The Yomiuri Shimbun reported on 2 August that the Government of Japan decided the creation of a fund in 2007 to support the education of Brazilian children in Japan.
When President Lula da Silva of Brazil visited Japan in June 2005, it was decided to establish the "Japan-Brazil Council for the 21st Century". Since then, the Council has been involved in the consultations on the "Japan-Brazil Exchange Year" in 2008 and bilateral exchanges thereafter. After the second meeting held in July 2006, the Council finalized its proposals in the form of a report entitled Towards New Japan-Brazil Relationship[PDF287KB].
In addition to bilateral exchanges in the fields of politics, economics and science, the proposals also focus on cooperation for the improvement of living conditions of Japanese descents in Brazil and Brazilians in Japan. One of the proposals concerning the latter is to improve their children's learning environment, including through assistance to Brazilian schools in Japan by both governments. In addition, it is proposed to establish a fund for scholarships, distance learning of Portuguese language, development of Portuguese teaching materials, distribution of textbooks and other purposes, with a view to supporting the education of Brazilian children in Japan.
As of the end of the year 2005, there are more than 300,000 Brazilians residing in Japan. According to the survey concerning "the admission status of foreign pupils and students who are in need of instructions on Japanese language", conducted by the Ministry of Education in the academic year 2005, children whose mother tongue is Portuguese represent the largest proportion (36.5%) of such pupils/students. The issue of non-enrolment, including through dropout during or at the end of the compulsory education period, has emerged among them partly due to language difficulties. The issue of their education was also highlighted at the Symposium on Issues Concerning Brazilians in Japan, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in March 2004.
· "Rapid Increase in Non-Attendance at School among Brazilian Children in Japan: Fund for support is to established", Yomiuri Shimbun (2 August 2006, Japanese)
- English version: "Govt to help Brazilian children in Japan"
· Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "On the Japan-Brazil Council for the 21st Century" (July 2006, Japanese)
· Japan-Brazil Council for the 21st Century, Towards New Japan-Brazil Relationship [PDF 287KB] (Japanese)
· Ministry of Foreign Affairs, "Symposium on Issues Concerning Brazilians in Japan" (March 2004, Japanese)