) - Designated February 10, 1981 (Showa 56), Certified December 18, 1992 (Heisei 4), revoked March 29, 2002 (Heisei 14)
- Quito Japanese School (キト日本人学校)
- Ben-Ari, Eyal and John Clammer. Japan in Singapore: Cultural Occurrences and Cultural Flows. Routledge, 4 July 2013. ISBN 1136116184, 9781136116186. page unstated (Google Books PT34). "The biggest Japanese school in the world is in Singapore."
- Hui, Tsu Yun. Japan and Singapore: A Multidisciplinary Approach. McGraw-Hill Education (Asia), 2006. ISBN 0071256237, 9780071256230. p. 278. "The Japanese school in Singapore has become the largest school of its kind outside Japan;[...]"
- Mizukami, Tetsuo. The sojourner community [electronic resource]: Japanese migration and residency in Australia (Volume 10 of Social sciences in Asia, v. 10). BRILL, 2007. ISBN 9004154795, 9789004154797. p. 136.
- "（※4）文部科学大臣認定等在外教育施設（高等部を設置するもの）一覧（平成25年4月1日現在）" (Archive). Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Retrieved on March 1, 2015.
- Iwasaki, Toshio. "Japanese Schools Take Root Overseas." Journal of Japanese Trade & Industry. Japan Economic Foundation (JEF, Kokusai Keizai Kōryū Zaidan), No. 5, 1991. Contributed to Google Books by the JEF. p. 24. "The number of overseas elementary and junior high schools for Japanese children has increased in postwar years in parallel with the growth of the Japanese economy and the surge in the number of Japanese corporate employees dispatcheda broad. However, there was nosenior Japanese high school outside Japan until Rikkyo School in England was founded in 1972 in the suburbs of London. It remained the only overseas Japanese senior high school for the next 14 years."
- (Catalan) Fukuda, Makiko. "El Col·legi Japonès de Barcelona: un estudi pilot sobre les ideologies lingüístiques d'una comunitat expatriada a Catalunya" (Archive). Treballs de sociolingüística catalana > 2005: 18 (2004). See profile at Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO). p. 216. "Des que es va establir el col.legi japones de Bangkok l'any 1956, actualment sumen 83 escoles a 50 paisos d' arreu del món." and "El seu currículum escolar segueix el que disposa el Ministeri perque els nens no trobin inconvenients quan tornin al Japó (Goodman,1993). Amb alguna excepció, la majoria no són oberts als nens no japonesos" and "La llengua vehicular d'instrucció és el japones, i generalment, s'imparteixen les classes de la llengua local, juntament amb les d'angles." and "S'observa una certa tendencia depenent de l'area: en els pa'isos asiatics, o de Proxim i Mig Orient, s'observa una tendencia a triar els col.legis japonesos, mentre que a Europa i als Estats Units la majoria prefereixen enviar els nens a escoles locals. "
- Goodman, Roger. "The changing perception and status of kikokushijo." In: Goodman, Roger, Ceri Peach, Ayumi Takenaka, and Paul White (editors). Global Japan: The Experience of Japan's New Immigrant and Overseas Communities. Routledge, June 27, 2005. p. 179. "Official policy (see Monbusho, 1985) was that Nihonjingakko should be set up in developing countries, hoshuko in the developed world."
- "INFORMATION IN ENGLISH." (Archive) Rikkyo School in England. Retrieved on 8 January 2014. "Guildford Road,Rudgwick,W-Sussex RH12 3BE ENGLAND"
- Iwasaki, Toshio. "Japanese Schools Take Root Overseas." Journal of Japanese Trade & Industry. Japan Economic Foundation (JEF, Kokusai Keizai Kōryū Zaidan), No. 5, 1991. Contributed to Google Books by the JEF. p. 25.
- (Catalan) Fukuda, Makiko. "El Col·legi Japonès de Barcelona: un estudi pilot sobre les ideologies lingüístiques d'una comunitat expatriada a Catalunya" (Archive). Treballs de sociolingüística catalana > 2005: 18 (2004). See profile at Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO). p. 218: "El col·legi Japones de Barcelona, així com els altres col.legis japonesos, realitzen l'ensenyament de la llengua "local" (per a ells aquesta és el castella) i de l'angles a mes del japones. "
- Mizukami, Tetsuo. The sojourner community [electronic resource]: Japanese migration and residency in Australia (Volume 10 of Social sciences in Asia, v. 10). BRILL, 2007. ISBN 9004154795, 9789004154797. p. 139.
- Mizukami, Tetsuo. The sojourner community [electronic resource]: Japanese migration and residency in Australia (Volume 10 of Social sciences in Asia, v. 10). BRILL, 2007. ISBN 9004154795, 9789004154797. p. 138.
- Mizukami, Tetsuo. The sojourner community [electronic resource]: Japanese migration and residency in Australia (Volume 10 of Social sciences in Asia, v. 10). BRILL, 2007. ISBN 9004154795, 9789004154797. p. 138-139.
- "私立在外教育施設一覧" (Archive). Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Retrieved on March 1, 2015.
- "The New Jersey Japanese School." GreatSchools.
- "過去に指定・認定していた在外教育施設" (Archive). Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology. Retrieved on January 15, 2015.
- Kobori, Iwao (Conseiller aupres del'Universite des Nations Unies). "L'Algerie et moi" (Archive). Japan-Algeria Center. Retrieved on 16 January 2015.
- "学校の概要" (Archive). Ankara Japanese School. Retrieved on January 15, 2015. "Horasan Sok.No.6 G.O.P.ANKARA TURKEY"
- Home page. Japanese Community School of Athens. Retrieved on January 15, 2015.
- Home page. Escola Japonesa de Belo Horizonte. Retrieved on January 15, 2015.