Japanese Public Education: A Comparative Perspective of Attitudes Toward Educational Inequality

  • Wataru NakazawaEmail author
Part of the Education in the Asia-Pacific Region: Issues, Concerns and Prospects book series (EDAP, volume 46)


This chapter examines Japanese people’s attitude toward an educational policy for socially disadvantaged students in order to consider the reasons for the low public spending on education in Japan. Although 1.5% of the country’s total GDP is spent on tertiary educational institutions, which is equivalent to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average, it is the lowest among the OECD countries. Thus, the total expenditure on tertiary education is sustained with the help of large private educational funds. Since educational financial issues are associated with people’s attitude toward educational policies, this chapter analyzed the data from the International Social Survey Programme (ISSP) by adopting a comparative perspective and specifically focusing on Japan. The results indicated that people with relatively higher socioeconomic status were less likely to recognize inequality in advancing to university; this trend became stronger as public spending on tertiary education increased. In Japan, the trend of socioeconomic background effects was generally in accordance with the comparative analysis. However, there may be a conflict between generations because of the small governmental financial resource in Japan.



This article was supported by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS KAKENHI, Grant Numbers 15K04359 and 15H03490).


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Osaka UniversitySuitaJapan

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