Japanese Curriculum Guidelines Include Nod to LGBT Students

On June 21, The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT) announced the latest update to the curriculum guidelines supplementary handbook, which will be implemented in elementary and middle schools across Japan from the start of the 2020 school year.

The handbook contains considerations for a number of contemporary issues in Japan. Suggestions include teaching middle school students about the legal processes regarding constitutional reform and introducing topics such as the abduction issue with North Korea to both elementary and middle school students. In addition, it is suggested that elementary schools students be introduced to the role of the Japan Self-Defense Force. The importance of work-life balance and sexual and gender diversity are also mentioned.

The handbook is to be used as a supplement to the government-approved curriculum guidelines and should serve a guideline for textbook publishers and class work.

This is the first time that the topic of work-life balance has been suggested to be taught in middle school social studies classes, along with the proper way to handle situations such as being forced to do excessive overtime or an employer withholding one’s salary.

The topic of sexual and gender diversity is referred to in the guidelines for elementary and middle school physical education and health classes. While the curriculum states that developing students will begin to take an interest in the opposite sex, the handbook suggests that it is important to mention that it is not always the case and that there are “individual differences”.

The guidelines also suggest discussing in middle school social studies classes past international rows such as the capture of Japanese ships and detainment of sailors to help students understand the relation of these events to current territorial and state sovereignty issues.

Source – 次の学習指導要領、LGBT配慮に言及…解説書

3 Responses

  1. Hi I’m a Japanese gay working as an expat in a country. Just happened to find this blog! So interesting topics are here! Looking forward to reading more topics including your couple’s stories!!

    • I’m glad that you are enjoying the blog! Hopefully, Taku and I will be together again soon, and we can write more about our adventures!

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